New A&M Short Answer Requirements

What’s that old expression? The early bird catches the college acceptance to a prestigious university of their choice? Something like that? Every year, we encourage rising seniors to start writing their essays early. This gives them more time to craft polished and unique personal statements, allows them to get a major part of their applications out of the way before the school year gets too hectic, and can help them to be ready when the applications open. This is especially important for schools with rolling admissions, like Texas A&M, where getting your application in during the first few weeks can dramatically increase your odds of getting in and snagging your first-choice major.

At the same time, universities like to keep applicants on their toes. While some will publish their essay and short-answer prompts months in advance, other colleges are less forthcoming, and might even wait until the day applications open to spring new requirements on prospective students.

Texas A&M opened its applications on August 1st this year. When students logged on to a somewhat revamped ApplyTexas system, they found, buried deep in A&M’s application, a surprise set of new short-answer requirements.

Below are the three prompts that all A&M applicants, regardless of potential major, must answer:


Texas A&M University believes that diversity is an important part of academic excellence and that it is essential to living our core values. Describe the benefits of diversity and inclusion for you and for the Texas A&M campus community. Please share any personal experiences that have shaped your views.

Person Most Impacted 

Tell us about the person who has most impacted your life and why.

Life Event 

Describe a life event which you feel has prepared you to be successful in college.

The diversity short answer appeared last year and echoes questions at many universities, but the other two are new and rather unique. Many otherwise prepared students were likely caught off-guard. But this serves as a reminder that the entire college admissions process can be a bit unpredictable, from application to acceptance; the best applicants, though, can take surprises in stride and rise to the occasion. Though unexpected, these new prompts give students additional opportunities, however small, to distinguish themselves and give the admissions board a better sense of who they are as people and how they’ll succeed in college and beyond.

Need help with your college essays or short answer questions? We can’t write your essays and short answers for you, but we can help you brainstorm and edit. Call our office (512-453-7272) to set up a private tutoring session with one of our college essay experts.