BYU was also No. 1 for most religious students.
Late LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley regularly cheered BYU's top ranking. In fact, he first commented on the rankings two years before BYU reached No. 1. In a 1996 campus devotional address titled "Stand Up for Truth," President Hinckley began by saying it was "a rare privilege to speak to this 'stone-cold sober' gathering of university students."
The No. 1 school was Deep Springs College in tiny Dyer, Nev. BYU was No. 2. President Hinckley congratulated students on being No. 1 among big universities.
To those who responded to the survey that year, he said, "You spoke for this whole vast student body, and you spoke in such a way as to make us proud of you. I hope that while others may gain the reputation for being stone-cold inebriated — if that's what 'partying' denotes — you will be recognized for being stone-cold sober and alert and on top of things."
"Each of our 376 best colleges offers outstanding academics," said Robert Franek, the book's author and Princeton Review senior vice president/publisher in a press release. "We don't rank them hierarchically, 1 to 376, because they differ widely — and importantly — in their program offerings and campus culture, and that is their strength. Instead, we tally lists of the top 20 schools in 62 categories based entirely on what students at these schools tell us about their campus experiences. Our goal is not to crown one college 'best' overall, but to help applicants find and get in to the college best for them."
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