Wondering how to get into Texas A&M? Read on to find out how to become an Aggie.
With more than seventy thousand students enrolled each year, Texas A&M is the largest university in the state of Texas. Over 58,000 undergraduate students study with Texas A&M each year. Its business and engineering programs are especially well regarded.
In this guide, we’ll share information and advice that will help you strengthen your application and increase your chances of getting into Texas A&M.
About Texas A&M
Founded as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas in 1871, Texas A&M became the flagship institution of the state university system. Today, it has 17 academic colleges and schools. The College of Engineering is the largest by far with over twenty thousand students.
Texas A&M’s campus occupies over 5,200 acres in College Station, Texas. More than eleven thousand freshmen flock to this campus each year, and the total student enrollment for Fall 2022 was over 74 thousand. It hosts over one thousand student organizations, including close to sixty Greek organizations.
There are over 135 undergraduate degree programs available at Texas A&M. Many of its undergraduate programs regularly rank among the best in the nation, including Biological/Agricultural Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Ocean Engineering, and General Sales & Marketing.
Texas A&M offers hundreds of study abroad programs. Locations open to all majors include Mexico, England, Japan, Ecuador, Australia, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and France. There are also two branch campuses in Galveston, Texas and Doha, Qatar.
Is it Hard to Get into Texas A&M?
Texas A&M is a moderately competitive school that’s easier to get into than the other universities we’ve covered in this series. Over half of applicants are admitted. For the past five years, the acceptance rate has been between fifty-five and sixty percent.
Texas residents who rank in the top 10% of their graduating class qualify for automatic admission to any state school in Texas, including Texas A&M.
GPA and Test Scores
Texas A&M doesn’t publish the average GPA of accepted students, but various sources estimate that the average has been around 3.7 in recent years. If you want to attend this university, you’ll need to earn mostly A’s in high school.
Like many schools, Texas A&M University has temporarily adopted a test optional application policy and does not currently require ACT or SAT scores for freshman applicants.
Applicants are still asked to submit scores if possible, and the school says that these scores “will only be used to benefit you in the admission process. You will not be penalized for low test scores or no test scores.” Your highest total score from a single test date will be considered for admission. The optional essay or writing portion is not required.
In 2020, the median SAT score was 1290 (640 in evidence-based reading and writing and 650 in math). Students wishing to attend in the future would do well to score above 1300 on the SAT or 30 on the ACT.
What is Texas A&M Looking For?
Texas A&M takes a holistic approach to admissions. In addition to academic factors such as grades earned, rigor of coursework, GPA, and class rank, Texas A&M considers character, involvement in extracurricular activities, community service, leadership experience, employment, and summer activities. The holistic review process also takes into account challenges and hardships applicants may have experienced during high school.
Texas A&M is looking for students who embody its core values:
- Excellence: An unwavering desire and commitment to greatness
- Integrity: Doing the right things regardless of the circumstances or personal consequences
- Leadership: Inspiring others to follow through the strength of one’s character
- Loyalty: Dedication to our nation, our state, our university, our families and those institutions and values which we individually hold dearest
- Respect: Earned through the consistency of character
- Selfless Service: Giving of one’s self for the greater good, without regard to personal gain or recognition
When it comes time to write your college essays, keep these values in mind. You’ll want to show them through example how you share and embody their core values. We’ll cover the writing prompts that you’ll need to respond to in detail later in this article.
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What Should You Do in High School?
Here are some things that you can do in high school to show Texas A&M that you would be a great addition to their next class.
Excel in Challenging Classes
Texas A&M University’s recommended coursework includes:
- 4 years of English
- 4 years of Mathematics – Three of the courses should be Algebra I, II and Geometry
- 4 years of Science – Two courses should come from Biology I, Chemistry I or Physics I
- 2 years of the same foreign language
You should take a challenging course load and earn mostly A’s to get into Texas A&M. We have advice on keeping your grades up here.
Earn High Test Scores
Standardized tests are an opportunity to demonstrate your academic ability. It would be wise to take both the SAT and ACT exams as early as possible so that you can find out which one suits you best and how much additional preparation you’ll need to achieve your target score.
Make sure you have time to test and then study and test again if need be to achieve your desired score. Giving yourself plenty of time to familiarize yourself with these exams and try out different testing strategies will help you to score as high as possible.
We have lots of tips on how to study for standardized tests right here.
Pursue Your Passions
Pursuing things that you’re truly passionate about will provide content and substance for your college essays. It will give you your hook, something to distinguish you from the other applicants and make you more memorable.
So seek out new opportunities. Get out of your comfort zone and find what lights you up. And then dive deep. It’s better to pursue a small number of passions wholeheartedly than to occasionally clock in on a long list of extracurriculars. You want to be able to demonstrate community involvement, intellectual vitality, and an overall zest for life.
Check out this article for ideas on great extracurriculars to explore. If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself what you can do to better the lives of those around you.
Serve Your Community
Community service activities are an excellent way to show prospective colleges that you work well with others and would be a valuable addition to any community. Don’t stretch yourself too thin by dabbling in dozens of different projects. Do find something that you truly care about and can contribute to in a meaningful way.
Texas A&M wants to know what you have to contribute to their community, and it’s not enough to tell them what you’ll do once you get there. You should establish a history of community service now – not necessarily through established organizations (though that can be good too), but in real and meaningful ways that you can write about when it comes time to write those college essays.
