How to Get Into UT Austin: Admissions Stats + Tips

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What’s Covered:

 

The University of Texas at Austin is the flagship university in the Texas public university system with an undergraduate enrollment of 40,048. It is one of the largest universities in the U.S. Engineering, communications, journalism, business, and natural sciences such as geology and biological sciences are among the most popular majors. 

 

Austin is an urban environment with all the benefits. Great live music, cafes, restaurants, and a thriving business economy make Austin a pretty cool place to be. The Longhorns are well-known for their athletic teams as an NCAA Division I university. Sports are a big part of student life at U Texas. But, if that’s not your thing, there are student organizations and activities for just about every interest. 

 

The university prides itself on its student body of high-achievers, accepting only 32% of all applicants. Keep reading to learn the tips that have helped CollegeVine’s students get into this vibrant Texas school. 

 

How Hard Is It to Get Into UT Austin?

 

Getting into UT Austin takes hard work – last year, only 32 percent of applicants were admitted. The university received a record 57,241 applications for the fall of 2020 and accepted 18,290 students. Of those, 8,459 actually enrolled. 

 

Important admission dates:  

 

November 1 – Priority 

 

December 1 – Final date to apply for the next fall semester.

 

If you aspire to attend UT Austin or any other selective university, it’s critical to learn as much as you can about the admission process. CollegeVine offers mentorship for those seeking to enroll as an undergraduate and application counseling for high school seniors to make yours stand out from the rest of the crowd. Even if you don’t choose to work with one of CollegeVine’s trained near-peer mentors, connecting with someone who has successfully been accepted to schools like UT Austin can make all the difference. 

 

Wondering how you measure up?

 

While the acceptance rate for UT Austin is incredibly low, your personal chances of acceptance may actually be higher or lower, depending on your profile strength. For example, if you are a graduate from a Texas high school and are in the top six percent of your class, you are automatically admitted! 

 

To better understand your chances for admission to UT Austin, or any other school on your list,  we recommend using our free admissions calculator. Using your grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and more, we’ll estimate your odds of acceptance, and give you tips on improving your profile!

 

Average Academic Profile of Accepted UT Austin Students

 

GPA

 

UT Austin doesn’t provide data about student GPAs. However, 761 incoming first-year students were the valedictorian or salutatorian of their graduating class and 99.5% graduated in the top 50%.

 

SAT/ACT

 

SAT middle 50% score – 1230 – 1480 (79 percent of students submitted an SAT score)

 

ACT middle 50% score – 26 – 34 (47 percent of students submitted an ACT score)

 

Class Rank

 

Percentage of students graduating in the top 10 percent of their high school class: 86.6%

Percentage of students graduating in the top quarter of their high school class: 96.1%

Percent of students graduating in the top half of their high school class: 99.5%

 

What is UT Austin Looking for?

 

While amazing grades and test scores are important, for many of the more selective schools, admission counselors are looking for those other qualities that set you apart and make you a unique student. With UT Austin, you can see that all accepted students are academically qualified to be successful. And, nearly all of them are from Texas. More than 91 percent of the incoming class are Texas residents. Remember, if you are in the top six percent of your Texas high school graduating class, you are automatically accepted. 

 

The Office of Admissions outlines their “holistic review” for student applications. The website lists several factors that influence their decision-making such as:

 

  • Substantial coursework from a challenging academic institution
  • Evidence of relevant coursework and experiences related to your field of study
  • Required courses for specific areas of study
  • Evidence of a positive academic trend (GPA)

 

How do you set yourself apart from all the other applicants with a strong academic background?

 

Their holistic review includes other factors such as personal character and your unique background. Perhaps your grades don’t reveal that you were also working a part-time job to help out at home. Maybe you are the first in your family to attend college. Maybe your family speaks a language other than English at home? Do you have an interesting experience in your personal history or a commitment to volunteering? This information helps admission reviewers get to know you as a person beyond academics. Their aim is to create an engaged and diverse incoming class of students who will add to the culture and personality of the school. 

 

UT’s website describes their students as having “a bold spirit of pride” and a campus environment that “encourages creativity, analysis, and critical thinking while working to find solutions to real-world problems.” The university also embraces the culture of the city of Austin and their unofficial slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.” Today, Austin owns it as a symbol of pride and residents live up to the challenge. Austin has a rich live music scene and many artists and musicians call it home. 

 

How UT Austin Evaluates Applications

 

The Office of Admissions conducts a “holistic review” for student applications.

 

According to their 2020-2021 Common Data Set, UT Austin considers the following factors, without any specific level of importance:

 

  • Academic rigor
  • Class rank
  • Test scores
  • GPA
  • Essay
  • Rec letters
  • Interview
  • Extra-curriculars
  • Talent/ability
  • Character/Personal Qualities 

 

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into UT Austin 

 

1. Aim to do well in the most challenging classes available

 

It’s important to know that if you are not a Texas resident, your application and profile will need to be very competitive as 91 percent of the student body are Texans and only about 6.5 percent are from other states. 

