By Sara Tirrito
Baylor has again created a waitlist for its incoming freshman class, with applications having already topped 38,000, far surpassing last fall’s 34,224 applications. However, students can still apply to the university.
Jennifer Carron, assistant vice president of admission services, said she believes the increasing numbers of applications have probably been spurred by success in previous years, more intentional recruitment and marketing out of state, among other factors.
This year’s applicants are also ahead of last year’s class on making their spot-securing deposits. The 10.7 percent growth has come at a higher rate from markets out of state, rather than within Texas, said Jessica King Gereghty, director of admissions counseling and recruitment.
King Gereghty said in talking to students it seems that Baylor is more often one of applicants’ top two schools, rather than one of their top three as in previous years.
“The deposits coming in at a faster rate would show that students are ready to commit to Baylor at an earlier time this year than last year or the year before last,” King Gereghty said.
However, Carron said uncertainty about funding for higher education could have an impact on the incoming class.
“The Texas legislature, the problems with not only the TEG, but the Pell at the national level — we can’t predict how that’s going to affect our class,” Carron said, referring to the financial aid that may be cut by legislators.
Students’ award letters and financial aid packages are currently being estimated with the worst-case scenario in mind, Carron said.
The university has plans to enroll approximately 3,100 freshmen in the fall, a number not quite reaching last year’s record 3,259. This year’s waitlist has also been established about one month earlier than last year’s.
“Last year, we had a record number depositing and committing early on and sticking with us, so we are trying this year to manage the class a little earlier,” Carron said. “I think 3,100 according to the university is a more manageable number.”
Students on the waitlist can expect to be contacted by May 31 in regard to their admission status, but will be contacted sooner if possible.
“Prospective students can call admissions counselors about their application file, and their prospects on the waitlist,” Carron said.
“If we know anything earlier than that we’ll certainly contact students the moment we’re confident they have a spot in the incoming class.”
Not only do the incoming classes’ application numbers surpass those of previous years, their standardized test scores do as well, King Gereghty said. The average SAT score for last fall’s freshman class was 1218, and the average ACT score was 26.4. This year’s scores have not yet been released.
“It’s shaping up to be a record-breaking academic class; it seems like that’s going to happen,” King Gereghty said. “Currently this class, on average, their academics are significantly higher.”
Carron and King Gereghty attribute the increase to targeted recruitment and faculty initiatives, such as the Invitation to Excellence program, which has grown in recent years.
Transfer student applications are not affected by the waitlist, and are continuing to be processed as usual.