First Time in College | Apply | Undergraduate Admissions (2023)

For First Year Students

First Time in College | Apply | Undergraduate Admissions (1)

We're here to help make each step toward becoming a Red Raider a smooth experience. Follow the steps below to apply!

Admission Checklist

Let's get started.



Complete an application for admission.

  • Common App [or]
  • ApplyTexas Application

Texas Tech has no preference for one type of application over another, but it's important that you submit only one per admissions cycle.

If you have questions about whether you should complete a domestic or international application, complete this questionnaire here.

The Spring 2023, Summer 2023 and Fall 2023 application is now open on ApplyTexas and Common App.



Submit required and/or supplemental documents.


  • High School Transcript
  • $75 application fee or fee waiver

Optional Supplemental Items:

  • SAT/ACT scores [learn more]
  • Essay(s)
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • Resume

Test Optional Policy

Some applicants may feel that an SAT or ACT score does not fully reflect their academic preparedness or potential. If this is the case for you, Texas Tech University has extended a test optional admission policy through 2025 entry terms. This policy allows students the option to apply without consideration of SAT or ACT scores.

Learn More



Create your RaiderConnect account and check your application status!

Create a RaiderConnect account to submit supplemental documents, check your application status, and register for events hosted by Undergraduate Admissions.

Note: Create your RaiderConnect account with the name and email address as it appears on your application.


    • Applicants may submit an official high school transcript by US mail to Box 45005, Lubbock, TX 79409. Your school may also send your transcript electronically via TREx or Parchment.
    • Applicants who complete a non-traditional secondary education (for example, those who are home-schooled or complete a GED) or who provide a transcript without a rank, will have a rank assigned in accordance with Texas Senate Bill 1543. [TX SB1543 | 2015-2016 | 84th Legislature (2015, June 19)]
    • A final high school transcript that is official and shows a graduation date will be required upon graduation. This transcript should be sent by your high school. Home school transcripts must have a notarized signature to be official.
    • Information for home school students

SAT/ACT Scores

    • Official SAT and/or *ACT Scores (Test scores sent from the high school are considered official if they are included on the transcript or sent from the school registrar.)
    • Learn more about our test optional policy for for students applying through 2025 entry terms here.
    • ACT Test Preparation
    • SAT Test Preparation

If you are completing a domestic admissions application but have international credentials, required documents must be provided in English. If official English translations are not supplied by the applicant's institution(s), the applicant must provide a translation done by an American Translators Association-certified translator. A list of ATA-certified translators is available online here.

Applicants to Texas Tech University must be in good standing and eligible to return to all previous institutions.

Summer/Fall Priority Scholarship Deadline - December 1

Summer/Fall Priority Application Deadline - May 1

Spring Priority Scholarship Deadline - November 1

Spring Priority Application Deadline - November 1

Are you uncertain if you should apply as a domestic or international student? Click here to determine which application you need to submit.


Assured Admission

Once you've submitted your application for admission, pay the application fee or submit fee waiver documentation, and submit your high school transcript, your application will be sent to our professional staff for consideration. Texas Tech issues decisions on an assured basis along with a holistic evaluation of your credentials. Both of these processes are outlined below.

You have assured admission if you are graduating from high school and present the required combination of high school class rank and college entrance test scores indicated below.

Class Rank Test Scores*
Top 10% No minimum No Minimum
First Quarter
(excluding top 10%)
24 1180
Second Quarter 26 1240
Third Quarter 27 1280
Fourth Quarter Application Review

*ACT composite score; SAT reflects evidence-based reading and writing, and math; The highest section scores from multiple tests on the ACT and SAT will be used to maximize score. Assured admission is granted to all students who hold competitive scholarships awarded by an official Texas Tech University scholarship committee.

Admission Review

We expect students to be academically prepared for success as students at Texas Tech; therefore, we specifically consider academic performance and educational preparation. Additional information used to evaluate a student's potential for success includes:

  • Academic Rigor*
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Leadership experiences
  • Civic or other service activities
  • Socioeconomic background
  • Family educational background
  • Special talents or awards
  • Diversity of experience and background

If you do not meet the assured admission requirements, we strongly encourage you to respond to essay prompts through the application for admission and submit up to 3 letters of recommendation. Essays or personal statements are a great way to showcase your writing skills while allowing the admissions committee to hear directly from you.

*Texas Tech University values high school students who push themselves, are intellectually curious and are interested in learning. We understand and appreciate that a greater number of students are engaged in rigorous, college-level coursework such as Honors, AP or IB courses. Because we believe that these experiences can elevate the high school experience, it is our policy to make academic rigor a factor in consideration for admission to Texas Tech. Students are expected to perform well in these and all other courses in high school in order to demonstrate their college readiness.

