Founded in 1883, the University of Texas is easily one of the most recognizable and well regarded institutions of higher learning in the world. Ranking nationally and internationally in just about every department, admission to the University of Texas – Austin is surprisingly competitive for a state school; their acceptance rate is right around 50%.
One reason admission is so competitive is what is called the “Top 10% Rule;” this refers to Texas House Bill 588, which guarantees any Texas high school graduate in the top 10% of their class automatic admission to the public Texas university of their choice. This law has come under fierce scrutiny over the years, as many universities (especially “flagship” universities, like UT-Austin and Texas A&M University) claim this law undermines their ability to ensure diverse representation across the academic spectrum, particularly when it comes to making sure each school and department is represented equally in the student body. As a result of the staunch opposition this law has met at the university level, legislation is already in place that will change the law over the next several years, specifically in regard to how it affects admission rates at the University of Texas at Austin. Despite these changes, up to 75% of every incoming class at UT is still, and will continue to be, automatically accepted based on their class ranking.
Given the number of spots available after students have been automatically accepted to the University of Texas, it might be a good idea to know what you are up against in terms of standardized testing. The middle 50% SAT range for the freshman class of 2012 was 1675 – 2020; for the ACT, the middle 50% range was 25 – 31. Take a look at some of the other scores associated with the UT freshman class of 2012:
Prospective undergraduate students are required to write essays in response to at least two out of three prompts. Which prompts you respond to depend on what major or department you are applying to. For most students these essays will be about a person who is important to you and an issue that is important to you, with an option of writing a third essay about any special circumstances (socioeconomic, family, employment/internships, awards, etc.) that might influence an admission officer’s decision. You can find out more about how to write a good college admissions essay here.
If you can get in, the University of Texas at Austin has a reputation for providing a top tier education at a reasonable price, at least, for Texas residents. In my time at the University of Texas- Austin, it was not uncommon for out of state students to reside in Texas year round in order to qualify as Texas residents. The flat-rate tuition and fees for the 2012-2013 school year for Texas residents was $9,300 – $10,800; for out of state residents it was $31,800 – $36,400. You can find out more about the basic finances and expected cost of attending UT here.
Anyone who has walked the streets of Austin after a Longhorn victory or heard tens of thousands of fans simultaneously shout “TEXAS! FIGHT!” knows there is no school on Earth quite like the University of Texas at Austin.