How to Help Your Child Get Into BYU: Application Essays Can Make or Break Acceptance

Estimated reading time: 6-7 minutes

Does your child have what it takes to get into BYU?

The stakes of getting accepted to BYU are getting higher and higher. It is estimated that more than 12,000 students will apply to BYU – Provo this fall. And using last year acceptance ratemore than 4,000 will not be retained.

With such a large pool of applicants, BYU’s admissions committee is often tasked with choosing between highly qualified applicants who all meet the minimum requirements. And since BYU doesn’t currently require standardized test scores, it’s even harder for applicants to stand out.

With all of these factors, parents want to know:

“Is there anything I can do to improve my child’s chances of being accepted into BYU?” The answer to this question is an absolute “yes”!

How BYU Application Essays Can Make or Break Your Child’s Acceptance

By the time your child begins their BYU application, nearly all of the application criteria (transcripts, activities, awards, etc.) are fixed and cannot be influenced or changed — with one notable exception: essays.

BYU application essays have become one of the most critical ways for your child to be assessed by the admissions committee. This is because tryouts are the best way for the committee to get to know your child on a personal level to determine how well they have demonstrated their readiness and alignment with the BYU Mission and Goals.

In fact, BYU essays are the only real controllable factor your child has at this stage that can either help or hurt their chances of being accepted.

The Wrong Way to Write BYU Application Essays

Just sitting down to “eliminate” trials without understanding what BYU is looking for is a huge mistake. Successful BYU trials require deep soul-searching, multiple drafts, and a lot of up-front work. Students who don’t schedule time for these crucial activities end up writing substandard BYU essays that suffer from one or more of the following issues:

Too generic

It is unnatural for most high school students to be vulnerable and authentic. This often results in superficial essays that don’t give enough information about your child for admissions to BYU to complete a proper assessment.

Too wordy

This year, BYU shortened most essays to 500 characters. The lower the character count, the more difficult it is for students to respond effectively to everything the prompt asks for. As a result, students can easily spend too much of their essay telling a story, but not leaving enough space for important connections and reflections.

No effective feedback

Most students work on their BYU essays until the deadline and don’t have time to get feedback and make revisions. If parents read essays, they often don’t know how to provide the most helpful feedback. This cycle often results in substantial errors in the structure, content, and grammar of the essay.

How to Help Your Child Get Into BYU: Application Essays Can Make or Break Acceptance

The Right Way to Write BYU Application Essays: The 3 Most Important Questions

Susie Boyce, founder of College Essay Builder, has been helping students write BYU application essays since 2007. Over the years, she has discovered three fundamental questions that all successful BYU essays must answer effectively. These three questions are:

Do my child’s essays show that they appreciate the goals of a BYU education?

Each BYU trial must be directly correlated to one or more of the Objectives of a BYU training. It’s essential that the stories and examples your child uses in their essays make the connection clear and personal. A close look at BYU’s admissions website highlights that BYU uses goals to assess all areas of the application, especially essays.

Does my child’s essays help him stand out from thousands of other applicants?

This fall, BYU will receive more than 70,000 essays. Given the volume, how will you ensure your child’s essays stand out and are memorable for all the right reasons?

The key to this question is to help your child identify the events, people, and stories in their life that highlight their authentic and unique experiences. This requires vulnerability; essays should tell engaging stories showing your child’s journey, growth, and transformation. These personal stories can become the heart of every essay, connecting the reader to your child in unforgettable ways.

Do my child’s essays demonstrate character, values, testimony, and potential as a BYU student?

BYU provided direct expectations of what they want to see in your child’s trial on their admission website:

“…make sure you read the prompt and answer what’s asked. If there’s anything about you we should know, be sure to include it in your essay answers! “

Why does BYU want your child to share so much? Because the essays are the best chance admissions counselors have to understand and assess your child’s character, values, testimony, and potential as a BYU student.

To do this effectively, your child must respond to each prompt completely and deeply. Take the time to identify stories and examples that show how they have grown and developed in these four areas and write conclusions that make a powerful connection to what BYU is looking for.

How to Help Your Child Get Into BYU: Application Essays Can Make or Break Acceptance
Photo: University Essay Builder

The bottom line

There are things you can do to improve your child’s chances of acceptance to BYU. Helping your child write their best BYU application essays is the most important way to achieve this goal.

But you don’t have to do it alone. College Essay Builder has created a Complete BYU Application Trial Course which guides your child step by step through the process of writing all BYU application essays. Using videos, downloads, templates and examples, your child will write their best BYU essays faster and more efficiently than any other method.

In this course, your child will learn:

  • How to personalize BYU goals and connect them meaningfully with every try.
  • How to identify and tell compelling personal stories that demonstrate their potential as a successful BYU student.
  • How to approach each editorial prompt to meet BYU’s specific expectations.
  • How to start each trial to “hook” the reader.
  • How to wrap up every trial to build a powerful bond.
  • How to write clear, concise paragraphs that respond completely and deeply to each prompt.
  • How to edit and revise their essays using proprietary feedback guides.

The stakes are too high not to do everything you can to help your child be accepted.

And the most controllable thing you can do now to increase your child’s chances of acceptance to BYU is to help them write their best BYU essays by enrolling them in the BYU writing course today.

And for a limited time, use promo code KSL50 to get $50 off the full course price.

How to Help Your Child Get Into BYU: Application Essays Can Make or Break Acceptance
Photo: fizkes/

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