How to Get Into BYU: Admissions Stats + Tips
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- How Hard Is It to Get Into Brigham Young University?
- Average Academic Profile of Accepted BYU Students
- What is Brigham Young University Looking for?
- How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University (BYU) is the flagship higher education institution of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the overwhelming majority of BYU’s student body are members of the church. BYU might not have the name recognition or reputation of some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, however, it’s one of the most popular schools in the country—trailing only Harvard and Stanford in yield (the number of students who chose to enroll after being accepted).
How Hard Is It to Get Into Brigham Young University?
Gaining admission to BYU is a challenge. The university received 11,292 applications for its Class of 2025 and accepted 7,820 students, giving BYU an overall acceptance rate of 69%
BYU’s acceptance rate is low, but your personal chances of acceptance are tied to the strength of your profile. CollegeVine’s free admissions calculator can help you better understand your odds at BYU. It uses your grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and more to estimate your chance of getting into BYU as well as to provide tips to improve your profile!
Average Academic Profile of Accepted BYU Students
The average high school GPA of BYU’s Class of 2025 is 3.86.
The middle 50% SAT score of BYU’s Class of 2025 is 1210-1400. The middle 50% ACT score is 26-32.
What is Brigham Young University Looking for?
BYU is the flagship university of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and religious affiliation is a “very important” factor in BYU admissions. Although you do not need to belong to the church to attend BYU, the vast majority of students are members. Only about 1.5% of the student body does not belong to the Church and those students pay double. In 2021-2022, the cost per credit for Latter-day Saints was $323, while the cost per credit for non-Latter-day Saints was $646.
For consideration at BYU, applicants must also agree to live by the school’s strict honor code which prohibits everything from premarital sex to using profane language to abstaining from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coffee, vaping, and substance abuse. Students live in sex-separated housing and there are even strict dress and grooming standards—for example, men are not allowed to grow beards and women may have no more than one piercing per ear.
Lastly, same-sex relationships are in violation of BYU’s honor code. A recent study found that about 1,000 BYU undergraduates identify as LGBTQ, but expect a challenging college experience if they don’t conform to norms.
How BYU College Evaluates Applications
According to their 2020-2021 Common Data Set, Brigham Young University considers the following factors “very important”:
- Course rigor
- Test scores
- Extracurricular activities
- Religious affiliation
- Volunteer work
- Work experience
These factors are “important”:
- First generation
These are “considered”:
- Applicant interest
And these are “not considered”:
- Class rank
- Geographic location
- State residence
- Racial ethnic status
How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into Brigham Young University
1. Achieve at least a 3.86 GPA while taking the most challenging classes available.
GPA is “very important” to BYU admissions. The average high school GPA of BYU’s Class of 2025 is 3.86 and about one in four students from the class graduated with a 4.0. Selective schools like BYU use a tool known as the Academic Index to assist in admissions decisions. Academic Index is a representation of your entire academic performance by a single numerical score.
If your Academic Index fails to meet BYU’s standards, you risk being seen as unqualified and not having your application given serious consideration. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to improve your Academic Index. If you’re early in your high school career and your GPA is subpar, the best thing you can do is raise it. Check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it’s more difficult to increase your GPA. Instead, the best way to improve your Academic Index is with higher test scores.
Simply possessing great grades at competitive schools like BYU is not enough to wow admissions officials, you’ll need to earn them in challenging classes. BYU also views course rigor as “very important” to admissions. Typically, students at BYU will have completed between five and eight AP classes in high school.
2. Aim for a 1400 SAT and 32 ACT score.
BYU considers standardized test scores as “very important” to admissions. The middle 50% SAT/ACT scores of BYU’s Class of 2025 are 1210-1400/26-32. BYU is test-optional through winter 2024, but CollegeVine suggests taking one of the exams if you can do so safely, and submitting scores that meet or exceed the 25th percentile of accepted students (1210/26). Students who submit test scores are accepted at higher rates than those who do not. You can get recommendations on whether or not you should apply test-optional using our free chancing engine.
BYU does not superscore either the SAT or AC, but it’s still a smart strategy to plan on sitting for one of the exams between two and three times. Research from the College Board—the organization that administers the SAT—found that a majority of students improve their SAT scores by taking the test more than once.
For other tips to improve your SAT/ACT score, check out these free CollegeVine resources:
- How to Get a Perfect 1600 Score on the SAT
- How to Get a Perfect 36 Score on the ACT
- More SAT Info and Tips
- More ACT Info and Tips
3. Cultivate a strong portfolio of extracurriculars.
Extracurricular activities are “very important” to admissions at Brigham Young University. The university also views talent, character, volunteer work, and work experience as “very important” to admissions—all of which are demonstrated through your activities outside of the classroom. Competitive applicants to BYU will have one or two well-developed extracurriculars or a highly developed interest is known as a “spike.”
The more impressive your extracurricular activities, the better your chances of standing out from other applicants. The four tiers of extracurriculars are a good method for understanding how colleges weigh your activities outside of the classroom. On the spectrum are Tier 1 activities which are rare and prestigious, while on the other side are Tier 4 activities which are common and lack distinction. Make sure you aim for tier two activities to give your application a boost.
BYU places particular value on church-related activities, recommending “that you regularly participate in church meetings, programs, and activities.” The university also places considerable weight on service, saying “We look for students that already have a love of learning and a sincere desire to serve others.”
4. Write engaging essays.
BYU requires you to respond to a collection of essay prompts that change from year to year. A compelling college essay is written in your unique voice, highlights how you’ll fit at the college in question, and shows how the school will benefit from your presence on campus.
A strong BYU essay also addresses your preparation in the four key areas the university looks for in applicants: spiritual strengthening, intellectual enlarging, character building, and lifelong service and learning. For more BYU-specific essay advice, check out our article, “How to Write the Brigham Young University Essays 2021-2022.”
5. Get really great recommendations.
As part of your application to BYU, you will need to submit a variety of recommendations. You’ll need:
- Ecclesiastical endorsement: a religious recommendation from your clergy
- Seminary recommendation: from your current seminary teacher
- High school teacher recommendation: Any math, science, or English teacher from your junior or senior year
- Other recommendation: anyone who is not a relative
If you’re a non-Latter-day Saint applicant, your ecclesiastical endorsement can come from your own religious leader or from a local bishop or mission president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Unlike recommendations at other colleges, BYU will send your recommenders a form to complete.
6. Apply by the Priority Deadline.
BYU doesn’t have an Early Decision or Early Action admissions process, however, it does have a priority deadline. Meeting BYU’s priority deadline will give your odds of acceptance a boost. It factors into BYU’s holistic review of your application and you’re given extra consideration in the decision-making process.
How to Apply to Brigham Young University
You can apply to BYU through the university’s online application. Other application requirements include:
- High school transcript
- Ecclesiastical endorsement
- Seminary recommendation
- High school teacher recommendation
- Other recommendation
- Honor code agreement
- SAT/ACT scores (optional)
Learn more about Brigham Young University
Interested in learning more about BYU? Check out these other informative articles:
- A Guide to Religiously-Affiliated Colleges
- Top 10 Most Underrated West Coast Colleges
- The Top 10 Most Underrated Engineering Colleges in the U.S.
- The Top 10 Most Underrated Computer Science Colleges in the U.S.
Want to know your chances at BYU? Calculate your chances for free right now.