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Advice on getting into BYU

Hey everyone my name is Kristy and I'm from Texas and I really want to live in provo and go to school. I need to some advice on how to get into BYU.

I have a very low GPA and only a few extra cirricular activities. I just haven't done that much. Are there any kind of tips or things I should do that could help me get in?

I thought about going to UVSC but the tuition is SO expensive for people who are out of state!. What should I be doing or working on to get into BYU, any advice? Thanks.

Kristy, 1. Short of bribing


1. Short of bribing an admissions officer, there's nothing that's going to get you into BYU right now.
2. If you've done poorly with grades in high school, what makes you confident you'll do well at a fairly difficult university?
3. What is your basis for wanting to go to Provo?

Okay, so now that those issues are touched, your best bet is to go to a community college and get a year's worth of credits (30 semester or 45 quarter credits) and have good grades. If memory serves, anything below a 3.6 and you're wasting your time. Once you've got those credits you can apply as a transfer student.

You could also move to Utah and live there a year, then go to UVU (in order to qualify for in-state tuition) however, that's a year that could be spent earning credits elsewhere.

BYU is a hard school. It's worth it, it's fun, and I miss my time there (graduated two years ago), but it seems like you've got some unresolved educational issues you should probably overcome before taking on a challenge that might be beyond you. I sincerely wish you well, but question your readiness based on the brief introduction you provided.

If you're cute there always

If you're cute there always the casting couch. But seriously, go to your local community college, work hard, and apply to BYU after two semesters of strong performance. Yeah, that means you’d be doing at least a third semester of cc and going to BYU 18 months to two years later than you wanted, but you don't want to be at any school you barely got into, because the odds are you won't be prepared to compete against the better qualified students, and you’d likely be a early washout. The lecturers/profs tend to focus on challenging the best students, and don't really give a rat's rear about struggling students.

Some things you can do:

1) Do really well on your ACT. I had a GPA in the high-2's or low-3's in high school, and I got a 33 on the ACT. That was my saving grace.
2) If your school offers any kind of "head start," "jump start," or other means of attending college-level classes rather than your regular high school classes, go for it. If you take 30 credits worth of college classes, you can come in as a transfer student rather than a graduating high school student and your high school GPA will be ignored.
3) Take a slew of independent study BYU classes. Again, this'll enable you to come in as a transfer student rather than a high school graduate. As a bonus, it's guaranteed that all of your credits will transfer directly.
4) Take some AP classes and pass the tests.
5) Call a counselor and plead your case; I know a few folks who've been denied admittance initially who called and made arrangements to be accepted into the Y. My cousin was denied initially; he called and worked out a deal whereby he was placed on academic probation and required to get a 3.0 GPA his first two semesters here. Don't have your parents call-- YOU call.
6) Work. When I applied, I was able to explain my low GPA by my high absence rate caused by my full-time job.
7) Develop a highly unusual/desirable skill. This could mean playing an instrument no one else does, learning an unusual languagem or something along those lines.
8) Get a professional certification. This looks impressive and is indicative of your learning capacity. If you're interested in computer science, pursue your A+, MCSA, or CCNA certificates. If you're looking to go into nursing, get your CNA. So on, so forth.
9) Contact teachers you've had previously in high school and see if there's any way to raise some of the more dismal grades. Offer to do extra-curricular work or write papers.

That's about all I got.

BYU Visiting Student

I was almost the in exact same situation when I first applied. Here's what I did.

1. Became a BYU visiting student for spring and summer terms. You can be a visiting student with a very low GPA. So I got accepted as a visiting student during spring and summer. I got to live in Provo, I got to take BYU classes, and I raised my GPA in the process.

2. Then I went to the BYU salt lake center over fall and winter semesters. This is good because it's little bit easier than BYU Provo so it will be easier to raise your GPA. Also you can still live in Provo and just commute to the salt lake center twice a week and have all your classes on those two days. You can even find people to ride up with and carpool.

Now the good thing about taking these two steps is that all of your credits will transfer. BYU will see how dedicated you are about going only to BYU. You get to live in Provo still. And it's semi quick since everything is transferable, after 30 credits, which is only two semesters or one semester and two terms, you're in.

Lastly talk to a counselor to let him know your on this track. So he can tell you what the required GPA for a transfer student is that year. It changes every semester so make sure you know what kind of grades you have to get. When I applied the minimum was a 3.8 and when one of my friends applied it was a 3.6.

Thats about all I got, it looks like RC gave you some really good tips too, so I'd listen to his also. Good luck!

it's possible even if some don't know or won't admit

So I graduated this past semester. But when I applied to BYU in 2000, I was a senior in high school living in Washington. I had a 3.0 high school GPA from a crapy high school, and pulled a 23 on the ACT. So nothing really going for me. But I got into BYU despite rumors that still go around that no one below a 27 on the ACT or a 3.2 will ever get in.

