The Essay Prompts
All essays, scores and documents that are submitted to the University of Texas Undergraduate Admissions via mail or electroncially submitted via BeALonghorn (which is the preferred method of submission) will be visible to all honors programs and colleges to which the applicant has applied.
Essay A & Essay B Prompts
Application to Plan II Honors requires submission of Essay A and Essay B, the same essays required to complete the application to UT Austin. There is no additional essay requirement specifically associated with the Plan II Honors application. The same Essay A and Essay B that you submit for consideration by the University are reviewed for your Plan II Honors evaluation. The applicant does not submit multiple versions of Essay A and Essay B. The same Essay A that the Undergraduate Admissions reviews will be reviewed by Plan II Honors.
If an applicant applies to a college or program which requires Essay D, the applicant should still submit both Essay A and Essay B to complete an application to Plan II Honors. The applicant can submit the third essay using the on-line essay submission through BeALonghorn (submitting Essay A or Essay B as though submitting Essay C* the“special circumstances” essay).
- Essay A: Personal Essay 1: Write an essay in which you tell us about someone who has made an impact on your life and explain how and why this person is important to you.
- Essay B: Personal Essay 2: Choose an issue of importance to you—the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope—and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation.
Please be sure to read what Plan II says about essays. That information CAN make a difference to your Plan II evaluation.
*Special Note on Essay C
Essay C should NOT be used simply as another opportunity to submit a third writing sample, to emphasize interest in the program or to demonstrate motivation to be part of Plan II.
Letters of recommendation, as well as the optional "Essay C" are NOT required by Plan II and really should only be submitted if the circumstances warrant submission. We actually prefer that applicants do NOT write a third essay or submit letters of recommendation unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Essay C is considered the "special circumstances" essay. If you have to ask if you have special circumstances, usually you do not. The same is true with letters of recommendation.
In most, although not all, special circumstances that would indicated that the applicant should submit an "Essay C" or obtain a letter of recommendation would include some kind of challenging situation in the family, personal life, health, family financial or personal experiences—circumstances that are out of the ordinary high school student's experience (which might include, but certainly are not limited to the loss of a family member, major family crises/upheaval and/or family financial issues; immigration issues; an applicant's or an applicant's family member's health issue that affected the family; moving multiple times throughout the student's lifetime, especially multiple times during high school; a parent deployed in the services, etc.).
However special circumstances that warrant an "Essay C" submission or a letter of recommendation could certainly also include special beneficial circumstances such as educational travel experiences, a special school experience (charter school, home school, performing arts school, health professions high school, etc.) research experiences, work or internship experiences that give the applicant a different perspective, qualification, maturity etc.
Requirements on the Honors Application:
The Plan II Honors writing requirements on the on-line honors application include a brief paragraph about your current thoughts about your future educational and career goals and the 5 sentences we consider your Personal Statement.
If an applicant is applying to more than one honors program, all the requirements for each honors program will be contained in the single honors application. The application will NOT submit multiple honors application, even if applying to multiple honors programs.
Educational and Career Goals
- Briefly describe any educational and career goals you have beyond earning your Bachelor's degree.
We understand, and expect, that many undergraduates goals and passions will evolve and change during the undergraduate experience. We are simply curious about your current ideas. This response is limited to no more than 100 words.
The Plan II Personal Statement
The applicant completes the following short answer prompt in the required on-line honors application. The on-line honors application is accessible once the applicant has completed and submitted the ApplyTexas application and it has uploaded into the system. The applicant will receive a confirmation email from the university when ApplyTexas has uploaded successfully.
- Please write five sentences describing yourself, your life, and your experiences that taken together form an accurate view of who you are. Be creative!
Do not list information provided in your résumé. This is not a rehash.
These five sentences should be little nuggets of information that give us insight into who you are. It's information that you couldn't work/sneak into an essay or onto your résumé, but information you feel is really important in showing us just who you are, "where you come from" and how you are "Plan II-ey." The sentences should not simply reiterate information from your résumé, but they may enhance information mentioned on your résumé. Smart applicants will make good use of this little "application gift," and make each of the five sentences about something different.
Think of these sentences as showing us "FACETS" of who you are, including what you do, what you love, your favorite things, your deepest desires, your most grandiose dreams….. These are snapshots, not short stories, that give us a view of you and your unique perspective. What five important things would you want to make sure you were able to include if you were in an interview for Plan II. (Since we do not offer interviews as part of the admissions process, this is your big chance!)
- Please number the sentences 1 through 5.
- The personal statement has a maximum 1000 characters total. Spaces DO count as characters in the 1000 limit. But our honors application pages are very flexible when it comes to character limit. We don't have a very strict character count system so if the applicant goes over the limit, our system will retain a good quantity of characters past the 1000 limit, to a certain point. If the applicant is worried about the limit, we advise the applicant to type as many characters as he/she needs and press the "save" button before submitting. If the applicant goes over the limit, our system will cut off the extra characters and the applicant will know it. On the other hand, if after pressing the "save" button all the characters appear, then he/she knows that all the characters will be transmitted.
- From the Plan II Honors admissions point of view, these should not be long and wordy. These are NOT meant to be "short paragraph" sentences.
- If you use more than 1000 characters, you are probably going on too long. You do not have to be especially pithy or clipped. But if you drag these sentences out, you are not helping yourself. We have already seen many applicants who have made wonderful use of this opportunity in well-under 1000 characters.
It's very important to emphasize here that your expanded résumé should be VERY thorough and detailed, making the activity, your duties, responsibilities and the time you spent at the activity crystal clear. The expanded résumé absolutely need NOT be limited to one page.