How Long Should the ApplyTexas Essay Be?
This question comes up a lot. Mainly because the application allows for up to 120 eighty-character lines of text. What’s that? You’re not up on your character count layout for a standard page? A typical single-spaced page of average size font is about 50 lines of text. ApplyTexas allows you to enter something more than twice that long; but, I beg of you, do not take them up on that!
As the ApplyTexas application becomes more and more popular (more than 1.4 million applications were submitted this past year with about 300,000 of those applications coming from students outside of Texas), the ApplyTexas folks seem to be working to simplify and clarify their process a bit more each year. When the 2016-2017 application opened a few days ago, I noticed they added some guiding text on the essay page directly answering this question:
- ApplyTexas recommends that you keep your essay to between 350 and 500 words in length, with no more than 650 words.
I recommend heeding their advice, especially if you’re applying to a school requiring more than one of their prompts. For example, if Texas A&M is on your list, they require a response to Topic A and Topic B, but they also encourage you to submit Topic C if you don’t qualify for automatic admission. That’s three major essays! Now think of the admission officer reading all those essays. I promise, no matter how good of a writer you are, your admission officer does not want to read three 1000 word essays when she has a pile of other applications to get through that day.
If you haven’t yet, check out the new prompts for the 2016-2017 application cycle. ApplyTexas has mixed things up quite a bit this year and the prompts are a lot of fun—especially Topic C. Make sure you’re looking at current information, as some of the schools have changed their requirements to reflect the new prompt choices (namely UT-Austin!). For years University of Texas at Austin required Topic C and a second of your choice. This year they have changed to requiring topic A along with a second of your choice.
While the ApplyTexas platform isn’t the prettiest and might be a bit clunky (if I’m being kind), they do have an incredibly helpful set of FAQs posted on their site. Be sure to check out what they say about submitting their essays.
Freshman Admission Standards
Montclair State University considers a number of factors in reviewing admissions applications. Well-qualified candidates for admission have a 3.2 or higher cumulative high school GPA on an un-weighted, 4.0 scale, a challenging course load (particularly in junior and senior years), and a variety of extracurricular activities. Submission of SAT or ACT scores is not required, but, if you chose to submit those scores, they will be considered in the admissions process.
Applicants for admission are expected to complete a minimum of 16 units of college preparatory courses as follows:
- Four units of English.
- Three units of mathematics (including Algebra, Geometry and Algebra II).
- Two units of the same foreign language.
- Two units of a laboratory science.
- Two units of social sciences.
- Three additional units in any of the subject areas listed.
Students are recognized in the admissions process for pursuing a challenging curriculum beyond the minimum requirements including:
- Mathematics beyond Algebra II.
- A third or fourth year of the same foreign language.
- Honors courses.
- Laboratory science beyond chemistry.
- Advanced Placement courses.
Other factors considered in our holistic review process include: strong letters of recommendation from teachers and/or counselors; a well-written, thoughtful admissions essay; and a commitment to extracurricular engagement, both in school and in the community.