Aggie Class of 2024.. advice before you hit submit on application

I thought we could try to help prevent mistakes for the next class of applicants. So, parents/students of Class of 2023… sound off with your best advice for the application process!

I’ll start… Class of 2024 Parents… I know your students have it going on, they are young adults and so excited about finishing up junior year and being the big kids on campus next year… BUT, the application is so important and I advise you to 100% go over every little part of the application after your student completes it. Make sure everything is in there and accurate. Leave nothing off!

Money well spent to hire a college coach/counselor/3rd party person to review essay & application.

Ask teachers for letters of recommendation NOW-before school is out for the year. Even if is says letters are ‘optional’, submit them!

Shoot to have TAMU application submitted before school starts (many applied July 1; my daughter applied 2nd week in August and got acceptance on the 1st day-September 19, 2018).

Pay $75 TAMU Housing deposit within minutes of A&M acceptance! The sooner you pay deposit, the higher up you’ll be for dorm selection. It’s about a 15 minute process-student has to start an account, fill out a few things, put in cc info. Then a link/email is sent to the parent, who has to sign electronically and send back to A&M. THEN Housing deposit is complete-must complete all the steps.

Remember that there are MANY amazing, outstanding, smart kids applying to Texas A&M. Don’t put all your eggs in 1 basket-student needs to apply to at least 2-3 schools.
If you don’t have the scores/stats for Auto/Academic Admission, you need to be realistic and not bank on getting Blinn TEAM or Gateway.

Take both SAT & ACT, with the writing portion. Take them both again this summer, if scores aren’t quite there, for academic acceptance.

Have all applications submitted prior to 1st day of Senior year, so you don’t have it hanging over your head.

There are lots of great schools in our state, and out of state. A&M isn’t the ‘end all’.

Have your parent or peer double check your application before you hit the Submit button!! It’s not helicopter parenting if you ask your kid to have someone double check their answers - it’s CYA!! Lesson learned here. :slight_smile:

Find out the hard majors to get into - regardless of what I have heard, I still believe, to this day, that BIMS is one of the harder majors to get into. I know that it is said that they don’t screen majors, but I have a hard time believing this. I don’t have numbers but on here, 99% of BIMS review admits did not get in…not even Team. Know your odds going in - and be prepared for anything. Cast your net wide and far…TAMU is not the be-all, end-all. I wish I had pushed my son to explore other schools - I thought I did but he just clammed up at TAMU. And now he is going to TAMU-CC with the goal of being at TAMU by sophomore year.

As the Tamu representative said during an admissions meeting early last summer…“brag on yourself!” Also, go to an admissions meeting to learn about the application, the process, and what to expect.

Do go to a regional admissions or application meeting if possible.

And like others said before - unless you are an auto or academic admit, have quality back up options.

Engineering is its own beast.

And Mays and Visualization reach capacity first. If the trends continue - You will not be placed in those majors unless you have assured/academic admission. I know that sounds harsh - but for the past two years, those programs have been filled by November.

Agree @BlueBayouAZ ! Definitely take an official campus tour, too (not just walking around on your own, but sign up for the official tour).

And yes about Mays! Only 1,000 freshman admitted, and only 100 transfers. Rumor has it Mays was full by end of October this year. There is no Wait List, and chance of transferring in is slim.

Engineering is also a tough one. Do not immediately discount acceptance to Blinn TEAB, Galveston or other pathways. It is all doable if that is your student’s dream. READ everything they send you. Do not blow off the MPE exam. It can put your student a semester behind. Remeber: they are accepted into general engineering 1st. ETAM is another ball game. 2 Engineering, 2 Math, and 2 Science classes need to completed to apply to ETAM. The best GPA is a must to get 1 st choice major. Lastly, schedule a tour with housing.

Thanks so much to @AggieMomhelp for starting this thread. My son is a wholistic review applicant so these important bits of information and ANY and ALL tips are very much needed and appreciated. Please keep them coming, everyone! As a parent I have not had to deal with the college application process and it is like trying to learn a foreign language. Thank goodness for this forum.

