A Look Inside BYU Admissions

In part one of Marriott Alumni Magazine’s Advanced Parenting Series, journalist Holly Munson took on college admissions—consulting the experts to help parents demystify the process and prepare their teens. She talked to Kirk Strong, director of BYU admissions, for a peek inside the admissions process at BYU.

Last year was the most challenging to date, says Kirk Strong, director of BYU admissions. “The blessing and challenge is that we have more well-prepared, qualified applicants than we can accommodate, so we have to make decisions very carefully.”

So what happens behind closed admissions-committee doors?

“It’s quite a lengthy process, and no one person makes an admissions decisioBYU_SATsn,” Strong explains. “We get together to decide which students we think would make the most significant contribution to our student body.”

The admissions committee includes about one hundred members, and each application is evaluated several times. Each is reviewed according to these elements: an endorsement by LDS Church leaders, GPA, ACT/SAT scores, seminary attendance, service, leadership, personal essays, individual talents, creativity, AP/IB courses taken, and unique or special circumstances.

The most challenging applications go through two or three committees. It’s not unusual for one case to be discussed for half an hour to an hour, and everyone gets to voice their opinion. The group always tries to come to a unanimous decision.

“We make tough decisions all day long,” Strong sighs. It’s not a perfect system, he says, but BYU’s is among the most exhaustive in the country.

“Families are preparing some really fantastic students,” he says. “We go to great lengths to make the best decision we possibly can.”

Read more about applying to BYU at admissions.byu.edu.

Once you’re into BYU, are you interested in applying to the Marriott School? Read about the application process in “Marriott Material.”

For more insider tips to help parents navigate the college-admissions process, check out “Your Top 25 College Admissions Questions Answered” in the Winter 2016 issue of Marriott Alumni Magazine.