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Applytexas essay c ideas

The ApplyTexas college application has many different essay prompts – and each of the most popular colleges in Texas has different requirements for which essays they expect students to answer.

So how do you get advice on writing your best ApplyTexas essays, no matter which school you are hoping to get into? Look no further than this article, which totally unpacks all five possible ApplyTexas essay prompts. I will explain what each essay prompt is looking for, what admissions officers are hoping to learn about you, give you great strategies for making sure your essay meets all of these expectations, and help you come up with your best essay topics.

To help you navigate through this long guide, you can use these links.

The ApplyTexas application is basically the Texas state version of the Common Application that many U.S. colleges use: it’s a unified college application process that's accepted by all Texas public universities and many private ones. Note, however, that some schools that accept ApplyTexas applications also accept the Common App.

There are two good sources for figuring out whether your target college accepts the ApplyTexas application and what your college's requirements are. but the best way to confirm exactly what your school expects to see is to go to its admissions website.

Admissions officers are trying to put together classes full of interesting, vibrant students who have different backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses, goals, and dreams. One tool for building this kind of diversity of perspective is the college essay.

What does this mean for you? These essays are a chance for you to show admissions officers those sides of yourself that aren’t reflected in the rest of your application. This is where you describe where you come from, what you believe in, what you value, and what has shaped you. This is also where you make yourself sound mature and insightful, two key qualities that colleges are looking for in their applicants because they want to make sure to find young people who will thrive when faced with the independence of college life.

Filling a freshman class is like dealing with those Every-Flavor jelly beans from Harry Potter: admissions just wants to make sure to avoid the ones that taste like earwax.

There are 4 essay prompts on the ApplyTexas application (Topics A, B, C, and D), and 1 essay prompt that isn’t on the ApplyTexas application, but is an extra essay option for UT Austin (Topic S). There are no word limits for the essays, but colleges suggest keeping the essays somewhere between 1 to 1 ½ pages long.

All Texas colleges and universities have different application requirements, including the essays. Some require essays, some list them as optional, while others use a combination of required and optional essays. Several schools use the essays to determine scholarship awards, honors program eligibility, or admission to specific majors. Here are some essay submission requirement examples from a range of schools.

  • You are required to write an essay on Topic C.
  • You also have to write one other essay on Topic A, B, D or S.
  • If you're applying to Architecture and the Fine Arts’ Department of Art and Art History, your second essay has to be on Topic D.
  • If you're applying to the Nursing program, the essay your write for Topic C needs to be about your goal of becoming a nurse and/or a career in nursing.

  • You have to write essays on Topic A and Topic B.
  • If you don't meet automatic admission standards. Texas A&M recommends (but doesn't require) that you write an essay on Topic C.

  • You are required to write an essay on Topic A.
  • You also have the option to write another essay on Topic B.
  • SMU also accepts the Common App and has its own online application, so you have the option to pick and choose the application you most want to fill out.

  • You have to write one essay, but it can be on any of the topics.
  • TCU also accepts the Common App and has its own online application, so it's another school where you can figure out which application makes the most sense for you.

There are three ApplyTexas essay topics that try to get to the heart of what makes you the person that you are in three different ways. But since Topics A, B, and C all focus on something that has happened to you, it can be difficult to come up with a totally different idea for each – especially since on a first read-through, these prompts can sound fairly similar.

So, before I dissect all five of the ApplyTexas essay prompts one by one in the next section of this article, let’s see how A, B, and C are different from one another. This way, you can keep these differences in mind when trying to come up with ideas of what to write about. (Topics D and S are distinct enough from the others that you’re unlikely to have trouble distinguishing them.)

Describe a setting in which you have collaborated or interacted with people whose experiences and/or beliefs differ from yours. Address your initial feelings, and how those feelings were or were not changed by this experience.

Describe a circumstance, obstacle or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Did it change you? If so, how?

Considering your lifetime goals, discuss how your current and future academic and extra-curricular activities might help you achieve your goals.

One helpful way to keep these topics separate in your mind is to create a big picture category for each one: Topic A is outside, Topic B is inside, and Topic C is the future .

In other words, topic A is asking about the impact of the outside world on you and how you handled that impact. On the other hand, topic B is asking about your inner strength and the ways in which you’ve had to rely on it. Finally, topic C wants to know about your conception of yourself some years down the road.

