What is Baylor University Known For?
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- Overview of Baylor University Admissions
- Unique Aspects of Baylor University
- What Are Your Chances of Acceptance at Baylor?
Baylor University is the largest Baptist private university in the world and located in Waco, Texas. Baylor even has real mascots: two real black bears named Lady and Joy! In this post, you’ll learn all about Baylor’s admissions, the unique aspects of the school, and how you can find out your chances of acceptance at the university.
Overview of Baylor University Admissions
Location: Waco, TX
Undergrad Enrollment: 14,100
Acceptance Rate: 39
Average SAT Score: 1280
Average ACT Score: 28
When looking at what students to admit, Baylor admissions looks mainly at a student’s academic history as well as their personal traits to determine whether they would be a good fit. Admissions officers try to determine whether a student is intellectually curious, has been challenged in academics, and wants to be part of a spiritual community. It is important to note that Baylor is test-optional, so admissions will look very closely at your academics and personal fit at the university.
When you apply to Baylor, you’ll need to make sure you have completed the following requirements:
- The Common App, Baylor Online Application, or ApplyTexas application.
- Baylor-specific essay
- A copy of your official or unofficial high school transcript
- Test scores (optional)
- FAFSA and CSS profile
- Resume (recommended but optional)
- 2 letters of recommendation (recommended but optional)
- Short answer response (required for Early Decision, recommended but optional for other applicants.)
Each year, the Baylor-specific essay prompts change. Here are the essays for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.
Unique Aspects of Baylor University
Baylor University offers 125 majors and minors and a wide variety of career paths in many areas of study. The most popular majors include Business, Nursing, and Biology. Some notable programs include the Baylor Business Fellows, a competitive Bachelor of Business Program where you can combine your interest in business with another degree. The Baylor Business Fellows program is comprised of a small cohort so you can quickly gain connections.
The nursing major at the Louise Harrington School of Nursing at Baylor is also very popular and rated #3 in all of Texas. The medical school is rated #22 nationally.
Baylor students are known to be curious and engaged with their communities. In 2020, 15 Baylor students won global scholarships such as the Fullbright, Goldwater, and Schwartzman scholarships.
Baylor has over 330 student organizations ranging from academic or special interest organizations to Greek life and athletics. Some of the most unique clubs at Baylor include the Badminton Club, the Baylor Brunch Club, and the Aikido Club. Additionally, Baylor has over 40 Greek life organizations. Since Baylor is a religiously affiliated university, there are also over 20 Christain organizations on campus.
Sports are popular at Baylor, as it is an NCAA Division I school with 17 athletic teams. The Baylor football team has won five NCAA national championships. Students attend Baylor football games and tailgates on the weekends or may even participate in “sailgating,” a version of tailgating on the Brazos River.
One of the best parts of Baylor is the university’s many traditions. One of the most unique traditions is “Dr. Pepper Hour,” a weekly tradition since 1953 where students are offered Dr. Pepper floats. Another unique tradition is the “Ring Out and Passing of the Key” an annual event where senior women pass an ivy chain to junior women, and men pass a key to a box of relics to the men of the junior class symbolizing a rite of passage.
Another tradition is the annual Christmas on 5th Street, a series of Christmas festivities and events held during the holidays.
Since Baylor is known for having great sports and enthusiastic fans at sports games, Baylor students create the “Baylor Line” a tradition since the 1970s where fans will rush onto the field to welcome the football team before every game.
The dorms at Baylor include 18 residence halls, 8 Living-Learning centers, 4 first-year communities and 4 upper-division communities. The Living-Learning centers are unique to Baylor as they allow students with similar interests to live together. One example of this is the “Impact” house, a community with students interested in building community and engaging in social initiatives. To live in a Living-Learning center, students must fill out an application. All the Living-Learning centers are listed below:
- Baylor and Beyond
- Business & Innovation
- Fine Arts
- Outdoor Adventure
- Science & Health
- Transfer Year Experience
First-year students are required to live on campus for two semesters. After the first year, some students choose to live off-campus. About 39% of all students stay in campus housing.
Baylor is located in the town of Waco, Texas, which is a town of 135,000. Many Baylor alumni live in Waco or Dallas, which is just 90 miles north. Students are not too far from Dallas and often visit the city on weekends or holidays.
Baylor has a wide variety of scholarships and provides both financial aid and academic scholarships. To be eligible to receive an academic scholarship, no additional application is needed. To receive financial aid, students must complete the FAFSA and CSS profile which open on October 1. Students may also receive scholarships for athletics.
Baylor is a large research university giving students access to some unique programs at the university. This includes a large Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics & Engineering Research (CASPER). The CASPER program has many experimental and computational facilities for experiments as well as the Paul and Jane Meyer Observatory which is open to students and the public.
What Are Your Chances of Acceptance at Baylor University?
Getting accepted to Baylor University is not a walk in the park. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a good shot! Keep in mind that Baylor is test-optional, so your academics must be stellar since you won’t have a test score to prove your quantitative or reading skills.
To better understand your chances at Baylor, we recommend using our free admissions calculator. Using your grades, test scores, and extracurriculars, we’ll estimate your odds of acceptance, and give you tips on improving your profile.
You can also search for best-fit schools to make a strategy for your college application process.