The Summer of Academic Refinement (SOAR) program is a five-day college preparation program that prepares and informs students of the educational benefits and expectations at Brigham Young University. The program focuses on serving students who have historically lacked opportunity in higher education including those from a variety of different socioeconomic, cultural, geographic, and family backgrounds. Students may come from backgrounds or life experiences that could include one or more of the following descriptions:
- From a population that is underrepresented in U.S. universities
- First-generation college student
- Limited access to educational opportunities
Since there are a limited number of openings, all applications will be evaluated together after the final submission deadline of April 1st, 2018. Once reviewed, applicants will be placed into one of three categories: Admit, Deny, or Wait-list.
Admit: Student is accepted into the SOAR program and receives registration confirmation that directs them to (1) provide payment, and (2) complete their registration providing additional required information and permissions. Notice of admitted SOAR session will also be given.
Deny: Student application has been denied and they are not invited to finalize registration for program.
Wait-list: Student application was reviewed and placed on hold awaiting either (1) further review of all applications, or (2) space availability. Application decision may still be Admit, Deny or remain on the Wait-list until the program begins.
Applicants will receive notification of their status starting May 1st, 2018. Admitted applicants must submit payment and registration confirmation by May 21st, 2018.
SOAR application opens: February 1st, 2018 at 12:01 am
SOAR application deadline: April 1st, 2018 by 11:59 pm
SOAR application notification: Beginning May 1st, 2018
The SOAR Application contains 5 elements.
- Online SOAR Application.
- The application will require you to create an email login and password.
- Complete and submit the SOAR application using your legal name as it appears on your birth certificate or social security card. Make sure to provide a valid email and street address to ensure that you receive notification regarding your application decision.
- The application includes these essay questions. We strongly recommend that you prepare your essays on a separate document saved on your computer before starting your SOAR application. Then simply copy and paste the essays into the application.
- Essay 1 Please provide a biographical sketch that highlights family, culture, experiences, events, situations, or circumstances that have had a significant impact on you becoming the person you are today. (200 words maximum)
- Essay 2 What is one of the most difficult things you have ever done or experienced? What made it difficult and what did you learn? (200 words maximum)
- Essay 3 Briefly describe a time when you became aware of a critical need in your family or community and explain how you have worked toward meeting that need through meaningful service. (150 words maximum)
- Your progress in the online application can be saved allowing you to continue from the last completed page in a previous session from any computer.
- A paper version of the application can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Complete Online Student Commitment and Bishop Recommendation Form.
- Students complete and submit the Student Commitment section as part of their online application.
- Students will request a Bishop Recommendation online through their SOAR application dashboard. You will need to know your bishop's email to submit the Bishop's Recommendations Request Form. It will send them a unique link for your interview and recommendation.
- Schedule an interview with your assigned bishop or branch president. Before you meet, make sure they have received the Bishop Recommendation email and link. They will review the Honor Code with you during your interview and make their recommendation.
- Students of other faiths may complete the online form with your geographically-assigned LDS bishop who can be found here: http://mormon.org/worship.
- After the interview, your bishop/branch president completes the Bishop Recommendation form and submits it online. You will be able to see if the recommendation has been submitted on your SOAR application dashboard.
- A paper version of the recommendation can be requested by emailing email@example.com.
- Recommendation must be submitted by application deadline April 1st, 2018.
3. High School Transcripts
- Obtain and mail an official high school transcript to the SOAR address provided below. Homeschooled students do not need to submit transcripts, but should send any formal school grades if taken.
- Transcripts must include current cumulative GPA for grades 9-11 for all terms or semesters completed to date.
- Official transcripts cannot be emailed or faxed. They must be received in a sealed envelope.
- Transcripts must be postmarked by application deadline April 1st, 2018.
4. Scholarship Application (optional)
- SOAR scholarships are based on financial need.
- To apply for scholarships, please mail copied documentation showing that you participate in school’s free/reduced lunch program to the SOAR program address below. Alternately, a Bishop's Statement of Financial Need may be submitted with your Bishops Recommendation in place of free/reduced lunch documentation. This form is completed by the bishop at the same time as your Bishops Recommendation Form. Your bishop is asked to outline the nature and extent of your family’s financial situation. Free/reduced lunch documentation is the preferred certification for scholarship consideration. You will not be considered for a scholarship until required documentation is received. The following types of scholarships are available:
- Tuition Scholarship ($300) The student will receive a $300 tuition scholarship and must pay the remaining $50 program fee to complete their SOAR registration.
- Travel Scholarship (up to $350) The student will be reimbursed for some travel expenses to and from SOAR. Students must submit approved travel receipts at SOAR. Travel Scholarships will cover: Air, bus, or train fare, gasoline (if driving) and rental car expenses. Travel Scholarships will not cover: Lodging before and after SOAR, and meals. Travel scholarship amounts are determined by travel distance:
- Travel distance to Provo, UT 750 - 1400 miles = scholarship up to $225.
- Travel distance to Provo, UT 1400+ miles = scholarship up to $350.
- Notification of scholarship awards will be given with students admission decision.
- Free/reduced lunch documentation must be postmarked by application deadline April 1st, 2018.
5. SOAR Payment
- Only students given Admit status and notification will complete the payment information and additional information/permissions section.
- This section, including payment, must be completed by May 21st, 2018.
- Accepted payment types include: American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa Credit Cards or Check made out to SOAR mailed to SOAR address.
Mail SOAR registration/transcript/bishop recommendation/ scholarship documentation/ Alien Registration Card copy to:
BYU Multicultural Student Services
Provo, UT 84602
Scanned images of scholarship documentation/Alien Registration Card may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more SOAR information, contact us via:
Phone: (801) 422-3065
Fax: (801) 422-0641
Thank you for your interest in the Summer of Academic Refinement (SOAR) program. Please be thorough and complete with the information you provide.