Length Changes to Apply Texas

The college admissions cycle is gearing up!

Some of my clients are preparing to submit their essays via Apply Texas. Starting early is always the best piece of advice I can give, and I am pleased to see that some students are submitting thoughtful applications before the stress of senior year takes hold.

One of them recently notified me of a change to Apply Texas. For those of you with older siblings or children, you may recall a strange calculation of an essay length requirement of 120 characters of 80 lines. I still don’t really know how many words that means. In practice, you could submit essays of just about any length and it would upload just fine.

Now, Apply Texas plainly states a word limit of 650. They have a word counter to let you know how close you are to the limit. It cuts off any words longer than that length.

What does this mean for the writing process?

With early drafts, I always recommend that my clients write more than less. If you think you have 1,200 words worth of things to say about your ticket to anywhere, write it! Your first draft is hopefully not your last draft, and your first draft is necessarily imperfect and rough.

It is much easier to cut out extraneous words or condense ideas with fewer words. It is harder to add things, especially late in the process. Your first draft shouldn’t be 650 words.

Like films and documentaries, hundreds of hours of footage is shot before deciding which 60-90 minutes make the cut.

Don’t worry about length, just write!

Through editing, you can figure out which sentences are the most effective, necessary, and contribute best to answering the prompts. Only late in the editing process do my clients and I work on trimming the tree so it fits in the front yard.


Are you having trouble getting your ideas to fit the word limit? Don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail directly to kevin@texadmissions.com so we can discuss maximizing your chances to UT-Austin.