What got me in? Who knows, divine intervention maybe. I did what was just mentioned by getting accepted as a visiting student for the summer term. All you had to do was pull above a 2.0 during the summer and you were in for the Fall as a regular student (this was of course back in 2001). I did a full credit load of 9 credits and got a 3.3 - so I felt ready.

I did really well in some areas at BYU (like my major with a 3.5), but poor in others. I graduated with a less than perfect GPA, but I have a sweet job already lined up where many graduates have nothing.

Poor grades won't kill you, but it will make it more difficult. Keep trying to get in, you may get a break.

That really depends on where you live.

If you live in an area where hardly anyone is applying to BYU, it is easier to get in. BYU prides themselves in a diverse campus, therefor if you live in a place where tons of people want to get into BYU, its going to be really competitive. If not, you are a shoe-in.

That happened to me and it

That happened to me and it really sucks because I have a really good GPA, ACT score and extra curriculars!

Avoiding out-of-state tuition

The new residency requirements that started last year can really help those coming from other states.

UVSC charges out-of-state students in-state tuition during the summer. Move out to Provo and take as many credits as they will let you this summer (the second block starts June 18). Get a job, get a Utah Driver's license, register to vote, and get your car registered here. Make sure your parents don't claim you on their taxes this year. When the fall comes around work full-time and take classes at the LDS Institute at UVSC, they can count for some religion classes at the Y. Next summer take as many classes as UVSC will let you (quit your job if you have to)...and by the end of the summer you'll have just as many credits as most of your classmates and you will be eligible for in-state residency in the fall. Two semesters more and you'll have an associates degree and (if you got good grades at UVSC) a much easier time getting in to BYU.

The LDS Business College is a great option

I go to school at the LDS Business College in Downtown Salt Lake. I live in Provo and commute up to school a few times a week. I go to school for way less than BYU and study in the same type of atmosphere. Classes don't transfer easily unless you receive your Associates degree but after that it is fairly easy to get in. Go to school for cheap, build up your residency while doing so(in case BYU doesn't work, you can go to UVU or the UofU.), or just build your GPA and try to transfer after a semester or two.

BYU help for foreign students

I'm a student from England hoping to go to BYU a year before my mission.
I've done most of my application but I'm not sure it's worth sending with it's current state. Most of the information I've found on what BYU look for, and what helps get into BYU is from the internet. Some in my stake and friends have been able to help. This post was really useful but wasn't quite specific for a foreign student.
Any help would be great!

SAME situation

I have a similar situation. I skipped a year in HS so I had to rush my ACT and got a 23. Similarly, I apparently have a 3.2 GPA…. This is because I made B’s and C’s in ALL AP classes, and we have a multiplier in my school so I have a 97 and graduated as a Magna Cum Laude, but BYU doesn’t take the multiplier. What really bothers me is that my girlfriend got in and she took regular algebra II and made a 92 and I took BC calculus AP with a 72 and she got in… My class is years beyond hers..

I’m also Mexican by birth and non-LDS (since my family has not been into religion I was hindered the opportunity to grow up with a religious backing, which by going to BYU that will change). I will be attending BYU-Provo for the summer as a visiting student as I have seen many comments have encouraged that. I need some reassurance or even blunt opinions. Thanks. Please e-mail them to me at

Addmission Reform!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My girlfriend has dreamed of going to BYU her entire life. She's from Utah and graduates this spring. She's captain of her cheer team and even went to the BYU cheer camp last month. She was told at this camp that there will be no problem making the Co-Ed team, which is the better team. She has a 3.85 GPA and a 19 on her ACT. She has been on the city youth council for two years, and the stake youth council for one year. She was just turned down by admissions. Her Bishop and Stake president were shocked. I'm an avid BYU sports fan, and as I attend games in Provo, I am shocked at the people that are let in. No doubt that they did great with grades and tests, but they will never have an impact on other people with there limited social skills, and there lack of any desire to try to improve their appearance. I will take my girlfriend with looks and personality every time!

All is not lost my friend.

All is not lost my friend. She can apply as a spring/summer student and get in that way. Another way is to just take 30 credits at an easy community college and then transfer. If that's where she really wants to be, there'll be a way to do that. I have a friend who was rejected from BYU and after a couple of phone calls was accepted. Now is the time to exhaust all connections! Best of luck.


Are you suggesting BYU should start admitting people if they are funny or pretty? This is ridiculous. Sorry.

