My name is Thomas Langford, and along with being a College Consultant with Access College America, I am a loud and proud Fightin’ Texas Aggie! A-WHOOP! Like many Aggies, I could talk about it all day - but for today I’ll just have to keep it to this blog right here. I’ll be covering some history, tips and tricks for the application, and a bit of data to demystify admissions.
Texas A&M University is a public land-grant research university in College Station, TX, and is the largest university in the country with over 67,000 students on its main campus alone. If that number scares you though, don’t let it. Even with a student population that large, it is a place that prides itself on its family atmosphere and friendliness. With 133 undergraduate degree programs and over 1,000 student organizations, there is a place for everyone to become part of the Aggie Family.
Texas A&M is probably best known for its traditions, many of which came to be during the college’s first 80+ years as a military institution. The first tradition I’d like to share with you is that of Aggie Muster. Once every year on April 21st, Aggies worldwide will gather together with fellow former students (young and old) to reminisce over their time in Aggieland, eat a good meal, and remember the Aggies who are no longer with us. It is a time for fun and celebration, and yet remembrance as well. Another important tradition is the Aggie Ring. Seen as more than simply a class ring, this piece of gold is honestly more important to Aggies than their own degree is! And don’t think that this ring is only for sentimental purposes either. The Aggie Ring has helped people get their foot in the door at companies, create connections, business deals, friends, and even connect with strangers across the world. I myself experienced this at the end of a hike in Italy’s Cinque Terre when a married couple sitting down for dinner noticed my ring and invited me over to join them!
You’re still reading? Well, that must mean you really are interested in applying to A&M. Well then, I’ve got some information to share with you! First, let’s go over the newest available data on the most recently admitted group of freshmen from the HS senior class of 2022. A&M received 52,000+ applications and offered admissions to just over 22,500 students. Important to note, there was a 3% increase in applications from students in the top 10% of their senior class – making it only more difficult for students outside the top 10% to gain admissions, and more difficult for everyone to get their major of choice.
What are the things that matter to A&M?
Applying to A&M involves some standard processes, but you’re not looking to be a standard applicant, are you? As it gets more difficult to gain admissions and receiving first choice of major, it’s important to know what parts of the application process are most important to the admissions officers reading your application. While you’ll be putting time and effort into every part of it, you want to know where your time is best spent. Here are the academic and non-academic factors they will look at and how much they are weighed into deciding whether or not an applicant gains admission.
“Very Important” factors
Rigor of secondary school record
Standardized test scores
Level of applicant’s interest
I’d like to point out some important things here:
Academics are far and away the most important factors. So for students applying, you need to be challenging yourself in school. Take the as many AP courses your school offers (and that you can be successful in), especially Calculus for Engineering and Business applicants. An important thing to note is that you are going to be compared to just the peers at your own high school. Admissions officers weigh each applicant with an understanding that not every high school offers the same opportunities and courses, so don’t worry about the available rigor of courses at your school compared to others.
Non-academically speaking, A&M wants to see students that are well-rounded individuals! A&M creates leaders - so much in fact that Texas A&M University has the most CEOs in the top 100 of the Fortune 500 list of any university in the nation. So that means you want to make sure you are getting involved in high school, particularly in ways that relate to the major you’re applying for. Interested in engineering? Participate in a summer engineering camp. Thinking about A&M’s Visualization major in the College of Architecture? Start a graphic design club at your school. Don’t just participate either, be a leader in your activities. Fun Fact: Pixar Studios is filled with Aggies from the Viz major. So much so that Sully from Monster’s Inc is named after former A&M president Lawrence Sullivan Ross!
Level of interest. This is something that A&M considers in the process. They want to bring scholars to campus who really want to be there, get involved, and carry on the Aggie Spirit, so show that to them! Visit campus, reach out to your regional recruiter, and visit their regional office if there’s one near you. They have offices in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and more!
Yes, they’re optional for applying, but don’t let that fool you. While you can’t be hurt for not submitting scores, it can certainly help if you do have good scores. According to the 2021-2022 Common Data Set, enrolled freshmen at A&M that year submitted the following scores
25th percentile: score of an 1160
75th percentile: score of a 1370
25th percentile: score of a 25
75th percentile: score of a 31
Remember though, this is for all enrolled freshmen that year. Students who were able to get into engineering and business certainly had higher test scores. The College of Engineering is ranked #15 nationally for public universities, they turn a lot of people down!
Tips for Applying to Texas A&M
Get your application submitted within the first month it opens Texas A&M has rolling admissions which means people who apply earlier get an answer back sooner. Admissions officers are trying to build out an entire freshmen class (there were 12,459 enrolled freshmen for Fall 2021), which requires balance and planning. If you’re from Florida and submitting your application in late November, they may not have many spots left for out-of-state students. Maybe they’ve already filled out their incoming class for Business students. No matter which piece of the puzzle you are, submitting your application earlier can only help. Besides, then you’ll be able to relax Senior year compared to your peers having to balance college applications and classes.
Tailor your application to Texas A&M
Every scholar should be applying to several schools, each having their own essays and additional requirements. Do not copy and paste your essay in a way that leaves it generic. Again, A&M wants to admit students who want to be there, and you can show that by keeping your essay focused on the school. You don’t need to completely overhaul your essay but mix it up a bit to keep it A&M-focused. Tell them why having you on campus will make it a better place!
Engineering applicants, be ready for the major specific short-answer essay
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?
What the above prompt is encouraging applicants to do is show their interest and passion for the field of engineering. Did you just join an engineering club as a general member and not have much else to show, or did you seek out new opportunities to immerse yourself into the field with varying experiences? You don’t need to be any sort of expert or have your entire career planned out, but you do need to show you have put serious time and effort into pursuing this academic endeavor.
From one Aggie to all the potential future Aggies reading, I wish you all the best in your college admissions process! Aggieland is truly an amazing place to call home.
Thanks and Gig ‘Em!