Comments about ‘BYU first, Harvard second on U.S. News & World Report's enrollment-percentage list’

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Published: Thursday, March 11 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

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What's all the fuss about? People who apply to BYU actually want to go there.

The whole ranking business is silly. It's designed to sell magazines.

The proof of higher education is in the graduates. BYU's graduates are admitted to the best graduate and professional schools in the world, win the best fellowships, and make great contributions in the communities and on the job.

The U

I have 3 kids at the U and they all have an extremely strong LDS support group on campus. All 3 chose the U over BYU because the U has a stronger science department and love the experiences they are having. FYI - Most of the LDS prophets graduated from. . . the U!!!!!

To: To: Perturbed by Decisions

Your question is right on. I think that the supposition is that with tens of thousands of singles of the same faith in the same area, the chances of finding a "compatible" match are increased. But even at BYU, one's number of contacts are restricted to ward and class acquaintances, that might be in the hundreds. I'd guess that most major universities have large enough Mormon populations that one could find a Mormon mate.

Misreading the study

Of course this survey needs to be read carefully. I would imagine that Brown University, Cornell, University of Penn and other Ivy Leagues Schools accept a number of students who then go to Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.

Or course BYU is not in the same league as the top schools. Having said that, they do attract some pretty good students - many of whom could have attended the top schools - and they belong among the nation's top hundred schools.

Average high school GPA of incoming freshmen - 3.8
Average ACT scores of incoming freshmen - 28.2

Compare to other MWC schools: (25th and 75th percentiles for ACT)

Air Force Academy - 28/31
BYU - 25/30
TCU - 23/28
Colorado State - 22/26
Utah - 21/27
Wyoming - 21/26
San Diego State - 20/25
New Mexico - 19/25
UNLV - 19/24
U of U - 21/27

Chose USU over BYU

I am LDS, grew up outside Utah, and applied to two schools: USU and BYU. BYU accepted me and offered a scholarship, but I turned it down and enrolled at USU. BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE. I loved my time in Logan and wouldn't trade my experience there for anything in the world.

The USU LDS Institute provided a fantastic spiritual learning environment, but I was also able to cross the street and experience some true diversity of thought. I had a great mix of friends at USU who shared my faith, and many others who didn't, and that turned out to be the perfect balance for me.

Good n' Bad

Well, I had a good time at the Y, but two of my friends that came with me ended up pregnant by their sophomore year. Going to BYU does not grantee Celestial glory just as going somewhere else does not prevent it.

I think too many people (LDS and non) rely to heavily on others opinions and actions to justify themselves. I think it is best to decide for yourself who you are and what you want, then the surroundings do not matter nearly as much.

ACT Scores continued

25th/75th percentile for ACT scores

Harvard 31/35
Princeton 30/34
Columbia 28/33
Cornell 28/32

BYU 25/30
UofU 21/27
Utah State 20/27

Boise State 19/24
Idaho 20/26

Colorado 24/28
Iowa State 22/27
Kansas 21/26
Nebraska 22/28
Texas 24/30

University of Arizona 21/26
Berkeley 25/31
UCLA 24/31
Stanford 30/34
Washington 23/29

Notre Dame 31/34
Georgetown 28/32
Connecticut 24/28

Alabama 21/27
Florida 25/30
Kentucky 21/27
Vanderbilt 30/33

RE: Chose USU over BYU

First of all, I am not doubting you had an awesome experience at USU. Maybe even as awesome as the experience I am having at BYU. But how do you know you wouldn't have a great experience at BYU too? Trust me. There is plenty of "diversity of thought" at BYU if that is what you want. But if you want to cling to stereotypes, go ahead.

U of U LDS Student

I am LDS and have lived in Utah my whole life, and I go to the U. I didn't even apply to BYU. It's sad that they feel like BYU is the only place to be if you are LDS. True, the LDS faith seems to be a minority at the U, but it has been a fantastic growing experience to interact and live with people of so many different faiths. However, the LDS church is also very strong here. In the dorms the people who are LDS are all very close with one another and we have so much fun. We have LDS sororities and fraternities and various activities throughout the week to be involved with our own religion, which is fun. It's great that the people who go to BYU want to go there, but you should choose a school for the education you receive also, not jsut because its a "Mormon school". No matter where you are you can put yourself into a situation that you feel comfortable... why not be exposed to diversity as well?