Already applied?

Although applications will be accepted beginning July 1, initial decision letters will be released in mid-September. Decisions beyond this time usually take 2-4 weeks. If you have any questions regarding the application or enrollment processes, contact your admissions counselor here.

Learn About Scholarships

Next Steps for Admitted Students

Some academic colleges and departments at Texas Tech only accept students who meet assured admission requirements:

Arts & Sciences - Biology, Cell & Molecular Biology, Microbiology & Physics
Human Sciences - Interior Design
Rawls College of Business - All majors
Whitacre College of Engineering - All majors
Honors Arts and Letters - Honors College admission required

Note: Test-optional applicants will be holistically reviewed for admission into the above programs.


College Board Code (Domestic): 6827
College Board Code (International): 6859

Per state law, TEC 51.803-51.809, Uniform Admissions Policy (UAP) requires applicants to four year public universities to meet college readiness standards through completion of a high school graduation program or equivalent or through SAT or ACT score benchmarks.

Texas Tech University applies consistent admissions standards for all high school applicants. Under the provisions of Texas Foundation High School Program, students with a minimum of a Foundation level of high school diploma are eligible to apply for admission to Texas public institutions for higher education. To this end, Texas Tech University will accept applications for admission from students who have achieved a Foundation level high school diploma.

In order to demonstrate the highest level of college preparation and to be the most competitive in the applicant pool, Texas Tech University recommends that applicants complete the Foundation Curriculum with the Distinguished level of achievement. The Distinguished diploma is required for Top 10% Automatic Admission. This recommended curriculum includes:

Language Arts (4 Credits)

English I, II & III
Advanced English Course
Options include English IV, Creative Writing, Humanities, & Advanced Journalism

Mathematics (4 Credits)

Algebra I
Algebra II
Advanced Math Course
Options include Precalculus, AQR, AP Statistics & Engineering Mathematics

Science (4 Credits)

IPC or Advanced Science
Two advanced Science Courses
Options include Chemistry, Physics, Forensic Science, & Astronomy

Social Studies (3 Credits)

U.S. History
U.S. Government (.5 credit)
Economics (.5 credit)
World Geography or World History

Foreign Language (2 Credits)

Both credits must be the same language
American Sign Language is accepted as a foreign language for admission purposes.
Some academic programs have different foreign language requirements; please refer to the catalog for information concerning your desired major.
Computer Science is acceptable for admission purposes, however, it does not satisfy the TTU graduation requirements for foreign language.

Physical Education (1 Credit)

Fine Arts (1 Credit)

Electives (6 Credits)

You may qualify for automatic admission to Texas Tech University through the Top 10% Rule. To meet the requirements, you must graduate in the top 10% of your class at a recognized public or private high school. You will also need to complete one of the following:

The Distinguished Level of Achievement under the Foundation High School Program, or Complete Coursework that is "Equal in Content & Rigor"If you provide a high school transcript that does not indicate you are graduating with the Distinguished diploma, your high school counselor should submit the Diploma Verification form to our office. Earn a score on the ACT or SAT that meets the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks. Your official SAT score must be at least 480 for EBRW and 530 for Math or your official ACT scores must be at least 18 English, 22 Reading, 22 Mathematics and 23 Science.

View immunization requirements and submit documentation here.

Admission Alternatives

Students not initially admitted as first-year students have the opportunity to gain admission through these alternative programs. Click on the links below to learn more about these programs.

Have questions?

We have a dedicated team of admission and financial aid experts ready to answer your questions!

Find my Admissions Counselor

Find my Financial Aid Advisor


First Time in College | Apply | Undergraduate Admissions? ›

Admissions officers look at “hard factors” (GPA, grades, and test scores) and “soft factors” (essays, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and demonstrated interest) to gain a full picture of applicants.

What do admissions officers look at first? ›

Admissions officers look at “hard factors” (GPA, grades, and test scores) and “soft factors” (essays, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and demonstrated interest) to gain a full picture of applicants.

How long should short answer responses be on college application? ›

Many colleges also ask for short answer responses, sometimes called supplemental prompts or personal insight questions, in the range of 150, 250, or 350 words; in this case, aim for the suggested length and be aware of the hard limits on either end, but don't stress if you're over or under by 10-15%.

Does applying early decision increase your chances? ›

This means that the average student is more likely to get in when they apply early decision than when the same student applies regular decision to the same school. On average, applying ED is going to result in a 1.6x or a 60% increase in your chances of admission to super selective schools.