These very broad categories will help when you’re brainstorming ideas and life experiences to write about for your essay. Of course, it's true that many of the stories you think of can be shaped to fit each of these prompts. Still, think about what the experience most reveals about you. If it’s overall about how you handled a group of others, it’s a good fit for topic A. If it’s best described as a story about overcoming the odds, it should probably be for topic B. And if it’s primarily about an event that you think predicts your future, it will work well for topic C.

Now, I will do a thorough deconstruction of everything you need to know about Topic A, the first ApplyTexas essay prompt.

Describe a setting in which you have collaborated or interacted with people whose experiences and/or beliefs differ from yours. Address your initial feelings, and how those feelings were or were not changed by this experience.

This prompt wants to see how you handled a very specific kind of conflict. You can tell from the fact that the prompt is split up into two sentences that your essay answer will have two distinct, but interconnected parts.

The first part of the prompt is all about describing one of the many environments in your life where you have encountered a group of people. The essay prompt wants you to write about one of these groups – with two important qualifiers.

First, the group of people has to be fundamentally different from you in some significant way. Either because they believe in something you don’t, or because their point of view has been shaped by life experiences that you maybe can’t even begin to understand.

Second, you have to have had some kind of personal or professional relationship with the group of people you write about. In this part of the essay, not only will you describe the group itself, but also what your connection to this group was. Why were you interacting with these people in the first place?

The second part of the prompt is asking for a mini therapy session about the conflicted relationship you just described. The assumption is that interacting with people who were different from you in some big way made you have interesting emotions. This part of the essay is trying to get you to be insightful and analytical about the emotions you felt.

But what the prompt is looking for isn’t just a simple "it was bad" or "it was okay" statement. Instead, the language of the prompt’s second sentence suggests that you need to provide a chronological story about your emotions. The story should start with “your initial feelings” when you realized that you’d have to have a relationship with this group, and then documenting the process of your feelings either changing or staying the same.

College life will be unlike any situation that you’ve found yourself in up to now. You’ll be on your own, for the most part, and you’ll be surrounded by people who don’t necessarily have anything in common with you. They come from places you've never been, have different opinions that they are deeply attached to, believe things that you can’t ever imagine believing, and look at the world from totally unfamiliar perspectives.

By asking you to tell them a story where you found yourself in a miniature version of this kind of experience, admissions officers want to make sure that you’ll be able to handle the diversity of college life.

That means that this essay is where you get a chance to show your target college what you’re like in a situation where people don’t automatically agree with you or where you have to connect with people who aren’t on your wavelength.

What do you do when you have to deal with opposition? How do you react to people who just don’t get you – and maybe don’t want to get you? Are you a problem solver? A peacemaker? A diplomat? Do you try to forge common ground or strategically retreat? Do you nurse hurt feelings or take things in stride? Can you empathize with a different point of view? Are you able to assimilate new ideas and change your long-held beliefs accordingly?

So how can you make sure your essay is really answering the question? Here are some strategies.

Pick your group. Topic A is very specific about wanting to hear you talk about dealing with “people” rather than just one person. In fact, let’s just make a blanket rule that this essay calls for a group of at least 3 people. Two people do not a group make.

At first, it’ll seem challenging to figure out how to write about this group dynamic rather than just an argument with an individual. But in reality, group environments are everywhere. your extended family at Thanksgiving, students and teachers in your school, the restaurant staff at your waitressing job, other players on your soccer team, altos in your choir, crafting enthusiasts in your knitting club. Did you work together? Were you dependent on getting their cooperation or help for a project? Are you related? Are these peers or authority figures?

The prompt wants to see what you did in the face of opposing opinion. So for example, picketers you saw out of the window of your car or a protest march you watched on the news wouldn’t cut it here. Make sure your story focuses on multiple people disagreeing with or differing from you in some united way.

Find the success. You want to show that you’re someone who can handle being around people who are different. The best way to do that is to find the silver lining of whatever ended up happening in the situation you describe. Even if you didn’t end up seeing eye to eye with the others, a positive outcome of the event could be your newfound knowledge of other people. Or it could be a new sense of how calm you can stay under pressure. Or the realization that it’s okay for people with different strongly held opinions to coexist and work together.

