BYU edges U. as most desired school in Utah

Published: Wednesday, May 7 2014 7:40 p.m. MDT

BYU edged the University of Utah in the number of applicants for undergraduate programs this year, That data led eCollegeFinder.org to cover the state of Utah with a big BYU logo in a map showing the "most desirable school" college in each state. All Rights Reserved photo@byu.edu (801)422-7322

Jaren Wilkey/BYU

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PROVO — BYU is the "most desirable" college in Utah.

Barely.

BYU drew 11,423 undergraduate applications for fall semester 2013, while 11,354 applied to the U.

The slim, 69-application difference was enough for eCollegeFinder.org to slap an outdated BYU sports logo across the entire state of Utah on its map of "the most desirable colleges by state."

The map was based on data gathered by the National Center for Education Statistics.

KSL.com used the NCES data to dig a little deeper and found the schools actually may not be as close as the sheer number of applications make it seem.

BYU accepted fewer applicants — 49 percent — but 78 percent of those accepted went on to enroll at the Provo school.

The U. admitted 82 percent of applicants. Only 34 percent of that group enrolled.

BYU's high "yield" — the high percentage of admitted applicants who accept the school's invitation to attend — is no surprise. It was the best in the country in 2011. It was second in the nation in 2012, behind only Harvard.

Utah State University drew 9,052 applications. The school accepted 97 percent, and 44 percent of those enrolled.

Most states had a school with more applicants than BYU's yield of 11,423 applicants. That ranked 40th. Ten states were led by a school with fewer applicants than BYU or the U. had — Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Neither of the LDS Church-owned universities outside Utah led its state.

BYU-Idaho had 6,690 applicants last fall. It accepted 100 percent of them, and 52 percent enrolled.

BYU-Hawaii drew 2,664 applications. It accepted 36 percent. Of those accepted, 54 percent enrolled.

Last month, the Economist magazine listed BYU as one of the nation's best colleges or universities for return on investment.

The rankings were based on data from PayScale that looked at graduate earnings minus college costs and the average earnings of a high school graduate.

As for that outdated logo in eCollegeFinder's map, last fall, Athlon Sports magazine ranked BYU's "stretch-Y" logo the fourth best in the country.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com

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