February 25, 2024
The Insider's Guide to Scoring Baylor University Scholarships

Baylor University is a private Christian university located in Waco, Texas. Founded in 1845, Baylor is the oldest continuously operating university in Texas.

With its inception as a Baptist institution, Baylor has a strong Christian heritage. The university aims to educate students with a focus on both faith and reason. Academically, Baylor has expanded over the years from its roots as a liberal arts college to now include 12 colleges and schools offering over 80 undergraduate degrees.

Some highlights of Baylor University today:

  • Location: Waco, Texas, situated along the Brazos River and midway between Austin and Dallas. Baylor’s campus spans 1,000 acres.
  • History: Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas and affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Baylor is the oldest continuously operating university in Texas.
  • Academics: Divided into 12 colleges and schools, including undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, engineering, music, and nursing. Notable graduate programs include business, law, and medicine.
  • Student Body: Approximately 16,000 students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries.
  • Athletics: Part of the Big 12 Conference. Excellent programs including football, basketball, baseball, and more.
  • Rankings: Nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report among top 100 universities in the United States.

With its long history and dedication to faith and learning, Baylor provides an exceptional environment for students seeking a quality Christian education in the heart of Texas.

The Value of a Baylor Education

Baylor University consistently ranks as one of the top universities in the United States, known for its outstanding academic programs, successful alumni, and return on investment.

Located in Waco, Texas, Baylor is the oldest university in the state and has a long tradition of academic excellence. Baylor is classified as a Doctoral University: Higher Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, indicating its focus on innovation, scholarship, and research.

Baylor’s academic reputation attracts high-achieving students from across the nation. The average GPA of incoming freshmen is 3.7, and ACT scores average between 27-33. Baylor students can choose from over 250 academic programs across 13 schools and colleges.

Several Baylor programs stand out for their national rankings and recognition:

  • The Hankamer School of Business is considered one of the top business schools in America, ranked #1 in Texas for job placement and #5 in accounting programs.
  • Baylor Law School is a top program, with the #1 state bar passage rate in Texas.
  • The Louise Herrington School of Nursing offers the #1 MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program in Texas.
  • Multiple engineering programs at Baylor rank in the top 100 nationally.

Baylor is also known for its Honors College, which provides an intensive Great Texts curriculum and deep research opportunities for top students. Over 1900 students are currently enrolled in the Honors College.

The value of a Baylor degree is evident from the success of its alumni. Baylor graduates have an average mid-career salary of over $100,000, demonstrating the earning potential of a Baylor education. Major companies actively recruit at Baylor due to the reputation of its programs.

Baylor also ranks highly for return on investment among universities nationwide. Affordable tuition coupled with generous financial aid and scholarships make Baylor a worthwhile investment. According to Payscale’s ROI rankings, Baylor ranks #6 in Texas and #30 nationally for return on investment.

The combination of academic rigor, career-focused programs, successful alumni, national recognition, generous aid, and reasonable costs make Baylor University an excellent choice for high-achieving students looking for an enriching educational experience with high ROI.

Types of Scholarships at Baylor

Baylor University offers a variety of scholarships to make a high-quality education accessible for qualified students. Scholarships are categorized into the following types:

Merit-Based Scholarships

Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on academic achievements, leadership skills, special talents like music or art, and other criteria that recognize a student’s strengths and potential. These renewable scholarships range from $5,000 per year to covering full tuition. Some examples are Baylor’s Presidential Scholarship, Provost’s Scholarship, Dean’s Scholarship, and Talent Scholarships.

Need-Based Scholarships

Need-based scholarships provide financial assistance to students demonstrating financial need. The amount awarded depends on each student’s financial situation as determined by the FAFSA and CSS Profile. Need-based aid includes grants, student employment, and scholarships like Baylor’s Opportunity Award and Christian Commitment Award.

Athletic Scholarships

Athletic scholarships support students on Baylor’s Division I sports teams. Awards depend on athletic ability and contribution to the team. Sports include football, basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, soccer, equestrian, acrobatics and tumbling, and more.

Departmental Scholarships

Many academic departments offer scholarships to attract top students to their programs. These are awarded based on academic merit and specific talents or interests related to the department. For example, the Film and Digital Media department offers production scholarships.

External/Sponsored Scholarships

There are many scholarship opportunities through external organizations, such as professional associations, nonprofit groups, corporations, community foundations, and religious organizations. The Baylor Financial Aid office provides resources to help students find and apply for these external scholarships.

