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 into UT-Austin grows more challenging with 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—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:

1) A deep-dive into just how highly-selective the UT-Austin admissions process truly is.

2) Data that will help you better assess how you measure up to the competition.

3) How the UT-Austin admissions committee operates and what they look for in a successful candidate.

To accomplish these goals we will touch on the following topics:

  • UT-Austin’s Class of 2025 acceptance rate
  • SAT, ACT, and class rank of accepted UT-Austin applicants
  • Admissions trends from the Class of 2025
  • 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 – Class of 2025

UT-Austin received 66,077 applications for a place in the Class of 2025; 18,989 individuals were admitted.  The Class of 2025 acceptance rate was 28.7%. The acceptance rate for the Class of 2024 was a friendlier 32%.

This was significantly lower than the 38.5% acceptance rate of a few years ago. 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 for the Class of 2025 were 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

  • For the first time, applicants in the 2022-23 cycle will have the option to apply via the Common App.
  • 781 entering freshmen in 2021-22 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 UT-Austin Class of 2025:

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 of the entire Longhorn Class of 2025, the breakdown is as follows:

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

The breakdown by gender shows far more women than men:

  • Male: 41%
  • Female: 59%

Students in the Class of 2025 came 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 46% last year. To compare this school to other elite public flagship institutions, UNC-Chapel Hill (43%), UGA (41%), and UVA (40%) are all in the same ballpark.

How UT-Austin Rates Applicants

There are a whopping 15 factors that UT-Austin ranks as being “considered” to their admissions process including rigor of 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.

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 66,000+ Longhorn hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • While a holistic process, UT-Austin does not offer interviews.
  • UT-Austin 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 2021-22 cycle, you will encounter one required essay, three required short answers, and one optional essay.

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.

Should I Apply to UT-Austin?

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.