My questions today (I’m sure I’ll have more later):

  1. Is the requirement still to write all three essays? I thought I read somewhere that all three were recommended for a wholistic review application, but then I think I might also recall that it's changed and now they should only write one of them?
  2. How many letters of recommendation are required?

@GermanPancakes First… yay, even though this is a stressful time, it’s also very exciting, so try to enjoy it all!

Last year they dropped to 1 essay only (I believe Engineering may have another essay- @thelma2). They do not want to read a bunch of essays. It was suppose to speed up the process for admissions.

Zero letters of rec are required. I’m still not sure how much weight they provide, but it’s better to have 1 solid one if possible than to have nothing. And that old saying, it’s who you know, not always what you know, holds true for these. If you know anyone on the Board of Regents or someone that has some clout at TAMU, use them if they are willing. If not, no big deal, just be sure the person writing the rec letter knows your son and his aptitude.

Get the application completed ASAP… don’t wait around. The sooner the better. AND please know that holistic review candidates will probably not hear til end of January or February. If you hear sooner, it’s a blessing!!!

Best of luck and congrats on your son’s graduation! OH and keep the questions coming.

Thank you for the quick reply @AggieMomhelp !

So can he start the application process now and keep it “saved” in the system until July 1?

Also does he choose which essay to write or do they require a particular one?

Another tip: Have your kids create a resume now that breaks out their school activities (years and offices held), Awards, and community activities with number of service hours.

This forces the student to look at everything a head of time - before they type it into the apply texas or common app. They can check spelling and really think about everything they have done - not leaving anything out.

App won’t open til July 1st… gotta wait. BUT, do as @BlueBayouAZ says… get it down on paper now. As for essay, they will tell you the prompt. All freshmen will do the same essay. Not sure if it has changed since last year or not. They tend to change the prompt every few years.

It looks like the essays are the same until spring 2020.

Thank you @BlueBayouAZ for that link. I’m thinking I might have seen it on another thread and that’s why I was thinking there were 3 essays to choose from. So the student doesn’t choose, they are assigned one? Meaning the student should get all three written so they’ll have it ready to go when they see what prompt they are assigned?

This past year, if schools required one essay - it seemed to be “A” or which ever one the student wanted. We found out when applications opened in July that TAMU was only requiring essay A and the other essays would not be reviewed. In the previous year - you submitted more than one.

OK, thanks so much. Hopefully it will be simple and TAMU will want essay A again, but I’m wondering if he should do all three just in case. Ha, I’m a worry-wart. I should chill out because his chances are slim being wholistic review. Thank you for the quick reply!

I know you’re half kidding, but Do not have him do all three. It might even hurt his chances. They want one essay (if like last year) and any more won’t even be looked at. It’s about coloring between the lines at this point but making what’s in those lines count.

As a review applicant, here are some things that helped me tremendously!

  • I took a campus tour
  • Got really involved with the regional center (attended multiple meetings and events)
  • Use all the resources your TAMU regional center has to offer
  • Took the SAT a few times with essay
  • Asked the A&M regional advisor for my part of Houston to review and look over my topic A essay (she had so many points that made my essay improve so much!)
  • I applied on October 1st (Definitely don’t wait until November to apply if you are a review applicant)
  • I joined a few clubs my senior year that really helped boost up my resume

As the parent of a class of 2029’seniir who did NOT get in, my advice would be apply to many
Colleges. Make sure they understand they may not get in, despite doing everything right. And be prepared for disappointment.

My kiddo was 16% class rank. Isn’t a fabulous standard test taker, but worked her ass off for a 1330 on SAT. Great essay. Great letters of rec. Four year Varsity letterman. Involved in many clubs & had leadership positions. Community service.

And she didn’t get in.

She got a PSA offer that didn’t offer a single option that related to her major choices. And we were told don’t accept within the intentions of switching majors because it won’t happen. Classmates with 20% lower rank & over 100 points lower SAT received Blinn team.

We still don’t understand it. Thankfully my child is strong and resilient and has moved on.

A nice pep talk from her older sister that reminded her it is what you accomplish & do with your college experience that is important, not where you go!

Good luck to all of you. It is a stressful time. I wish you all the outcome you hope for.