Remember that community service can look different for everyone. Steady jobs or familial responsibilities are just as valid as community service projects. The important thing is that you’re involved in the world around you in a positive way.
Build Relationships with Your Teachers
Texas A&M allows up to two letters of recommendation. They’re not required, but it would be wise to submit them. They’re a valuable addition to your application. Admissions boards want to know what your teachers think of you, both as a student and as a person.
In order to receive truly valuable letters of recommendation, your teachers need to be able to speak to both your academic abilities and your community spirit. Maybe your AP Biology teacher was also your soccer coach for three years, or your English teacher runs a local charity that you’ve given your time to. Be sure to ask your teachers well in advance of any and all deadlines.
Texas A&M Application Process and Checklist
Depending upon your state of residence, you’ll either submit your application through ApplyTexas or Common App.
Your application will include:
- Common App or ApplyTexas
- Non-Refundable Processing Fee
- Self-Reported Academic Record
Optional additions include:
- Official Test Scores
- Letters of Recommendation (up to two)
College Application Essays
“Texas A&M cares about more than your grades and scores, we want to know what makes you you!”
Essays are your chance to distinguish yourself from a stack of similar candidates.
Writing outstanding college essays starts long before you put pen to paper or pull out your laptop. It starts with rich life experiences, with struggle and perseverance that give you something worth writing about. This is one reason that extracurriculars are so vital.
Depending on how many colleges you plan to apply to, you may need to write ten to twenty supplemental essays by the time you’re through. If you leave this to the last minute, it can be an overwhelming prospect. These essays are far too important to be rushed, so start early. Many colleges release their essay prompts each summer.
If you apply to Texas A&M through Apply Texas, you’ll need to answer these prompts:
- Describe a life event which you feel has prepared you to be successful in college.
Essay prompts are purposefully broad, but that doesn’t mean that your answer should be. Use these prompts to highlight aspects of your character and life experience that haven’t been adequately covered yet in your application.
No doubt there are many contributors to your ability to succeed, but your answer here should focus on your response to one specific event. Refer back to the ‘What is Texas A&M Looking For?’ section and reflect on their values of Respect, Excellence, Leadership, Loyalty, Integrity, and Selfless Service. Was there a time that you demonstrated all of these qualities at once?
There’s no need to state these values outright in your response, but you can let them guide you to ensure that you focus on demonstrating meaningful character traits in your response to a specific challenge.
- Tell us about the person who has most impacted your life and why.
This is another opportunity to communicate how your values align with the university’s. Who in your life embodies the values listed above, and what have they taught you? Be as specific as possible in your response, giving examples of how they’ve impacted you and what you’ve learned from them.
- If there are additional personal challenges, hardships, or opportunities (including COVID related experiences) that have shaped or impacted your abilities or academic credentials, which you have not already written about, please note them in the space below.
If your grades are below average and there’s a good reason for that, you have the opportunity to explain here. If your application is already solid, you can still take advantage of this space to write about how personal challenges have helped you to learn and grow.
Here are some more tips to write the best possible essays for your college applications:
- Stick to the topic.
Permitted word counts are low, so there’s no time to waste. Get to the point!
- Include specific details.
You’ll have to cut extraneous words, but that doesn’t mean your answer should be boring. Instead of telling them what you’re interested in or what matters to you, illustrate those things with vivid examples to make sure your application stands out.
- Write in your genuine voice.
Your essays shouldn’t be riddled with errors, but they shouldn’t be stiff and formal either. These short responses are your best chance to make an impression and showcase what makes you unique. Let your personality and voice shine through.
- Show your values.
Focus on values that you genuinely believe in and share with Texas A&M. Don’t just tell them what matters to you; provide examples of how you live and embody those values.
- Be reflective.
Go deep on these essays to demonstrate a high level of critical thinking and self-awareness. Your response should go beyond a basic answer and also serve to explain why each topic is important to you and how you’ve grown as a person.
- Edit carefully and double check for errors.
First you’ll want to edit for content, ideally getting outside perspectives from people you trust to make sure that your answers are conveying what you want them to. Once you’re satisfied with the content, you need to proofread multiple times to make sure each response has zero errors. Have other people proofread your essays as well to make sure you haven’t missed any mistakes.
Texas A&M Essay Supplement
Texas A&M has one additional prompt.
“Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?”
You already have the chance to talk about some aspects of your story through the other Common App or ApplyTexas essay prompts, so be sure to use this additional response to delve into something that you haven’t covered yet.
There’s also one more prompt for students applying to the College of Engineering:
Describe your academic and career goals in the broad field of engineering (including computer science, industrial distribution and engineering technology). What and/or who has influenced you either inside or outside the classroom that contributed to these goals?
Should You Apply Early to Texas A&M?
With the exception of the College of Engineering, Texas A&M doesn’t offer any formal early decision or early application deadlines. Applications open in August, and there is a deadline of December first.
Students wishing to apply early to the College of Engineering must submit their applications by October 15.
Final Thoughts: How to Get into Texas A&M
Texas A&M has a relatively high acceptance rate and over half of applicants are admitted.
If you want to go to Texas A&M, here’s how to craft a strong application:
- Earn mostly A’s in high school
- Score above 1300 on the SAT or 30 on the ACT
- Build relationships with your teachers and ask for recommendations well in advance
- Donate your time to your community and take on leadership rolls
- Write compelling essays using specific details and an authentic voice
We wish you the best of luck – and if you have any questions, we’re here to help.
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