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Behind the Scenes: How to Get Accepted to Texas Tech

Admissions director provides answers on some commonly asked questions.

Written by Callie Jones

Honors College

The Honors College at Texas Tech offers unique experiences for its students, focusing on achieving academic excellence, building a global perspective and creating opportunities for leadership and personal growth. Students enroll in small classes, complete an honors thesis, have priority course scheduling, and are eligible for scholarship, research, and travel funding. The Honors College has a priority deadline of Feb. 1. To apply, visit the Honors College website at www.depts.ttu.edu/honors.

The priority admission deadline for first-time freshman students wishing to enroll at Texas Tech for the fall of 2013 is March 1 and some scholarships have a deadline of Feb. 1. Ethan Logan, executive director for Undergraduate Admissions, has answered seven commonly asked questions for students interested in applying to Texas Tech this year. His answers, listed below, will give potential first-time freshmen an idea of what the university is looking for when reviewing applications.

What are the objective ways Texas Tech reviews applicants?

There are two methods of admission which we use to evaluate students seeking admission to Texas Tech University. The first method is an objective methodology of reviewing both a student’s incoming college entrance exam scores (either the SAT or ACT) and the student’s class rank. This is the most objective and consistent review of application to the university and provides a foundation for our Merit Scholarship program. Students are able to review our admission protocol for “assured admission” to Texas Tech based upon their test score and class rank (please visit www.admissions.ttu.edu for more information).

If a student is not assured admission by the objective method, what are the other ways in which an application is reviewed?

Holistic review of a student’s application is conducted by two independent admission professionals who review a student’s courses and curriculum, academic trends, rigor, involvement, student leadership, talents and service. The holistic review covers the entire application profile of a student which we have received; this includes letters of recommendation, awards, commendations and application essays or writing samples. The purpose of the holistic review is to consider the entire profile of the student and make an admission decision on their candidacy as an applicant to the university. This is a double-blind process which is ratified by an admission committee.

What information do you recommend that a student provide to the admissions office for review?

If a student does not meet an assured level of admission, then the holistic review process is more important when considering an applicant. In holistic review, the professional staff only knows as much about a student as the information a student provides. I recommend to students that they provide a resumé and a writing sample through the application essays.  This provides students with an opportunity to talk more about their background and their aspirations both directly and indirectly. All information will be reviewed in a holistic review, so consider providing enough information to learn more about the prospective student and their uniqueness.

What can significantly help a student’s application stand out?

What we look for in reviewing these types of submissions by prospective students typically comprises, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Resume: a concise statement about work, awards and accomplishments.
  • Honors: scholastic achievement, individual or team achievement, and recognized citizenship.
  • Awards: excellence in participation or performance; demonstration of hard work and dedication to a particular skill and/or talent and the cultivation of that skill/talent to exceptional levels.

These types of submissions demonstrate a prospective student’s attention to honing skills and talents to exceptional levels. When reviewing students for admission, students with unique talents and skills are students who enrich the academic community. The educational experience of college students is partly classroom instruction and partly engagement and involvement in the university community. Our community is enhanced and enriched by students with exceptional and unique skills and talents which they share with the community. An important consideration to college admission is inviting these students into the community to benefit the student body as a whole.

How can an admission essay help a student’s application?

Essay submissions bolster a prospective student’s application and provide an open-ended environment for a student to communicate to admissions officers. The primary purpose of the essay is designed to promote the demonstration of composition and syntax skill of the applicant. This is very important to their future success as a college student. A prospective student who has the ability to organize and communicate effectively through writing will excel in college.

The essay provides an additional element to the prospective student’s submission, that of communication to the admission review staff. The open-ended question within the ApplyTexas application allows a student to discuss their environment and their life experiences in such a way as to prompt understanding about challenges and/or hardships which may have influenced or impacted a student’s performance. If a student has had to overcome great obstacles in order to graduate from high school, then through the essay submission, a student can discuss and present those challenges to the review staff.

How are decisions about merit-based financial aid made and how can students give themselves the best chance of receiving scholarships?

The merit-based scholarships to Texas Tech University are defined and published by the Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships at Texas Tech and can be found on its website (www.finacialaid.ttu.edu). There are clear break downs of levels of merit aid available to students as they qualify based upon their academic merit. Merit scholarships are awarded based upon qualification and do not require an additional scholarship application.

Additionally, students can apply for institutional and college-specific scholarships by applying for scholarships through the blanket application for scholarships found as a component of the ApplyTexas common application in the State of Texas (www.applytexas.org). Texas Tech requires students seeking scholarships to apply through this application by Feb. 1. The scholarship application does not guarantee a scholarship; rather it places the student into a pool of potential scholarship recipients. These candidates for scholarship are reviewed by the Scholarship Office for potential matching of scholarships to students based upon a variety of qualifying criteria.

Aside from scholarships, are there benefits to applying before the priority deadline of March 1?

We encourage students to apply early for admission to Texas Tech University. The benefit to an early application is an early admission decision to the university. We conduct rolling admission at Texas Tech University; applications for admission to the university are worked when they are received and admission decisions are made continuously throughout the admission cycle. Earlier admissions provides the prospective student with peace of mind on admission decisions; or, in the event of a provisional or denied admission status, the opportunity to provide additional materials of qualification for reevaluation of an admission decision. For example, students may provide a seventh semester high school transcript with increasing GPA and/or rigor, or retake and post new test scores from college entrances exams. Securing an admission decision early provides access to housing options as those reservations become available to new students since an admission decision precedes a housing reservation.

The priority deadline promises a thorough application decision and enables the student to apply for orientation throughout the summer. We will evaluate applications for admission after that date for a fall enrollment; however, the time to receive all documentation and the availability of both housing and orientation reservations may be compromised due to the abbreviated admission cycle and time remaining before the beginning of the fall semester.

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