What if I accidentally put the wrong information on my college application? ›

If you realize you've made a mistake, don't panic. College admissions officers aren't going to nitpick over a minor error, but several errors may show you in a bad light. If you have significant errors or omissions, reach out to the admissions office of the college you applied to.

What impresses college admission officers? ›

They look for depth in various disciplines (e.g., 4th year of a foreign language, 5th year of math, etc.) and challenging courses (Honors or AP's in some subjects). Grades in these classes represent the next most important criteria for admission. At highly selective colleges, SAT or ACT tests can be very important.

What not to ask admissions officers? ›

But all the same, it's not a good idea to ask about the school's party culture or anything related to drugs and alcohol. Questions that make you seem uninterested. Don't ask admissions officers questions that compare them to other schools.

What not to write in a short answer essay? ›

The Three Types of Essay Questions
  • Don't attempt to sum up your life in one statement. Instead, try to pick one significant experience to elaborate on. ...
  • Don't reiterate your résumé. ...
  • Don't talk about an experience that isn't unique. ...
  • Don't write to impress.

How many hours is good for college application? ›

It is recommended that having 50 – 200 hours on a college application gives it a good chance of being seen favorably by college admissions officers.

How strict are word limits on college essays? ›

Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit. If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words. You should aim to stay under the specified limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely.

Can you get rejected if you apply early decision? ›

You may not apply to more than one college under early decision. If you are not accepted, you will either be rejected or deferred. Rejected applicants may not apply again that year. Deferred applicants will be reconsidered during the regular admission period, and are free to apply to other schools.

What can I do to increase my chances of getting into college? ›

Four More Ways To Boost Your Acceptance Odds
  1. Raise Your GPA and Academic Rigor.
  2. Take The Standardized Tests Seriously.
  3. Spend Time Volunteering.
  4. Work Towards Gaining Recognition In Your Choice Of Extracurricular Activities.
Dec 22, 2022

Can you accept multiple college offers? ›

Double Deposits

Double depositing means putting down a deposit, and thus accepting admission, at more than one college. Since a student can't attend multiple colleges, it is considered unethical.

Do colleges fact check your application? ›

The answer is a resounding no. In fact, with some exceptions, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has historically fact-checked random batches of applications, admissions officers at elite universities rarely fact-check much of anything.

Will a typo get me rejected from college? ›

No. A single, minor typo will do nothing. So don't sweat one minor spelling mistake, a missed comma, or a couple of transposed letters.

Do college admissions ever make mistakes? ›

“In some ways it is. Admissions officers, no matter the office, are making decisions about applicants. But in the same note they have to manage a huge database of information.” Admissions officers are still human, and they make mistakes, no matter how badly they wish they didn't.

How do you stand out to admissions officers? ›

  1. Participate in Extracurricular Activities. Extracurricular activities are one of the extra special things that look great on college applications. ...
  2. Volunteer. ...
  3. Keep Accurate Records. ...
  4. Manage Your Social Media Presence. ...
  5. Learn as Much About Your School as You Can. ...
  6. Write Thoughtful, Well-Written, Captivating Essays.
Apr 20, 2023

What college admissions officers say they want in a candidate? ›

College admissions officers want to see what motivates and inspires you. Who you are and what you are passionate about. In addition to your personal statement, you may need to write supplemental essays as well.

How do you get noticed by college admissions? ›

What is Demonstrated Interest in College Admissions?
  1. Complete an online information request form. ...
  2. Connect on Social Media. ...
  3. Email your admissions counselor. ...
  4. Attend admissions events in your area. ...
  5. Visit campus. ...
  6. Spend time on your “Why this College?” essay. ...
  7. Apply early.
Jun 27, 2022

What is a red flag for admissions offices? ›

What is an application red flag? Simply put, it's something on a college application that can make an admissions officer second guess how qualified an applicant is or if they're a good-fit for the school. A red flag can be as serious as a disciplinary infraction, or as simple as not following application directions.

Do admissions officers remember you? ›

There is a considerable chance that they will not remember your name. They are more likely to remember a distinguishable piece of clothing or a question you ask. Your questions should be sharp. Ask about a specific academic program and how admissions consider applicants to that program.

What is the single most important thing admissions officers consider in an application? ›

Academic Achievement

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's important for college-bound students to understand that grades are the most important factor that colleges will consider when evaluating applications.

