If you're hoping to attend one of the top colleges or universities in Texas, you're going to need strong standardized test scores and/or high grades in core academic subjects. Some of the Texas colleges have holistic admissions, so the admissions officers will be looking at more than empirical data. A winning essay, interesting extracurricular activities, glowing letters of recommendation and a strong interview can all influence the admissions decision.
That said, grades and test scores are extremely important, especially for admission to public institutions. Click on the name of one of Texas's top colleges to see a graph of GPA, SAT score and ACT score data for admitted and rejected students: Austin College | Baylor University | Rice University | St. Edward's University | SMU | Southwestern University | Texas A&M | Texas Christian University | Texas Tech | Trinity University | University of Dallas | UT Austin | UT Dallas