UT Austin dramatically relaxes essay requirements for Fall 2025

By Rajkamal Rao  

Image Credit: Rao Advisors LLC.

Update: May 22, 2024

The University of Texas will continue to accept the Common App (along with ApplyTexas), but the essay requirements have been dramatically relaxed and shortened for Fall 2025.

Goodbye to the 650-word required essay (the growth essay) plus the three tough supplements. The dreaded "Please share how you believe your experience at UT-Austin will prepare you to 'Change the World' after you graduate" essay is now gone. There are now only two supplements. All of these changes should be good news for thousands of high school students. 

Required essay for Fall 2025 (500-650 words)

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. 

This is identical to Common App prompt #7. It means that you can submit any essay you wish (including responses to any of the seven Common App prompts), significantly lowering your effort to complete the UT required essay.

Supplemental essays for Fall 2025 (250-300 words).

  1. Why are you interested in the major you indicated as your first-choice major?

    This has remained unchanged from Fall 2021. A good way to discuss this is to start with what triggered your interest and then pivot forward to what your intended career after college would be.

    To research careers, check out the U.S. Department of Labor's website, ONET, which contains detailed job descriptions for over 575 careers. Consider using those themes and some buzzwords back into your essay making sure not to copy content verbatim. Here's the ONET listing for Aersopace Engineers as an example. Also, don't forget to examine related careers.

  2. Think of all the activities — both in and outside of school — that you have been involved with during high school. Which one are you most proud of and why? (Guidance for students: This can include an extracurricular activity, a club/organization, volunteer activity, work or a family responsibility.) 

    This is similar to the "Experience" essay from Fall 2021 but the wording has been significantly watered down. For example, the words "describe" or "share" do not appear in the prompt, so you could be more free-flowing in your response. You could talk about your experiences, perspectives, and/or talents have shaped your ability to contribute to and enrich the learning environment at UT Austin, both in and out of the classroom. Or you can describe your "Leadership" qualities in school, a job, your community, and/or within your family responsibilities.

  3. OPTIONAL. Please share background on events or special circumstances that you feel may have impacted your high school academic performance. 

    We encourage students to take advantage of this prompt only if you have met with real adversity, such as a loss of job of a parent, impact to family income, perhaps, loss of life. 

    For the full list of official prompts, visit UT's Freshman Admissions website.

    For a primer on how to write essays and how we can help, click here. To learn how we help high school seniors navigate the college admissions process, click here

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