Think of the essay like a movie. Like a good movie script, a college essay needs characters, some action, and a poignant but ultimately happy ending. When you’re planning your personal statement out, try thinking of the story you’re telling in movie terms. This way you can make sure your essay has:

  • Motivation. Everyone in your essay needs to have an explicitly spelled out agenda. Clearly explain what the group that you’re writing about believes that you don’t, or what experiences they’ve had that you can’t immediately identify with. Clearly describe how you know what they think (did they tell you? Act it out in some passive aggressive way?) Clearly spell out what your own conflicting opinion or alternate life experience is and how you let them know what you think.
  • Stakes. Movies propel the action forward by giving characters high stakes. You know: win or lose, life or death. In your essay, the reader also needs to quickly see the reason why you’re interacting with the group, since the easiest way to deal with a conflict is to simply avoid the people that you disagree with. What important thing needed to happen, get done, be resolved, or be accomplished?
  • External conflict resolution. So what did you actually do when faced with a bunch of people who disagreed with you in a fundamental way? Did you launch into a spirited attack on their bias? Try to explain your own point of view to everyone else? Did you try to quietly, slowly convince everyone to your way of thinking one by one? Or did you not confront or challenge the group, and instead focus on the task you were supposed to be accomplishing? Why do you choose to act as you did? However you dealt with the situation, make sure you explain it your essay.
  • Internal conflict resolution. What was the experience of interacting with this group like? In our movie, we would see our hero staring at a rain-soaked window while meaningful music plays in the background. In your essay, you don’t have the option of clichéd visuals, so you have to make sure you use words to explain how this situation made you feel. At the beginning: were you exhilarated by the challenge? Nervous and stressed? Curious to find out about people different from you? Later: were your initial suspicions and worries confirmed? Pleasantly surprised? At the end: Did you change anyone’s mind? Did you change your own?

Add details, description, and examples. One of the potential problems with this kind of essay is that you’ll sound whiny, over-entitled, or just generally unempathetic. This is particularly likely when you’re writing about an encounter with a group, because it’s very tempting to generalize their opinions/concerns/beliefs into an undifferentiated mass. This can have the unintended effect of making you sound like you don’t see them as individual humans. How do you fight against this problem? By focusing as much as possible on the concrete details of what actually happened.

For example, imagine Karima decides to describe her experiences as a hospital child life volunteer, helping entertain kids with lifelong illnesses. How should she frame her experience?

I was nervous about going to the hospital my first day. In the playroom, all the kids looked a little bored and I could tell they were sick and in pain. At first I didn’t know how I could play with them, but then over time we started to have more fun together.

I felt a mixture of nerves and guilt walking through the hospital doors. How could I entertain kids who were facing so much in their own lives? I was worried they would be angry at my health and at the fact that when playtime was over, I would get to go home. The child life playroom looked like a minimalist classroom, with a couple of blue vinyl armchairs and three or four baskets of board games and books spread around the institutional linoleum floor. After I had been there a couple of minutes, a group of four kids came in, looking at me expectantly. Several were bald from chemo, and one older girl was pulling an IV pole along with her, with thin plastic tubes snaking along her arm. A small, skinny boy that looked about five years old had a serious, pained expression on his face. I tried to hide my awkwardness as I pulled “Chutes and Ladders” out from the game box. “Ok, who wants to be yellow?” I asked in my cheeriest voice, only to be met with silence and slightly bored stares.

Both versions set up the same story, plot-wise, but the second makes the kids (and because of this, the author) come alive through the addition of specific, individualizing details:

  • Visual cues. The reader “sees” what the authors saw through descriptions like “minimalist classroom,” “blue vinyl armchairs,” “baskets of board games,” “bald from chemo,” “pulling an IV pole,” and “thin plastic tubes snaking along her arm.”
  • Emotional responses. We experience the author’s feelings: she “felt a mixture of nerves and guilt,” tried to “hide my awkwardness,” and masked her discomfort with “my cheeriest voice.” We also get a sense of what the kids are feeling both through the author’s thoughts (“I was worried they would be angry”) and through her observations (the kids look “at me expectantly” but then meet her “with silence and slightly bored stares”).
  • Differentiation. Even though the kids are mostly a monolithic group, we get to see some individuals: the boy with the pained face and the girl with the IV pole.

There's no one best topic for this essay prompt (or any other), but I've included some potential ideas below, to help you get started with your own brainstorming.

  • engaging in a family dispute over changing traditions, gender roles, educational expectations, or another split along the generational divide
  • dealing with public neighborhood displays of religious symbols that don’t represent you
  • being a minority in your school or neighborhood
  • reacting to your school’s objections to particular clothing choice/club/cultural activity
  • facing your school’s objections to a plan for independent study
  • convincing friends to participate in a community service project/get involved in local government or elections
  • working or volunteering to help the underprivileged/undocumented/disabled/homeless
  • moving from one place to somewhere totally different and handling your culture shock

Let's go through the same process for ApplyTexas Topic B, taking it apart brick by brick and putting it back together again.

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