Record number of applications equals record number of rejections

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BYU admissions has reached a record number of applicants for the 2014–2015 school year, and unfortunately for many hopeful students, this means a record number of rejections.

Graphic courtesy BYU Admissions.
Graphic courtesy BYU Admissions.

Every year, thousands of prospective students send in their applications to BYU with the hope of admission. However, with the increasing number of applications, the percentage of admitted applicants continues to get slimmer each year.

BYU spokesman Todd Hollingshead said while nothing in BYU’s acceptance model has changed, the demand for an education at a church school has increased.

“More prospective students are applying than in previous years,” Hollingshead said. “We are admitting roughly the same number of students each year, but since there are more applications, the overall acceptance rate has decreased.”

According to BYU’s statistical information, since 1968 the number of students applying has more than doubled; however, the number of students accepted has increased by a little less than 2,000.

Many blame BYU’s acceptance criteria for being too stringent; however, the quality of students selected has increased in several measurable ways. Currently the average grade point average for incoming freshmen is 3.82, which is up from 3.7 in the late 1990s.

This higher GPA requirement creates a challenge for many incoming students. Jennilyn Potter, a BYU-Idaho graduate, explained that even after meeting all of the requirements for admissions review, including service experiences, seminary attendance, AP courses and strong ACT scores, she still was not accepted and suspects it was due to her GPA of 3.65.

“I remember writing in and talking about my volunteer experiences, my time taking care of Alzheimer patients, my AP courses,” Potter said. “I remember doing all that was required of me, and it was kind of surprising.”

An increased number of students, both international and domestic, are vying for a BYU education, and the competition enables BYU to be selective and choose those deemed to be most qualified.

More information on BYU acceptance criteria can be found on the admission department’s webpage, and previous admission statistics are on the Y Facts page.