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How to Write the Baylor University Essay 2016-2017
As a private, Baptist institute, Baylor University offers a unique blend of a strong academic curriculum, an established athletics program, and firm religious principles. Due in part to these principles, Baylor students volunteer much of their time to engage in various service projects such as Urban Missions and Global Missions, programs that encourage students to help their local and global communities, respectively. Furthermore, freshmen must take two semesters of chapel and attend worship service every Monday and Wednesday. Besides service projects and chapel services, Baylor offers 142 baccalaureate programs and is a nationally ranked research institution. Lastly, Baylor University has a well-developed athletics program with a particularly strong football team and is one of the few private schools in the NCAA Division I Big 12 Conference.
What are you looking for in a university, why do you want to attend Baylor University, and how do you see yourself contributing to the Baylor community?
As an optional prompt, this essay offers you the chance to supplement your application and provide a more three-dimensional profile of your self to admissions officers. In short, it allows you to set yourself apart from the other applicants and also to compete for a variety of merit scholarships, such as the prestigious Regents’ Gold Scholarship. Thus, we at CollegeVine highly recommend that you address these essay prompts.
The first and second parts of the prompt make up one of the most common prompts seen among universities’ supplements. They require you to conduct some research into the university and see how its offerings fit with your profile and interests. In particular, you should highlight Baylor’s emphasis on faith and service if possible given how integral these aspects are to Baylor’s core principles. In doing so, ensure that you tie these aspects with your own interests and experiences.
In addition to faith and service, you could mention specific programs that you are interested in. For instance, Baylor offers the Honors Program, which is designed to further develop the typical academic experience. Honors students have the opportunity to be mentored by a thesis director, engage in smaller and more challenging classes, and create a senior thesis. Note, however, that you should abstain from speaking in overly generous terms or discussing topics that will be widely cited by other applicants. For example, you shouldn’t simply state that you want to attend Baylor for its religious values. Specificity, uniqueness, and personalization are core components of an outstanding essay.
We might argue that the last section of the prompt is perhaps the most important. You must outline ways in which you can make the Baylor community a better place – the more specific, the better. You could start by referring to your previous experiences and how you hope to extend those experiences by engaging in such-and-such program or activity at Baylor. For example, if you had been involved in your local church’s mission trip to the Dominican Republic, you might now want to join Baylor’s Urban Missions or Global Missions. It is especially important that you are able to back up your claims on how you plan to contribute to the Baylor community by citing past experiences. In doing this, you will send a much clearer message regarding your potential contributions. Additionally, when discussing the community and activities offered at Baylor, ensure that you discuss specific aspects that appeal to you. Being more knowledgeable about what Baylor has to offer will only help you and provide admissions officers with the lasting impression that Baylor truly is the right school for you.
For additional tips on how to set yourself apart in the college application process, sign up for CollegeVine’s essay editing and application mentorship programs here!