How to Get Into UT Austin: Acceptance Rate and Strategies

June 5, 2023

A top-40 national university and a top-10 public university, the University of Texas at Austin is the number one target institution of many Lone Star State teens as well as high-achieving students from around the globe. With an elite undergraduate business and engineering school and highly-rated programs in literally dozens of academic concentrations, it’s little wonder that the criteria for admission as well as the UT Austin acceptance rates grow tougher each passing year.

In 1997, Texas adopted a policy that granted automatic admission to any resident who finished in the top 10% of their class into any state university. However, due to the popularity of UT-Austin, the threshold changed to the top 7% before falling to the top 6%, where it currently stands. Given the increasing level of competition in the quest to become a Longhorn—more than two-thirds of applicants are ultimately rejected—students really need to do their homework before submitting the application. Toward that aim, this article will provide applicants with:

  • UT-Austin acceptance rate 2023
  • SAT, ACT, and class rank of accepted UT-Austin applicants
  • Admissions trends
  • The demographics of current UT-Austin undergraduates
  • UT-Austin’s yield rate
  • How UT-Austin’s admissions officers evaluate candidates
  • Tips for applying to UT-Austin
  • UT Austin Essay Prompts and Tips
  • How to assess whether applying to UT-Austin is even worth the $75 application fee (for you)

To start, let’s take a look at the most recent admissions data.

UT-Austin: Acceptance Rate

UT-Austin received 59,767 applications for a place in the 2022-23 freshman cohort; 18,770 individuals were admitted.  Therefore, the Class of 2026 acceptance rate was 31%. Recent historical University of Texas at Austin acceptance rates are as follows:

  • Class of 2025: 29%
  • 2024: 32%
  • 2023: 32%

There is no Early Action or Early Decision at this school. All students must apply using the ApplyTexas platform or Common App by December 1st at the very latest, but the priority deadline is November 1st and should be met whenever possible.

UT-Austin Admissions – SAT, ACT, and Class Rank

The middle-50% reading SAT scores are 1230-1480. The middle-50% ACT Composite score was 29-34. An incredible 86% of those attending placed in the top 10% of their high school class while 96% were in the top quartile.

Admissions Trends & Notes

  • 781 of one recent incoming cohort were either the valedictorian or salutatorian of their high school class.
  • Additionally, students who are in the top 6% of the high school class earn automatic admission into UT-Austin. Prior to 2017, students could be in the top 7%.
  • 24% of those accepted into the UT-Austin Class of 2025 are the first member of their family to attend college. This number continues to rise each year.
  • Lastly, 89% of all offers of admission were extended to graduates of Texas high schools; out of this group, roughly 75% are automatically admitted through their class rank.

Who Actually Gets Into UT-Austin?

Let’s look at the demographics of the most recent UT Austin cohort for which demographic data is available:

Most UT-Austin students hailed from the Lone Star State and paid in-state tuition. The total geographic breakdown is as follows.

  • Percent Texas (residents) – 88.7%
  • Percent from other U.S. States (non-residents) – 8.8%
  • Percent from other countries (non-resident, international) = 2.5%

Looking at ethnic identity, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Asian American: 26%
  • White: 30%
  • Hispanic: 29%
  • African American: 5%
  • International: 4%
  • Multiracial: 3%

University of Texas at Austin Acceptance Rate (Continued) 

The breakdown by gender shows far more women than men:

  • Male: 44%
  • Female: 56%

Freshman hailed from the following types of high schools:

  • Number of Texas high schools: 1,117
  • Number of total high schools: 1,803

UT-Austin’s Yield Rate

UT-Austin’s yield rate was 48% last year. To compare this school to other elite public flagship institutions, UNC-Chapel Hill, UGA, and UVA are all in the same ballpark.

How UT-Austin Rates Applicants

There are a whopping 15 factors that UT-Austin ranks as being “considered” in their admissions process including the rigor of one’s secondary school record, class rank, GPA, standardized test scores, essays, recommendations, talent/ability, character/personal qualities, extracurricular activities, volunteer experience, work experience, racial/ethnic status, first-generation status, geographical residence, and state residency.

University of Texas at Austin Acceptance Rate (Continued) 

In the admissions office’s own words: “The Office of Admissions uses an individualized, holistic review process to consider each completed freshman application. Applications from students who qualify for automatic admission are reviewed to determine admission to specific colleges, schools and majors. Applications from students who are not eligible for automatic admission are reviewed to determine admissibility and to make decisions about admission to specific colleges, schools and majors.”

Tips for Applying to UT-Austin

If you plan on joining the 59,000+ Longhorn hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • While a holistic process, UT-Austin does not offer interviews.
  • UT Austin now allows students to apply through the Common Application.
  • UT-Austin does not consider “demonstrated interest” in the admissions process.
  • Make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the supplemental essays required by UT-Austin. In the 2022-23 cycle, you will encounter one required essay, three required short answers, and one optional essay.

University of Texas at Austin Acceptance Rate (Continued) 

This year’s prompts are as follows:

  • Essay (500-700 words): Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?
  • Required Short Answer #1 (250-300 words): Why are you interested in the major you indicated as your first-choice major?
  • Required Short Answer #2 (250-300 words):
  • Describe how your experiences, perspectives, talents, and/or your involvement in leadership activities (at your school, job, community, or within your family) will help you to make an impact both in and out of the classroom while enrolled at UT.
  • Required Short Answer #3 (250-300 words): The core purpose of The University of Texas at Austin is, “To Transform Lives for the Benefit of Society.” Please share how you believe your experience at UT-Austin will prepare you to “Change the World” after you graduate.
  • Required Short Answer #4 (250-300 words): Please share background on events or special circumstances that you feel may have impacted your high school academic performance, including the possible effects of COVID-19.

For detailed advice on each how to approach each of the UT Austin essays, visit our blog: UT Austin Supplemental Essay Prompts and Tips.

UT Austin Acceptance Rate –

To conclude, letting into UT-Austin has never been more of a challenging endeavor, as it now requires finishing in the top 6% of your in-state high school class or possessing other supremely impressive attributes that blow away the admissions committee. UT-Austin is a world-class university with a great number of renowned academic programs with global reputations. Of course, you have to be aware that, ultimately, approximately 70% of applicants will be turned away. As such, all students need to make sure that they formulate an appropriate college list, containing a complement of “target” and “safety” schools. You’ll definitely want to do this in collaboration with an admissions professional who is aware of the latest trends and strategies associated with your prospective colleges.