Academic Scholarships

Some of the most prestigious and generous scholarships at Baylor are awarded based on academic merit. These scholarships help recognize and support high-achieving students.

Presidential Scholarships

The Presidential Scholarship is Baylor’s most prestigious academic scholarship. Only 40 incoming freshmen receive this prestigious award each year. The scholarship covers the full cost of tuition, fees, room, and board. To qualify, applicants must have a minimum SAT score of 1440 or ACT score of 33 and be in the top 5% of their high school class. Presidential Scholars enjoy special programming and events throughout their time at Baylor. This scholarship is renewable for 8 semesters with a minimum 3.5 GPA.

Dean’s Scholarship

The Dean’s Scholarship is an elite award given to a select group of 100 incoming freshmen each year. The scholarship provides up to $25,000 towards the annual cost of attendance. To qualify, applicants must have a minimum SAT score of 1360 or ACT score of 31 and be in the top 10% of their graduating class. The Dean’s Scholarship is renewable for up to 8 semesters by maintaining a minimum 3.25 GPA.

Honors Scholarship

Baylor’s Honors Scholarship recognizes incoming freshmen in the top 15% of their high school class. Awards range from $5,000 to $22,000 per year based on academic credentials. Recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA to renew the scholarship each year. The Honors Scholarship is awarded to around 500 students annually.

Need-Based Scholarships

Baylor University offers a variety of need-based scholarships and financial aid to ensure qualified students can afford the cost of attendance regardless of their financial circumstances. These scholarships provide grants, work-study programs, and low-interest loans to high-achieving students who demonstrate financial need.

One of the primary need-based scholarships is the Baylor Opportunity Award. This grant is awarded to freshman and transfer students based on financial need and generosity of Baylor alumni and donors. There is no separate application required. Students simply fill out the FAFSA by the priority deadline to be considered. Award amounts vary but can cover up to full demonstrated financial need. This helps make a Baylor education accessible and affordable.

Other options include federal and state grants like the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. There are also student employment opportunities through Federal Work-Study which allows students to earn money to pay for college expenses. Subsidized federal direct loans with low interest rates are also available based on financial need.

By providing a range of need-based aid, Baylor helps promising students obtain a top-ranked education regardless of their financial circumstances. Students who demonstrate need should absolutely apply and see what funding they qualify for. With grants, work-study programs, and federal loans, paying for a Baylor degree is possible for those willing to work for it.

Athletic Scholarships

Baylor University is a member of the Big 12 Conference and competes in NCAA Division I athletics. The university offers scholarships for 17 men’s and women’s varsity sports programs. Some of the top programs include football, basketball, baseball, softball, tennis, golf, and track and field.

Student athletes who receive athletic scholarships are admitted to Baylor based on their academic and athletic abilities. Coaches in each sport determine scholarship recipients based on athletic talent and team needs. Scholarship amounts vary, covering full or partial tuition and fees, room and board, books, and more.

To be eligible for an athletic scholarship, students must meet NCAA academic standards, including minimum GPA and standardized test score requirements. They must also complete the NCAA eligibility process and get cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center. Incoming freshmen must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and request final amateurism certification.

Baylor encourages prospective student athletes to contact their coaches as early as possible. Coaches can explain the recruitment process and academic requirements in detail. Students should submit athletic videos or attend camps to get the coaches’ attention. Building relationships with coaches is key to earning a scholarship offer.

The level of competition in Division I athletics is high. But student athletes can earn life-changing scholarship opportunities if they put in the work both academically and athletically. At Baylor, student athletes excel in the classroom and on the field, court, diamond, track, or course.

Departmental Scholarships

Baylor University offers a wide variety of departmental scholarships for specific majors and areas of study. These scholarships help support students in pursuing their academic passions.

The College of Arts & Sciences provides scholarships for students majoring in fields like biology, chemistry, English, and more. For example, the Dr. William Hillis Scholars Program provides renewable scholarships to incoming honors students majoring in the natural sciences.

The School of Music has numerous scholarships available to talented music students, covering disciplines like piano, voice, composition, and band. Auditions and portfolio reviews are typically required when applying for these competitive music scholarships.

Business students can apply for scholarships through the Hankamer School of Business. Awards are available for accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, management and more. There are also opportunities like the Honors Program in Business, which provides scholarship funding to top applicants.

