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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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What Does It Take to Get into Loyola University Chicago?

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A private Catholic research university on the shores of Lake Michigan, Loyola University Chicago’s beautiful campus and civically engaged culture attract droves of applicants every year. Located only eight miles north of the Loop, its 11,000 undergraduates have the city’s considerable resources at their disposal and an easily accessible downtown for fun on the weekends.


Loyola’s professional schools are especially lauded, having turned out generations of local leaders in business, faith, politics, and the arts. Meanwhile, the most popular undergraduate majors are business, biology, and psychology.


With an acceptance rate of 68%, Loyola is a local favorite due to its strong academics and affordable price. If this school is on your radar, keep reading to find out what it takes!


Applying to Loyola University Chicago: A Quick Review


Loyola University Chicago has its own application software system, which you can access here. While applications decisions are made on a rolling basis, note that December 1 is the priority deadline for admission and merit scholarship consideration. Students must be admitted by February 1 to be eligible for merit scholarships, and March 1 is the deadline for priority FAFSA filing for all other financial aid. 


To apply, be sure to send in all of the following materials:


  • Completed Loyola online application
  • Official high school transcripts
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • One letter of recommendation from a counselor or a teacher


As with any school that practices rolling admissions, we suggest that you apply as early as possible to maximize both your chances of admission and of securing merit-based aid.


Loyola University Chicago Acceptance Rate: How Difficult Is It to Get In?


25,122 students applied in the fall of 2018, of which 17,064 were accepted. This places the acceptance rate at about 68%, making Loyola just slightly competitive. Of those admitted, 2,770 ultimately enrolled, which comes out to a 16% yield rate.


With these numbers in mind, we suggest that you load up on difficult courses, especially any AP, IB, or honors offerings at your school, with the caveat that you keep your grades up. Additionally, you’ll want to perform well on the required standardized tests. If you need assistance with the SAT, check out CollegeVine’s Test Prep Program, which offers personalized online SAT tutoring to students all over the world! And lastly, be sure to demonstrate interest in Loyola by visiting the campus, attending information sessions, or contacting the admissions office with any questions you have. 

So, How Does One Get Into the Loyola University Chicago?


While Loyola places much weight in academic performance and potential, the school also likes to see good character and community engagement. Here are some important characteristics they look for:


Academic Strength. This is the first cut for most schools, and Loyola is no exception. The Class of 2022 had an average GPA of 3.78 — in fact, 54% had a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Meanwhile, the middle 50% of admits scored between 1120 – 1310 on the SAT, and their ACT range was 25 – 30. Thus, your academic record must be fairly impressive if you wish to gain admission to Loyola; make sure that your numbers fall within (or exceed) the provided ranges.


Rigor. Beyond an excellent GPA, Loyola needs to see that you are open-minded and able to take on a challenging course load. Their minimum academic requirements include the following:


  • Four years of English
  • Three years of math
  • Three years of science
  • Two years of social studies
  • Two years foreign languages
  • One year of history


Make sure that you not only fulfill these requirements but also take the most challenging classes available to you. (You might even consider taking courses at a local community college for bonus points!)


Character. Loyola is well-known for its commitment to community service, and its business school has been ranked #1 nationwide for ethics. This means that even if your academics are amazing, a poor extracurricular record or recommendation letter could doom you. As such, be sure that your recommender is someone who can vouch for both your academic ability and personal character. Additionally, fill out the activities list, and write the optional essay! Communicating your values will show that you are not only fully qualified academically,  but also that you are an excellent fit for the Loyola community.


How to Make Your Application Stand Out


Loyola University Chicago’s boasts a strong local reputation, attracting thousands of applicants every year. Here are some suggestions for how to make your application stand out from the pile:


Apply as early as possible. Because Loyola practices rolling admissions, an earlier application is far more likely to succeed than a later one. Additionally, you stand a much better chance of securing a merit scholarship if you apply early. Consider, furthermore, that Loyola takes demonstrated interest into account, so they will look much more favorably upon an early applicant. As such, you should aim to finish your application by October — this would make yours one of the first few applications they read, so you’ve already stood out by doing nothing more than preparing early!


Use the extracurricular list to showcase your passions. Loyola values fit, and a good way for an admissions counselor to judge fit is by looking at where you spend your time outside of school. Luckily, Loyola’s activities list follows a similar format to that of the Common Application’s, so you can refer to our post, How to Fill Out the Common App Activities Section for some tips to optimizing this section of your application.


Remember that Loyola wants an active, contributing student body, so be sure to communicate your passions through your activities list. The point here is to show genuine enthusiasm — after all, that’s what the admissions officer will remember about you, especially after reading thousands upon thousands of applications.


Write the optional essay. Okay, we understand that you’re probably tired of writing supplements at this point, but this one matters! Loyola knows that if you truly want to attend, you’ll go the extra mile. Plus, you’re in luck: this is a 500-word free form essay, which means you can write about anything you wish. Feel free to use it as a traditional personal statement (who you are, what you want to do, and why Loyola), or to take a more unconventional approach by writing about your undying love for avocados, or why the sky is actually purple. In either case, your goal is to communicate something about your personality, whether it be your resilience, or ambition, or great sense of humor. This your one chance in the application to speak directly to your admissions reader, so make it count.


What If You Get Rejected?


That’s okay! The world can still be your oyster — just remember that anything is possible with enough ambition and hard work. Even if Loyola says no, rest assured that you’ll find amazing opportunities and a great community at another one of your choice schools. Somehow, in some way, you’ll end up where you’re meant to go.


If you can’t see yourself anywhere else, though, you have a few options. Loyola does not accept admissions appeals; as such, we recommend against petitioning your decision., However, they do keep a waitlist, and they accepted around 58% of their transfer applicants last year. You may find it difficult to get off the waitlist, but you’ll likely have a decent chance of transferring into Loyola after a year elsewhere — a process you can read more about here.


The other option is to reapply after a gap year, but this is highly risky. To see if a gap year is right for you, visit our posts, What Are the Pros of Taking a Gap Year? and What You Need To Know When Applying to Colleges After a Gap Year.


In most cases, however, we would suggest moving on and committing elsewhere. You might want to look into nearby schools like the University of Illinois at Chicago or DePaul University, both of which are located in the city and have slightly higher admission rates. For help adjusting to a different path, read our post, Envisioning a New Future: Preparing for Life at Your Second-Choice (or Third, or Fourth) School.


Curious about your chances of acceptance to Loyola? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!


For more resources on the college application process, check out these CollegeVine posts:


How Can I Make My College Applications Stand Out?

Does Demonstrated Interest Matter in College Admissions?

How College Applications Are Evaluated

Lauralyn Lin
Blog Writer

Short Bio
Lauralyn is a junior at Wellesley College studying political science and psychology. She's been with CollegeVine for two years now as a test prep consultant, marketing intern, and livestream host, and spends the rest of her time on ballroom dance and books.