BYU announces changes to application and enrollment process

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Students walk on BYU campus between class breaks. (Rebecca Sumsion)

BYU announced changes to admissions that will affect the number of students admitted to BYU in upcoming years.

Addressing these changes, BYU spokesperson Carri Jenkins said, “BYU will be expanding its enrollment by about 1.5% each year over the next six years. This increase will start Fall Semester 2020, with a moderate increase of a few hundred students.”

Though this change will increase the number of incoming freshmen, it is also being implemented as part of BYU’s inspiring learning objective, the university said. Part of this objective is to increase student retention rates so the graduation rate can grow.

“We would like to see every student who enrolls at BYU complete their education,” a university press release says, “which would increase our already high graduation rate of 86%.”

Other universities could also be affected as more students see the increased acceptance rate as an opportunity to transfer schools.

Riley Hall, director of admissions at BYU-Idaho, said the BYU admissions changes could impact the number of students studying at BYU-Idaho; however, he also noted benefits that could come from those changes.

“Our hope is that as BYU admits more people, that’s encouraging more people to consider an option within the church education system,” Hall said. “We receive some spillover benefit from that if they do.”

That spillover would only add to BYU-Idaho’s already growing student body.

According to BYU Magazine’s “Beyond Checkboxes: BYU Admissions Changes,” BYU has also changed its application requirements. Instead of requiring high school accomplishments and checking off boxes, BYU Admissions has changed the process to include “two activity essays” and now requires two additional letters of recommendation: one from a seminary teacher and one from a “core-subject teacher.”

BYU director of admissions Lori Gardiner said in the BYU Magazine article that she hopes these changes will encourage BYU Admissions to look beyond affluence and focus on the applicant’s true “alignment with our mission and aims.”

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