The regular admissions application deadline is approaching for incoming freshman students.
Feb. 1 is a non-binding application. However, there are many different application deadlines with separate admissions options.
Mary Herridge, senior director of admissions counseling at Baylor, said that there are three admissions options. Within the Nov. 1 deadline are two options: early decision, which binds the student to the university if admitted, and early action, which guarantees an admittance response by Jan. 15. The approaching Feb. 1 deadline informs students of their admittance no later than April 10.
“There’s not necessarily a difference, per se, in regular decision or early action,” Herridge said. “It’s more about the timing of things and that students who apply early in their senior year have already heard back from us and these students who are left to apply could be students who just learned about Baylor during their senior year.”
Regardless of the application students choose to complete, admissions officers still weigh the applications holistically. However, with the Feb. 1 deadline, there are typically fewer spots to fill, making the application process a little more competitive.
“The student motivation for applying early versus later is sometimes different,” Herridge said. “But the requirements are still the same.”
However, the incoming class of fall 2019 was the first class with the option to do the early decision, binding application. The incoming class of Fall 2020 will be the second class with this opportunity and while the deadlines differ between the two applications, the requirements remain the same.
“The quality, academically, of the students that we usually get from early action to regular decision generally is still very high,” Herridge said. “It’s still a high–quality student who’s done well in high school, because those are the types of students that Baylor is just attracting regardless.”
For the Fall 2019 freshman class, 75% of students were in the top quartile of their graduating high school class, the average ACT score was a 26 to 32 and the average SAT score was a 1210 to 1370.
In addition, beginning this year, a required essay has been added to all applications. While there has always been an optional short-answer response for students, the required essay from the banks of both the Common Application and ApplyTexas has now added a new dynamic to the application.
“We’re really excited about that,” Herridge said. “People have submitted amazing essays. It’s just been another piece of information for us to read through and help us with our decisions as we holistically review files.”
Roswell, N.M. freshman Caye Lant, utilized the February deadline when she applied. She states that she didn’t fully know where she wanted to go in November and while Baylor was in her top two schools, she didn’t want to feel obligated to choose a school based on her application time.
Lant said most of the people she knew that applied to Baylor applied in November because it was their top school.
“They either had family that went here or they toured it while they were a junior in high school and so when they came, they knew exactly where they wanted to be,” Lant said. “I know others who submitted the application to all the schools early, to be prepared I guess.”
Herridge recommends that prospective students get to know their admissions counselor well. Organized by geographic location, admissions counselors can act as a second set of eyes on a student’s application and can act as an advocate for their application file.
“It really can be advantageous to get to know your admissions counselor and, especially in this latter round, I think the more contact you have with our office, the more beneficial it’s going to be for you because students can overlook some things in their file,” Herridge said.