Tapley began learning to play piano from the grandfather, a Samford University music professor. She graduated from Briarwood Christian School and Samford University where she studied music and pre-med. She then completed medical school at the UAB School of Medicine and is currently a resident at UAB Hospital, on her way to a goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist.
While at Samford, she produced a charity album and hosted a piano concert to raise over $16,000 for pediatric diseases and for St Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Tapley won the 2008 Miss Alabama Scholarship Pageant held at Samford University. Her local title as Miss Samford University placed her in the Miss Alabama competition. Tapley’s platform was “Music For A Cure” and her competition talent was piano. In January 2009, Amanda was on the TLC show Miss America: Countdown To The Crown. She was a wild card gold sash winner, making it to the finals of the preliminary competition with a chance to make it to the top 15 round of Miss America. Tapley was one of four finalists voted into the top 15 but ultimately lost the title to Miss Indiana.
Tapley also achieved the following in Miss Alabama preliminary competitions:
- Miss Alabama Talent preliminary winner 2008
- Miss Alabama Swimsuit preliminary winner 2008
- Miss Alabama Overall Talent winner 2008
- Miss Alabama Overall Interview winner 2008