Ivy Scholars Ebook: Understanding UT Austin Admissions

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UT Austin Admissions Ebook

Welcome to our complete guide to UT Austin’s admissions! While we’ve written a lot about the school on our blog, we know that sorting through a dozen articles to find the one piece of advice you need is not the best use of your valuable time. Now, we’ve collected all of our advice (plus some of our internal curriculum materials) into a single ebook, which leads you through the entire process of applying to UT Austin. 

Since we’re based in Houston, we help almost all of our students apply to UT Austin, and in doing so have mastered the process. This is reflected in our results; 78% of Ivy Scholars students get accepted into UT Austin, compared to their normal acceptance rate of 31% (though their true rate is even lower).

Of course, a written guide isn’t the same as personal guidance through the admissions process, but we have included all the tips and tricks we use with our students. Now, we’ll go through what exactly the guide covers, and how you can use it to aid your own application to UT Austin. Of course, if you ever want to hear how our coaching can give you more personalized assistance, you can schedule a free consultation with us. We’re always happy to hear from you.

The Ultimate UT Austin Guide

This ebook contains four main sections, though they vary in length. The first is an introduction to UT Austin, and its most popular colleges and programs. The next is a complete breakdown of how to apply to UT Austin, and every step to take along the way. Next is an overview of application strategy for UT Austin, and how to maximize your chances of success. Finally, we cover how to appeal a decision, if you don’t get the results you want. Now we’ll go through each section in more detail, to let you know what each covers.

Section 1: All About UT Austin

This section assumes you are interested in applying to UT Austin, but aren’t sure which school or program is best for you. For more information about the school generally, we recommend checking out our UT Austin Factsheet, which collects many resources from the school to learn about its offerings. 

Our guide profiles the colleges of Business, Engineering, Liberal Arts, and Natural Sciences, as 95% of our students apply to one of these. These are the largest and most popular schools at UT Austin, and contain the most popular majors as well. 

Next, we go through the honors programs at UT Austin. These are very prestigious programs, and the most competitive (for example the Business and Computer Science honors joint program) are as competitive as Ivy League schools for admissions. While you don’t have to apply to honors programs, many of our students find great value in doing so.

Section 2: How to Apply to UT Austin

This is the longest section, as we break down each step of the application process in detail. We begin with a review of the Common App, and the specific additional information UT Austin looks for, along with general advice on filling it out. UT Austin just joined the Common App this year, but we recommend all our students use it when applying. Because it is accepted by so many schools, it cuts down on the amount of duplicate work you need to do, and makes your entire application process easier. 

Next, we cover how to write your activities for UT Austin. This includes some strategy for what counts as an activity, and what counts as an honor. We include the exercises we use with our students to help them compose their activities and honors lists, so that you can make use of them.

Finally, we go through UT Austin’s essays. They require one essay which is akin to the personal statement, and three supplemental essays. We give an example of each, and discuss what the author did well, and how you can craft your own essays to answer the prompts fully. 

We also go over required honors program essays. Only two of UT Austin’s honors programs require essays: Plan II Honors and Canfield Business honors. We include examples of both, and discuss what admissions officers are looking for when they pose the essay prompts, and how best to answer them. 

We hope that by including example essays that worked well for our past students, you get a sense of what admissions officers are looking for, and gain an understanding of how to approach your own essays.

Section 3: UT Austin Application Strategy

While we do cover strategy in parts of the previous section, this section covers overall application strategy. We begin with a discussion of UT Austin’s automatic admissions policy, and how that affects your chances of acceptance. We also cover what it does and doesn’t mean; while it can get you into the school as a whole, it does not guarantee acceptance into your top choice major. 

As part of this, we go over which majors are most competitive, and how to select a second choice major on the application (and when doing so matters). It is harder to get into UT Austin out of state, and we cover these roadblocks as well. 

Finally, we cover how UT Austin’s admissions officers evaluate and score applications. The metrics admissions officers use can help you inform how you should approach your own application, and give you a better understanding of your odds of success.

Section 4: Appealing a Decision

This is the shortest section, and only covers what to do if you are rejected by UT Austin (or automatically admitted but not to the college or major you preferred). While this isn’t applicable to all students, we believe in covering all possible bases. 

You can also consider transferring. While we don’t include a transfer guide in this eBook, you can check out our Guide for Transfer students for advice on how to approach transfer applications, and tips to maximize your chances of success.

Ebook FAQ

Yes. While UT Austin sets aside a majority of their seats for in-state students, 10% of their class each year comes from across the country or around the world. The application process is exactly the same for in state or out of state students. Applications are also evaluated the same way, though out of state students are not considered for automatic admission.

International students need to prove their proficiency in English through standardized exams, but otherwise have an identical set of requirements for admission.

There is no set GPA requirement, and it is class rank, not overall GPA, which decides automatic admission. That said, a higher GPA is generally better. The average GPA for admitted students at UT Austin is 3.83. This is for the school as a whole however; different colleges and majors within the school have more competition for admissions. Engineering students have an average unweighted GPA of 3.9.

It is now! While UT Austin used to only accept applications through Apply Texas, this spring they announced that they would begin accepting Common App applications. We recommend all our students use the Common App when applying, as we find it much easier to use than ApplyTexas.

This depends on the school you are trying to transfer into. It is fairly easy to transfer into Liberal Arts, quite hard to transfer into business, and almost impossible to transfer into Engineering. Because each school handles their own transfer admissions, the process and requirements are different for each. Generally, however, it is quite hard to transfer into the most popular programs, due to an incredibly limited number of seats available.

If you are a recruited athlete, then you will have a slight admissions boost at UT Austin. This will not necessarily help you gain access to your top choice major, especially depending on how competitive that major is, but it will increase your overall chance of admission to the school.