Facts Are Funny Things

Did anybody else listen to the rationale of these kids who chose BYU over Princeton? Nothing about the school ranking, "how good on an institution is," they wanted to be around other Mormons. And they seem to have a few mistaken notions 1) Provo is the only place with a substantial Mormon student population and 2) you must have a substantial Mormon student population to have fun or survive.

There can be no academic justification for choosing BYU over Princeton, Stanford, or Harvard. People have come on these boards and admitted way too much. If you were in at Stanford and went to BYU, you made that choice for non academic reasons (that is for sure!)

Let's not get it twisted, BYU is #71 as an undergraduate institution. That is what they focus on as people have stated, and there are 70 schools that do it better. It is a top feeder school, because most schools with 30,000 students do research and have advanced grad programs. The U is ranked above BYU every time when overall academic prestige is taken into account (read research and grad programs).

Monsieur le prof

Every school is just what you make it. BYU has very fine programs in several areas and their degrees are first class. It enjoys a good reputation and has been rated as the best "bargain" in America because of its low tuition and its quality education.

The average GPA of entering students is very high and it's difficult to get in because of the large numbers of applicants and the cut-off cap that limits the size of the university.

Each person chooses the atmosphere he feels he will succeed in. There is no right or wrong, nor good or bad, just different. The numerical rankings are arbitrary and vary according to the pollers' (sometimes) biased opinions.

I loved my classes and teachers at BYU and found them better than those at another local school where I worked on my graduate degrees. But I would never downgrade that school.


I attended Harvard & BYU. I enjoyed both, but for religious reasons-I finished at BYU.

The real issue is who can afford college? Many low-icnome families simply cannot afford the high cost of attending college.

As a country we are losing alot of worthy students.


This is where I couldn't disagree more with le prof:

I am ready to admit that there are other considerations for university attendance than academics. Those considerations may have more to do with the students overall experience, they include: cost, ease, social environment, etc... This I grant.

But to say that the numerical rankings have no relevance is a coating you put on the pill you don't want to swallow. There is good and better, there is better and best. Why do people want to conflate the academic prestige of their school with something arbitrary like, "I liked it." Preferences do not academic excellence make.


My daughter got ACT 32 and SAT 2280 this year. She applied to BYU, ONLY BYU. Yesterday, she got the notice for her heritage scholarship. She even got some other school's schoolarship offerings even she did NOT apply to their schools, because she is a finalist for "National Merit Scholarship" and is one of the 20 Utah girl candidates for "The United States Presidential Scholars". Those offers like free 4-years full tuition plus $500 per month for living plus $2000 oversea study plus $2000 for laptop, but she don't care. She WILL go to BYU this fall. I am a happy father!

RE: Facts Are Funny Things

"Schools in the National Universities category, such as Yale and UCLA, offer a full range of undergraduate majors, master's, and doctoral degrees. These colleges also are committed to producing groundbreaking research."

This is a quote describing the "National Universities" category in US News & World Report, which ranks BYU at 71 and Utah at 126. Apparently they take undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees, as well as research into account. It is not just undergraduate rankings. Yes, facts are indeed funny things.

BYU dominates the U

How come this article doesn't mention BYU's dominance over Utah in basketball and Football the past 4 years? That's all we really want to read about anyway.


It is funny to me to watch a person get their degree from BYU, then years later they wake up and leave the mormon church.

To talk with them after a job interview and they tell how uncomfortable it was to explain BYU to HR guy.....Priceless.

Knowing now

Knowing what I know now for my profession I would have gone elsewhere, to a more prestigious school because the name of the school you go to matters. It matters a whole lot.

However, you can't beat the cost and the atmosphere as an LDS person.

Re: Proud to be part of the 22%

Ditto. I was accepted to BYU, went to Utah instead. One of the best decisions of my life.

There are plenty of schools besides BYU where you can meet other LDS people, have a great social experience, grow your testimony, and get a great education.


B Y Who ?

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