Within the fields of engineering and computer science, Baylor offers scholarships to support women and minorities. These help provide financial assistance to groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM disciplines. The Engineering and Computer Science Living-Learning Center also awards scholarships to students living in the on-campus residential community.

Other notable departmental scholarships include awards for nursing students, athletes, ROTC cadets, and students involved in Student Foundation and other campus organizations. Overall, pursuing an education at Baylor University comes with many diverse departmental scholarship opportunities.

External/Sponsored Scholarships

Besides scholarships offered directly by Baylor University, there are many outside organizations and employers that offer scholarships as well. These outside scholarships can be a great way to help fund your Baylor education.

Outside Scholarships

There are numerous scholarships available from private foundations, non-profit organizations, community groups, and other entities outside of Baylor. These come from a wide range of sources and many have specific eligibility criteria. Doing some research to find scholarships that fit your background, academics, talents, experiences, and more can uncover opportunities.

Some excellent resources for finding and applying for outside scholarships include:

Be sure to pay attention to application deadlines and requirements when applying for outside scholarships. Having a system to keep track of scholarships, deadlines, and application materials can help ensure you don’t miss opportunities.

Employer/Corporate Scholarships

Many employers and corporations offer scholarship programs, particularly for employees’ children. If your parents work for a larger company, check to see if they provide any college scholarship programs.

Some companies that are known for offering scholarships include:

  • Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
  • GE Foundation Scholarship Program
  • Microsoft Scholarship Program
  • Burger King McLamore Foundation
  • UPS Scholarships

Check with your parents’ HR departments to learn about potential corporate scholarship programs available to you. These can provide excellent scholarship funding for your Baylor education.

Scholarship Application Process

The application process for scholarships at Baylor University aims to make applying for aid as simple and straightforward as possible. Here’s what you need to know about scholarship applications:

Deadlines

  • The priority deadline for incoming freshman scholarships is November 1. Students who apply by this date will receive priority consideration for Baylor’s top merit-based scholarships like the Presidential Scholarship.
  • For current Baylor students, most scholarship applications are due March 1 for awards for the following academic year.
  • Some departmental and external scholarships may have different deadlines, so check the requirements for any specific scholarships you plan to apply for.

Requirements

  • All applicants must complete the FAFSA financial aid application in order to be eligible for need-based aid.
  • Additional requirements vary by scholarship, but can include resumes, essays, portfolios, auditions, test scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.
  • Students applying as incoming freshmen will automatically be considered for Baylor’s academic scholarships based on their application materials, so no extra application is required.

Selection

  • Baylor aims to provide scholarships to recognize outstanding student abilities and achievements. Selection committees review all submitted application materials holistically.
  • For academic and talent-based scholarships, factors like GPA, test scores, audition quality, and academic recommendations are considered.
  • Need-based awards consider family financial circumstances based on FAFSA data.
  • Community service, leadership, essays, and other application components also allow applicants to highlight what makes them a good fit for a given scholarship.

By meeting deadlines, submitting all required materials, and showcasing strengths and passions, prospective and current Baylor students can put their best foot forward through the scholarship application process. With many awards and opportunities available, Baylor encourages all qualified students to apply.

Scholarship Resources and Contacts

Baylor University offers a variety of resources to help students identify and apply for scholarships. These resources can help guide you through the scholarship process.

Baylor Financial Aid Office

The Baylor Financial Aid Office is the central source for information on scholarships at Baylor. Their knowledgeable staff can answer questions and provide advice on finding and applying for scholarships. You can contact them at:

Baylor University
Financial Aid Office
One Bear Place #97028
Waco, TX 76798-7028
Phone: 254-710-2611
Email: Financial_Aid@baylor.edu
Financial Aid Website

The financial aid office holds workshops on scholarship essays, interviews, and applications. They are your go-to resource for all scholarship-related questions.

High School Guidance Counselors

Your high school guidance counselor has inside knowledge on local and regional scholarships you can apply for. They can advise you on putting together a strong scholarship application. Many guidance counselors have resources on lesser-known scholarships that go unclaimed each year. Schedule a meeting with your counselor to discuss scholarship opportunities.

Online Scholarship Databases

There are many free online scholarship databases you can use to find potential awards. These sites allow you to search and filter scholarships by criteria like major, location, award amount, and more. Here are some top scholarship databases to explore:

With a mix of resources like these, you can find scholarships that fit your skills, academics, interests, and financial need.

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