What are 5 things you should do when answering an essay question? ›

Answer the question according to general rules of academic writing. Use indentations; begin each paragraph with a topic sentence; support the topic sentence(s) with reasons and/or examples; use transition words to show logical organization; write a conclusion. Use correct punctuation throughout.

How do you start off a college essay? ›

Start with an attention grabber. The very first sentence of your essay should be the “hook” or “grabber.” This sentence “hooks” readers or “grabs” their attention, making them want to read more. This first sentence should provide rich details, engage a reader's curiosity, or otherwise stand out from the rest.

How do you write a good short answer response? ›

Short answer questions in exams
  1. Deconstruct the question. ...
  2. Rephrase the question in your own words.
  3. Plan the structure of your answer before starting to write. ...
  4. Use examples to give evidence and help give your writing credibility.
  5. Use plain language and keep your writing straight to the point.

Do colleges want well rounded students? ›

Some of the students a college accepts may be 'well-rounded' and are able to take on different roles both in and out of the classroom; however, it's important for the colleges to have standouts in each class who have already presented themselves as a specialist in a certain area.

Can I get into college without extracurriculars? ›

Extracurricular activities are not the most important factor in a college application. Coursework and GPA, for instance, bear more weight. However, this is not to say that extracurriculars have little or no impact on the admissions decision a student ultimately receives.

Is 3 extracurriculars enough? ›

How Many Extracurriculars Should You Do? Strong applications tend to have between 8 and 10 extracurricular activities. This sounds like a lot, but many activities are seasonal, so it's possible to fit, for example, three to four sports into one year.

Do colleges care about word count in essays? ›

If your institution doesn't provide a specific word count, it's best to keep your essay between the length established by the longer college admissions essay format: 250 to 650 words. Word count is just one factor to consider as you craft your college admissions essay.

What happens if I go over my word count? ›

Library Support: Plagiarism and Good Academic Practice

In short, should the work be over the word count, how far it goes is taken into consideration and brings the overall mark down. For those assignments which are pass/fail, going over the word count can result in a fail grade.

How many times can you apply to a college after getting rejected? ›

The only time you can't reapply as a freshman applicant is if you try to apply again in the same admissions timeframe as your first application. (For example, if you were rejected Early Action/Early Decision, you can't reapply Regular Decision for that same admissions cycle.)

Can I reject early decision if I can't afford it? ›

Fortunately, students can usually turn down an ED offer if the financial aid is insufficient. “If the net cost of the college is completely unaffordable, you can ask the admissions committee to release you,” said Shirag Shemmassian, founder of Shemmassian Academic Consulting.

What happens if you get accepted to college but don't go? ›

Most college acceptances have a kind of “expiration date” to them. For example, if you do not formally commit to attending the school by submitting a deposit, then your acceptance will be canceled for the year in which you applied. Schools will also rescind any financial aid packages they offered you.

What are 3 factors top colleges look for? ›

Good grades, a challenging high school curriculum, standardized test scores, extracurriculars, and a strong essay are a few key factors admissions officers assess. Each university may emphasize different elements of the application process.

What are 3 factors getting into college? ›

Students should know that many factors influence admission decisions, including:
  • Courses taken.
  • Grades received.
  • Class rank.
  • Standardized test scores.
  • Personal statements and essays.
  • Recommendations.
  • Extracurricular activities.
  • Interviews.

What is the hardest major to get into? ›

Which is the #1 hardest major? Chemistry is listed #1 as the hardest major for students to get into. The average GPA required by students applying for a chemistry major is 2.9. A chemistry degree requires a lot of effort, but once you have one, you have a lot of job alternatives.

What to do if no college accepts you? ›

5 Solid Backup Plans If You Don't Get Accepted Anywhere
  1. Apply to a Community College. If you are determined to attend school in the fall, use a community college as your next step. ...
  2. Consider Taking a Gap Year. ...
  3. Find a Job That Enhances Your Application. ...
  4. Look Into Trade Schools. ...
  5. Wait Until You Can Reapply.

Do you have to tell a college you're not going? ›

Technically, you do not have to officially decline a college acceptance. If you ignore a college acceptance letter, admissions will consider that the same as a rejection. However, it's more respectful to decline.

When should I accept a college offer? ›

When should you accept a college offer? You should accept a college offer once you decide for certain that the college accepting you aligns with your desires, goals, and personality. It's important to research each college that accepts you to learn more about it and see if it's the best fit for you.

Who actually looks at your college application? ›

The Admissions Committee

You might be asking yourself, who reads my application? Usually, the people who read your application are part of that university's admissions committee. They read through all the applications received that year and can go through several applications in just one hour.