 

Even though UT Austin doesn’t publicize the average GPA of incoming students, you should still aim for the same GPA as similar selective universities. Take a look at the University of Florida or  University of Virginia as examples. 

 

Having a competitive transcript is important. Most selective schools will expect that applicants will have mostly A’s and are also taking the most challenging courses available to them. This means take AP classes if they are available to you. Here’s some context on AP courses.  

 

If your GPA is lower, and you’re earlier on in your high school career, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it will be harder to increase your GPA, so the easiest way to improve your overall academic profile is to score well on the SAT/ACT. The 75th percentile of UT Austin incoming students is listed below. 

 

2. Aim for a 1450 SAT and 32 ACT 

 

If you are looking at schools that have COVID-19 test-optional policies in place, we recommend taking the test if you can do so safely (students who submit scores are accepted at higher rates than those without). We generally recommend submitting your score if it’s the 25th percentile or above for accepted students at that school. Students can get recommendations on whether or not they should apply test-optional using our free Chancing Engine

 

To improve your SAT/ACT score, check out these free CollegeVine resources:

 

 

3. Aim to be in the top 10% of your high school class 

 

Percentage of students graduating in the top 10 percent of their high school class: 86.6%

Percentage of students graduating in the top quarter of their high school class: 96.1%

Percent of students graduating in the top half of their high school class: 99.5%

 

4. Cultivate at least one or two Tier 1-2 extracurriculars (find your “spike”)

 

When it comes to extracurricular activities, it’s a good idea to focus on one or two well-developed interests. A highly-developed interest is known as a “spike”. Avoid including a list of unrelated interests. 

 

There are four Tiers of Extracurriculars:

 

  • Tier one examples include: winning prestigious national competitions in the performing or visual arts, a highly-recruited athlete, or national academic awards.

  • Tier two examples include:  impressive leadership abilities and roles such as Model UN President, all-state musician or athlete, activities that show greater commitment and involvement.
  • Tier three examples include: achievement in participation, such as being selected for an honor band or as the player of the week. Serving as a secretary or treasurer of a club shows responsibility.

  • Tier four examples include: Any activity done outside of the classroom. These are the extracurriculars seen most often on applications, and while they aren’t the achievements as the others, they still illustrate who you are beyond academics. Membership in various clubs, sports team, or regular volunteering are all tier four activities. 

 

Check out some other impressive ECs for college.

 

5. Write engaging essays

 

Once you clear the academic thresholds, essays are the best way to set yourself apart from other applicants. You want to share your authentic voice and demonstrate your fit with the school.

 

CollegeVine has already looked into the details for you. Check out our essay breakdown for advice on writing a strong essay for the ApplyTexas Essays. We have guides for writing essays for colleges and universities across the country. 

 

UT Austin does not have an Early Decision or an Early Action option. However, if you apply by November 1, your application is reviewed earlier and you receive a decision on your application one month earlier. The regular deadline to apply for the next academic year is December 1. 

 

6. Consider Getting Recommendation Letters 

 

Interviews and recommendation letters are additional ways for admission staff to get to know you as a person. They also suggest creating a resume for yourself, describing your achievements and preparation for college. Include your interests and your goals for your education, your career, and life. 

 

Recommendation letters are optional and UT Austin says that these can be useful in providing additional context to your application or information that you have not already provided elsewhere through the resume or a transcript. If you choose to include a recommendation letter or two, consider asking mentors, teachers, or others who know you well inside or outside of your high school. These links will provide you with additional information for the interview and if you choose to include letters of recommendation. 

 

 

7. Demonstrated Interest

 

How serious are you about accepting an offer of admission from the school that you are applying to? Some schools consider demonstrated interest to be very important in their decision-making process. UT Austin says that this is “somewhat important” and it can be a little challenging to express your interest in a particular university, even when you know that it is the school for you. To learn more about this quality, check out our blog post about the role of demonstrated interest here. 

 

How to Apply to UT Austin

 

Deadlines

 

Application Timeline

Deadline

Priority

November 1

Regular Admission

December 1

 

Application Requirements for UT Austin

 

Required:

 

  • Complete the online application. You may use ApplyTexas or Coalition for College platforms 
  • Pay a $75 application fee (waivers are available)
  • One essay (check on current writing prompts and format)
  • Provide your high school transcripts and class rank
  • Complete the Student Information Form

 

As applicable:

 

  • Any college transcripts you may have
  • A permanent resident card
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language or English Language Testing Systems scores 

 

Optional:

 

  • SAT/ACT Scores (We recommend that if you can safely take these tests that you do so and submit the best of your scores.)
  • Expanded Resume
  • Up to two letters of recommendation

 

Once you have submitted your application, you can use UT Austin’s system MyStatus as a checklist to track your progress and submit additional documents. Be sure to monitor this regularly and complete any tasks on the list before application deadlines. Only when your application is listed as “complete” you are sure that you have submitted everything. 

 

Learn more about UT Austin

 

What is UT Austin Known For?

What is ApplyTexas?

How to Write the 2021-2022 ApplyTexas Essays

What is Automatic Admission to Texas Schools?


Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.

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