High school students prepare for BYU admissions

High school senior Alyssa Whipple works on the essay portion of her application as she prepares to apply to BYU. (Lauren Lethbridge)

BYU admits around 50 percent of applicants every year, according to BYU Communications Media Relations Manager Todd Hollingshead. The total number of enrolled freshman was 5,440 in 2017, and the number increases with each year.

BYU freshman’s average GPA and ACT scores have also continued to increase, with the average ACT being 29.5 and the GPA being 3.86, according to Hollingshead.

BYU Admissions released a series of videos this year debunking popular BYU admittance myths that have circulated for the past few years among students. 

One myth BYU Admissions cited pertained to the advantage of having higher test scores. According to Admissions, neither high nor low ACT scores guarantee anything in the admissions process.

BYU looks at service and character when reviewing applications. According to BYU spokesperson Natalie Ipson, BYU reviews applications focusing on BYU’s aims. 

Prospective students must include a biographical essay, high school transcript, test scores, an ecclesiastical endorsement and a recommendation.

The last part of the application process requires three essays, two of which must be about extracurricular activities the applicant has participated in, according to BYU’s admissions website.

Ipson said the applications process is constantly being revised and updated, though there are no significant changes to this upcoming year’s process.

Alyssa Whipple, a senior from Lehi High School, said she wrote about participating in her high school’s marching band. Marching band taught her teamwork and PRIDE, an acronym for passion, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence. 

“I also talked about being in student council and how that gave me a lot of leadership and service opportunities to reach outside myself,” Whipple said.

Whipple said it has been difficult to find the time to sit down and go through the extensive application and essays for BYU.

Beth Hodgson, a senior from Whitney High School in California, expressed the same view. Though the application takes time, she said she wants to attend BYU. 

“BYU is a school that is in line with my morals and standards and has a lot of helpful programs and opportunities,” Hodgson said. 

Total BYU admittance numbers continue to increase every year. (Katelyn Stiles)

Students from high schools all over the country and throughout the world are currently working on their BYU applications, which are due by Dec. 15.

Hollingshead said the state of Utah submits the most applications with California, Idaho, Texas and Arizona close behind.

Though BYU’s population is primarily made up of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, about 440 students currently attend who do not identify as members. Out of those 440, about one-fifth are freshman, Hollingshead said.

Fall 2019 acceptance letters are expected to be sent out through YMessage on BYU’s website on Feb. 18, 2019.

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