UT Austin offers priority and regular decision rounds; they are a public university, which as a collective do not offer ED admission. We recommend all our students apply by the priority deadline (which is November 1st) in order to maximize their chances of admission. This is especially true if you are applying for highly competitive majors or programs (such as business, engineering, or computer science), since these have limited spaces, and often fill after the first round of admissions.

Computer Science in the College of Natural Sciences is the most competitive major. This is closely followed by Electrical and Biomedical Engineering in Cockrell. While the relative competitiveness of majors in engineering varies year to year, these are generally the most competitive.

Our blog contains articles which cover much of the same information as is in this guide, as well as information on more niche subjects. Our college guides give you information about specific colleges, and include guides to writing the supplemental essays for each.

Our guides go more in depth on niche topics, covering the nuances of college applications for student athletes, business students, international students, artists, and more.

Wendy Y.
Below is my son's review. He was accepted to his dream Ivy League school!

From an admitted student's perspective, I am incredibly grateful to have met Sasha - he has been instrumental in helping me achieve my educational dreams (Ivy League), all while being an absolute joy (he's a walking encyclopedia, only funnier!) to work with.

Many people are dissuaded from seeking a college counselor because they think they can get into their desired college(s) either way. Honestly, going that route is a bit short-sighted and can jeopardize your odds of acceptances after years of hard work. The sad truth is, the American education system (even if you attend a fancy private school and ESPECIALLY if you go to a public school) doesn't really tell students how to write a compelling and authentic application. Going into the admissions process alone, without speaking with an advisor, is like going to court without a lawyer - you put yourself at a significant disadvantage because you don't have all the facts in front of you, or the help you need to negotiate the system.

That said, you need a good lawyer just like you need a good college counselor. And that's where Sasha distinguishes himself from the crowd of people claiming they'll get you into Harvard. I came to Sasha worried about and frankly dumbfounded by the college admissions process. I was unsure what to write about and how to go about drafting the essay that perfectly captured my passion, interests, and self. And I was highly skeptical that anyone could really help me. But, damn, did Sasha prove me wrong. From the beginning, Sasha amazed me with his understanding of the process, and ability to lend clarity and direction to me when I desperate needed it. After interviewing me about my background, experiences, activities, outlook, and vision, he helped me see qualities about myself I had not previously considered 'unique' or 'stand-out.' This process of understanding myself was so incredibly important in laying the groundwork for the essays I eventually wrote, and I'm certain I would've drafted boring, inauthentic essays without it.

Looking back, Sasha's talent is that he can see where your strengths lie, even when you don't see them. The truth is, although we don't always realize it, everyone has a unique story to tell. Sasha helped me see mine, and with his big-picture insight I was able to write the application that truly encapsulated my life and vision. He inspired me to dig deeper and write better, challenging me to revise and revise until my essays were the most passionate and authentic work I had ever written. As clichéd as that sounds, that's really what universities are looking for. In retrospect, it makes sense - in the real world passionate (not simply intelligent) individuals are the ones who make a difference in the world, and those are the individuals colleges would like to have associated with their brand.

In the end, I was accepted to the college of my dreams, a feat I could not have achieved without the direction Sasha lent to me. Essays (and the personal narrative you develop through your application) matter so much, and can literally make or break your application. I have seen so many of my 'qualified' friends receive rejections because they wrote contrived essays that didn't truly represent who they were; conversely, I have also seen so many friends with shorter resumes accepted because they were able to articulate their story in a genuinely passionate and authentic way - I fall into the latter category.

As a former admissions officer at Johns Hopkins, Sasha knows what types of essays jibe well with universities, an invaluable asset to have in the admissions process. He is responsive, flexible, creative, positive, and witty. For anyone who is serious about going into the college admissions process informed and prepared, I highly recommend Sasha.
Arda E.
I used Ivy Scholars to mainly help me with college applications. Within weeks of using this service, Sasha was able to simplify the already complex process. When it came to writing the Common App essay, Sasha didn’t just help with grammar and syntax, he brought my essays to life. Sasha also worked tirelessly to help solidify my extracurricular activities, including research and internship opportunities. Without his help, I would have never had an impressive resume.

Sasha is not only an extremely knowledgeable tutor, but also a genuine brother figure. His guidance, throughout my last two years of high school, was everything I needed to get me an acceptance letter from my dream schools (UC Berkeley, Tufts, Emory).

When it came to testing, Ivy Scholars worked like a charm. Sasha offered a very comprehensive plan when it came to completely acing my standardized tests. Without his test taking strategies I would have never gotten straight 5s on my AP tests and a 35 on the ACT.

Working with Sasha, I didn’t just become a good student, I became a genuine scholar.
Samson S.
We worked with Ivy Scholars during my son's senior year. I was concerned that we may be too late to take advantage of college advising but the Ivy Scholars team quickly and confidently directed us through the steps to ensure no deadlines were missed. Sasha's knowledge about schools, what they looked for in candidates, and how to maneuver the application process was invaluable. Mateo and Ryan worked with my son to help him create an essay that would get noticed and I am so appreciative he had their guidance.

Prior to securing Ivy Scholars, we tried using a less-expensive online service which was a terrible experience. As a parent, Ivy Scholars brought peace of mind to an area that was frankly overwhelming. This service was invaluable in the knowledge that we gained throughout the process. He has also met with my freshman daughter to provide guidance for her high school courses, career paths, extracurricular activities, and more.

Prior to signing with Ivy Scholars, I tried a less expensive online service and was very disappointed.

As a result of our work with Ivy Scholars, I am pleased to say that my son will be attending Stern Business School at New York University this fall! I highly recommend Ivy Scholars. Highly recommend!