I am currently a sophomore (Business Administration major with a concentration in Finance) at a small LAC in New Jersey. The problem is that I strongly dislike the school due to the average student in attendance (school is not their priority), the deficiency in academic rigor, and a litany of other things.
Currently, I have a 3.95 GPA, most likely a 3.96 after my grades from my current semester are finalized in May. I am not involved much on campus since because - echoing what I previously mentioned - I dislike the school. When you signup for a club, you get a single email in the beginning of the semester from the organization, and then don’t hear from them again.
My extracurriculars/activities are as follows: Budget Analyst Intern on campus (position offered to me by a professor who admired by work ethic in and outside of the classroom), TONS of volunteer work on political campaigns (from local elections to presidential elections), President/Founder of political club in HS, peer tutor, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, operate my own eBay business, etc, etc.
With that all being said, I am currently looking to transfer. So far, I have applied to Tulane and the University of Southern California. I have known about BYU for a long, long time, but I have been dissuaded to apply by a number of people because of the LDS affiliation. I was raised by a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, and I was not really raised either or. I grew up celebrating both sets of holidays. However, I have always identified as Jewish when someone asks me. I must mention that I do agree with many of the teachings of Mormonism. The religion has really inspired me over the years and has gotten me through some difficult times in my life. I also do not drink and I live a rather modest/conservative life so fitting in would definitely not be an issue for me.
But the overarching question I am trying to get at is do I even have a shot as a transfer student that is not affiliated in anyway with the Church of Latter Day Saints? After my rigorous research, I understand that it is rather difficult to get in as a transfer. Also, if I were to send in an application, what would I do regarding the Ecclesiastical letter of recommendation since I do not belong to any church or temple? Again, I am born and raised in New Jersey. There are barely any LDS churches in my vicinity. I do know where the closest one to me is, and I certainly do not feel comfortable converting as I feel I would be isolating myself from my family. Is conversion even an option?
If someone could provide me with insight, I would greatly appreciate it. I would love to talk to someone who has gone through a similar experience or perhaps even is a current BYU parent/student. Thank you in advance for your time and guidance!