Seriously dude, she got a 19

Seriously dude, she got a 19 on her ACT? She needs to retake it, because I've never met anyone who got that low of a score. Especially with such a difference between her GPA and ACT, it's no wonder she didn't get in. Also, since she's from Utah, she's competing against thousands of students who got 4.0 GPAs and a 30 on their ACT.


I'm only a sophomore in high school (about to be a junior) and i think about getting into BYU Provo everyday. i have about a 3.7 gpa right now and i am very involved in extra-cirricular activities. my mom is about to sign me up for ACT Prep which i will be taking a year from now, hoping to get at least a 28. even if i get into BYU Summer term, i will work at my absolute best throughout college. so if anyone can give me some tips on how or what i should do throughout the rest of my high school years, that would be great. BYU is my dream and i know that i can get in if i know exactly what to expect before applying.

Really Anxious

I just finished my application with BYU. I come from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and there we dont have a test equivalent to the ACT SAT or something calle GPA, I have no Idea how good mine would be. However my school scores vary in the 80's in a scale from 0 to 100. I believe its good! I got a lot of other positive things according to BYU "requirements" to be accepted. But sometimes the feeling of being denied comes. Unfortunately, its really hard on them to have to judge peoples quality or capacity through just a few answers on an applicatio, and it is true that they accept the least capable person and deny the most prepared one.

Very worried

I am currently a Junior in a Texas high school and BYU is my absolute dream. I learned that the average GPA in BYU is a 3.8 and I am nowhere near that. I thought I had at least a 3.3, but some of my athletic credits didn't count, which leaves me with only a 3.0 for my freshman and sophomore years. But so far, I am doing really well in my classes and hopefully my GPA will go up by the end of this year. I am bilingual, my mom is Taiwanese and my dad is American. I speak Mandarin and English fluently and am currently in my third year of Spanish. My dad went to BYU, and so did all his brothers and sisters, and my grandparents. I have a long list of extracurricular activities including being able to play 3 instruments, orchestra, Varsity Cheerleading, and Karate. I also heard that if you attend the summer camp Soar, you are almost guaranteed to get accepted. So please comment and tell me anything you have to say, and maybe you could tell me from past experiences . Thank you!!

What do I need to do to improve my chances?

I am a current freshman, hoping to graduate at the end of my Sophmore year. I play the tuba in band, I'm super involved in my team's speech and debate team, I'm in choir, I play the piano, and I have a 3.8 gpa. What do I need to do to improve my chances of being accepted? I don't know if this changes anything, but I'm also a convert, and the only Mormon in my family.

Honestly, just keep up that

Honestly, just keep up that 3.8 GPA, try to boost it more, and then study like crazy before your ACT. If you need to, retake it to get at least a 30. I lived in Washington state, with a 3.7 GPA and 31 on my ACT, and it was only my Native American heritage that got me into Provo. Another girl in my ward had a 4.0 GPA and a 30 on the ACT, but she got waitlisted.

The Importance of the ACT

It can be argued that because grades are subjective, the most important criteria for entrance into BYU is the ACT, because it is the only objective measurement they have. You MUST be taking honors and AP English as over 1/2 of the ACT is English related. If you are not good at English and Reading you will not do well on the test - and 3.8 or not you will probably not get in. Take the ACT for practice in December of your Jr. year (in your case you have to adjust this per your graduation date)and then study very, very hard and take both the April and June tests in the Spring of your Jr. year. There is NO substitute for taking practice tests over and over again. (see for practice tests and other places like Kaplan) Make sure you do this to prepare. Make sure that you refresh yourself in geometry - get a math tutor if you need one - the math section is probably the best section that a tutor can help you with. Do not underestimate the importance and difficulty of this test. They don't give you enough time - on purpose and you have to practice hard and study hard to overcome this.

Dime A Dozen

Ah another mediocre Mormon student who wants to join the mob at BYU. I currently go to BYU and it is a great school. You know how to get in? Apply yourself, get good grades, and do well on standardized testing. If you don't do those things, you can be just like all the other wannabes and go to BYU-I Do, LDSBC, the U of U, or you can do the ultimate poser move and go to UVU (about all you need to get in there is a first and last name) and live in our BYU approved housing, thus driving up demand and further increasing prices, and you can wear blue and show up at all of our football games and pretend like you go to BYU so that you can feel better about yourself. BYU Can't accomodate everyone. Hard fact. Time to face the music and move on with life.

Canadian Junior

I'm a member in grade eleven who REALLY wants to go to BYU Provo. I've been a member all my life, and have been in many extra curricular like color guard, yearbook, choir, etc. My grades have usually been above 75% and I've been on the honor roll for three years. I have an almost perfect record for seminary, and I come from a town that's about 80% Mormon. About four or so kids from each grade go to either BYU or BYU-Idaho each year. What would the chances of me being able to go to BYU, if I prepare now and keep my marks up?