How to Get Into Baylor University: Admissions Stats + Tips

What’s Covered:

 

The oldest continuously operating university in Texas, Baylor University was founded in 1845. It continues to serve as a private Christian institution focusing on research and teaching, offering programs across:

 

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • Diana R. Garland School of Social Work
  • George W. Truett Theological Seminary
  • Graduate School
  • Hankamer School of Business
  • Honors College
  • Law School
  • Louise Herrington School of Nursing
  • Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences
  • School of Education
  • School of Engineering & Computer Science
  • School of Music

 

This includes 142 baccalaureate programs in disciplines like business, education, nursing, pre-medicine, music, and computer science.

 

How Hard Is It to Get Into Baylor?

 

Baylor is somewhat selective, with an admissions rate of 68.5% — in the 2020–2021 cycle, 33,680 students applied, and 23,061 were accepted.

 

Meanwhile, 567 students applied Early Decision, and 485 were accepted, an acceptance rate of 85.5%.

 

Your personal chances of acceptance depend on your unique profile. To better understand your odds at Baylor, we recommend using our free admissions calculator. Using your grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and more, we’ll estimate your likelihood of acceptance and give you tips on improving your profile!

 

Average Academic Profile of Accepted Baylor Students

 

SAT/ACT

 

For the 2020–2021 admissions cycle, the middle 50% SAT score range was 1200-1350, and the middle 50% ACT score range was 26-31 for enrolled students.

 

Class Rank

 

For those submitting class rank, 50% were in the top 10% of their high school class, and 79% were in the top 25%.

 

What is Baylor Looking for?

 

Baylor notes that your academic history is the primary factor they consider when reviewing applications, encompassing your GPA and test scores. However, they also seek students who:

 

  • are excited and motivated about intellectual activity
  • want to be part of a community that values faith and personal calling
  • have challenged themselves academically and embraced opportunities outside the classroom
  • recognize that life, learning, and service go hand-in-hand beyond the four years of college

 

These qualities are evidenced by qualitative materials like recommendations and essays. “We are looking for students who can gain the most from a Baylor experience,” the school says. “Students should have a demonstrated interest in becoming a Baylor Bear and be a fit spiritually, academically, and financially.”

 

How Baylor Evaluates Applications

 

According to Baylor’s 2020–2021 common data set, the university considers these factors “very important”:

 

  • Rigor of secondary school record
  • Academic GPA
  • Standardized test scores

 

Meanwhile, these factors are “considered”:

 

  • Class rank
  • Application Essay
  • Recommendation(s)
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Talent/ability
  • Character/personal qualities
  • Alumni/ae relation
  • Volunteer work 
  • Work experience
  • Level of applicant’s interest

 

And these are “not considered”:

  • Interview
  • First generation
  • Geographical residence
  • State residency
  • Religious affiliation/commitment
  • Racial/ethnic status

 

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Baylor

 

1. Achieve a strong GPA while taking the most challenging classes available.

 

Students should aim for a high GPA while taking a challenging curriculum, including APs, honors courses, and/or IB courses.

 

If your GPA is lower, and you’re earlier on in your high school career, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it will be harder to increase your GPA, so the easiest way to increase your Academic Index is to get a higher test score.

 

2. Aim for a 1350 SAT and 31 ACT.

 

Baylor has a relatively new test-optional policy. According to the school, it’s a good idea to submit your scores if they will provide further evidence and contextualization of academic preparedness, you want to use your scores for placement purposes, and your scores are at the upper end of the middle 50% range for admitted students (1200-1350 SAT and 26-31 ACT).

 

You may choose to apply test-optional if your scores are weaker. Given the fact that many students are currently applying test-optional, we recommend submitting your scores if they are at or above the 25th percentile for admitted students.

 

Some students are required to submit test scores, including:

  • Those who have been homeschooled
  • Students from high schools that don’t use a grading scale
  • Applicants who are graduating high school early

 

To improve your scores, check out:

 

3. Cultivate a strong portfolio of extracurriculars.

 

Baylor wants to see engagement outside the classroom, as well as in it. Demonstrate your passions through extracurricular activities. Most schools evaluate these activities according to the 4 Tiers of Extracurriculars, with Tier 1 being the most exemplary and unique and Tier 4 being the least exceptional and most common.

 

At a school like Baylor, which is not among the top 30 universities, you probably don’t need Tier 1 activities in your portfolio, but it’s still a good idea to have a handful of Tier 2-3 activities, along with some Tier 4 extracurriculars. You should also aim to group them around one or two interests (called a “spike”).

 

4. Write engaging essays.

 

Essays are a great way of demonstrating your personality beyond academics. In addition to your application essay, Baylor has a short answer prompt (~450 words):

 

What are you looking for in a university, why do you want to attend Baylor, and how do you see yourself contributing to the Baylor community?

 

This is required for Early Decision applicants and recommended for others. We strongly advise completing a response.

 

5. Apply Early Decision.

Baylor offers two Early Decision plans, and the acceptance rate for ED applicants is considerably higher than that of the acceptance rate for RD applicants: 85.5% to 68.5%. That said, you should only apply under this plan if you’re absolutely sure Baylor is your first choice since it is binding. Be aware of the limitations of applying ED, too.

 

Baylor also offers an Early Action plan, which is not binding. This doesn’t give you as strong of an advantage in terms of acceptance rates, but it will allow you to find out your decision earlier, giving you peace of mind.

 

6. Understand Baylor’s values.

 

Baylor was founded on Christian principles and continues to operate with faith-based values. While Baylor says it does not consider religion when evaluating applications, it’s important to understand the community you would be entering, since religion does play a role in life at the university. You should ensure that there is a mutual fit for you and Baylor.

 

How to Apply to Baylor

 

Deadlines

Plan

Deadline

Early Decision I/Early Action

November 1

Early Decision II/Regular Decision

February 1

Spring Admission

November 15

 

Application Requirements

 

  • Baylor Online Application, Common Application, or ApplyTexas application
  • Essay
  • High school transcript
  • Test scores (only required for some students)

 

Recommended items:

 

  • Resume
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Short answer response (required for ED) to: What are you looking for in a university, why do you want to attend Baylor, and how do you see yourself contributing to the Baylor community?
  •  

Learn more about Baylor

 


Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.

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