What jobs look good on college applications? ›

Here are some jobs for high school students that we think will impress college admissions counselors.
  • Retail / Customer Service.
  • Food Service / Hospitality.
  • Anything Interesting or Unique (or Related to Your Major!):
Dec 22, 2022

Do admissions officers check social media? ›

According to a recent Kaplan survey, 68% of admissions officers say that viewing a prospective student's social media pages is “fair game.” The profiles are public, after all, and reviewing social media can reveal just who that student is. So, do colleges check your social media? Yes.

Can colleges reject you for being too good? ›

While there is some anecdotal evidence that overqualified students get rejected, these students aren't usually turned down because of their better-than-average grades or test scores. Most likely, the overqualified student isn't the right fit for a school or they haven't shown enough interest to admission officers.

Can a bad college essay get you rejected? ›

Weak essays get skimmed. If a student's essay isn't great OR good, the admission officer will probably just skim past the essay and move right on to your transcript and your test scores to evaluate your candidacy for admission. Bad essays don't get read. Period.

Is it worth appealing a college rejection? ›

Some colleges offer the option of appealing a rejection, and while a reversal is rare, it could be worth pursuing. If your initial admissions circumstances have changed significantly, and you feel you have a strong case, there's a chance your appeal might prevail.

What are common college regrets? ›

Here are some of them.
  • 1. " I regret the field I went into. ...
  • 2. " I met a guy my first year, and we were inseparable. ...
  • 3. " I really wish I had gotten out of my comfort zone more socially and tried to socialize with people I normally wouldn't have. ...
  • 4. " ...
  • "I wish I had been more social. ...
  • 6. " ...
  • 7. " ...
  • 8. "
Aug 9, 2022

What is the biggest mistakes college students make? ›

Common academic mistakes college students make
  • Skipping the reading. ...
  • Taking on way too much. ...
  • Sticking to what you know. ...
  • Trying to work in a distracting environment. ...
  • Memorizing without understanding. ...
  • Procrastinating until crunch time. ...
  • Skipping sleep. ...
  • Ignoring expenses.
May 2, 2022

What not to put on college applications? ›

Many essays included things that you should not do in your college admissions essay including:
  • Never rehash your academic and extracurricular accomplishments.
  • Never write about a "topic"
  • Never start with a preamble.
  • Never end with a “happily ever after” conclusion.
  • Never pontificate.
  • Never retreat into your thoughts.

What is the first thing college admissions look at? ›

Colleges today are looking for students whose strengths and experiences will be an asset to their school. Good grades, a challenging high school curriculum, standardized test scores, extracurriculars, and a strong essay are a few key factors admissions officers assess.

What do admissions officers care about? ›

Basically, there are six main factors that college admissions officers consider: AP classes and challenging course loads, high school GPAs, SAT and ACT scores (unless they are test-optional), meaningful extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and your personal statement.

What matters most in college admissions? ›

Courses and Grades

A student's grades in college-preparatory classes remain the most significant factor in college admission decisions.

What makes me stand out from other college applicants? ›

Stand-out applications showcase achievement, merit, and previous academic success. Taking honors classes or AP courses can give you a significant advantage. Most colleges generally prefer applicants with a B in an honors program over those with an A in standard courses because it shows initiative.

How do colleges pick students? ›

Offers of admission are based on each school's enrollment objectives. Making admissions decisions is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Large state schools may use a test score and GPA formula. Highly selective schools may have multiple reviewers with many voices weighing in on a decision.

Do admissions officers remember essays? ›

Yes, every college essay is read if the college has asked for it (and often even if they did not ask for it). The number of readers depends on the college's review process. It will be anywhere from one reader to four readers.

Do admissions officers compare students? ›

Admissions officers sort applicants by region first, and then often subdivide within regions by other factors, which can include race, gender, intended major, or smaller geographic areas. Thus you are compared to other applicants from your high school, but not directly.

What makes you a strong candidate for college? ›

A high GPA (relative to what admitted students have) and a rigorous curriculum. Strong test scores (relative to what admitted students have) A specific, honest, and well-written personal statement and/or essays. A unique extracurricular interest or passion (a "spike," as we like to call it)

What do you say when talking to an admissions officer? ›

Say hello, tell them your name, and thank them for being there. College admissions officers are people, too, and they're always thrilled to connect with kind and friendly students!

What admission officers want to see on college essays? ›

Colleges look for three things in your admission essay: a unique perspective, strong writing, and an authentic voice. People in admissions often say that a great essay is one where it feels like the student is right there in the room, talking authentically to the admissions committee!


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