Comments about ‘Vai's View: Vai's View: The BYU experience’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 9 2011 3:00 p.m. MST

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Hayden, ID

Excellent article and spot on! There really is a higher standard of personal behavior expected at BYU compared with almost any other university as evidenced by the honor code. Bottom line: BYU is not for everyone! Regardless, there is always a long line of qualified people who would love to go to BYU that never get that opportunity!

Murray, UT

so, college is a hard transition for incoming freshman, and some of them drop out.
Do not think this is unique to BYU.
Some kids go to several schools before they find the right fit.
All of them are not criticized in national media for it.
give the kid a break.
There is more to life then football.

Orem, UT

These are hard words about it not being about football. Wow BYU was hard in my way I can't imagine it getting harder...

Sandy, Utah

Via, I don't think they should even admit the 1 1/2%. tithing is the issue, we pay it according to obedience. Why even let the 1 1/2 % in when their are thousands of other well deserving LDS kids that miss out because of a non LDS star athlete?

My argument is right in line with your quote you use from Pres. Hinkley. "the primary purpose of BYU is not football"

Come on Via, your a Bishop, you even admit you wouldn't want your daughter bumped!


As always, Vai's comments are straight forward. You gotta like this guy's honesty.

Highland, UT

Well it is certainly hard to get into now days. My daughter was not admitted despite having a 3.8 gpa, parents that attended, grandparents that attended, a grandmother who is a 30 year employee, and quite a few very nice extracurricular acheivements.

The reason?

She grew up in Utah County.

Now fortunately she is at BYU-Idaho getting a similar experience but still local kids are actually docked points against their applications for being locals. It is now a disadvantage to live here in Utah, especially Utah County, for admission to BYU.

But for those that are deserving and are not admitted they can attend BYU-Idaho or BYU-Hawaii and then transfer to BYU-Provo after a couple of semesters as long as they keep their grades up. It is much easier to transfer in after attending one of the other two BYU's.

But I am not happy that the Board of Trustee's has decided non local kids should be given preference over locals. I know some of their justifications for doing it but I do not agree with them at all on it.

Juice Box
Eureka, UT

Pretty good article. I'm a student at the U and it's tough as it is. I, personally, chose Utah over BYU for a few personal reasons. I am happy I did, I have found a balance of confidence and challenge while still being able to enjoy my college experience. I chose not to attend an environment so socially judgmental (I say this as it is, I'm not slamming BYU). I have been to both campuses, I prefer the environment at the U. Yes, I have considered BYU and probably would have been accepted, but I am a proud Ute and love my University. For those that love the environment at BYU and thrive in it, more power to you, go be the best student you can be. In the end, it probably doesn't matter to much which university you get a degree from. However- as a Ute, I am not a fan of the stereotype that "only good/faithful mormons go to BYU, because I'm as good and as faithful as they come. Good article, good perspective.

My name is Juice Box, and I'm a Mormon. I'm also a Ute.

Alexandria, VA

But can Bronco move football up to 2 or 3 at the very least?

S Jersey Coug

Thank goodness for the 1 1/2%. I attended BYU as a nonmember, was baptized, went on a mission, returned and received a graduate degree, and have since been married in the Temple. BYU and the Church changed my life. I am not alone.

Silver Aspen

BYU's library is awesome. I was not impressed, however, with the quality of the education I received during the summer I spent there a number of years ago. Perhaps the experience is different during the school year.

Serenity Now
Highland, UT

I've always heard it said that the BYU campus, part of the Provo Mission, is the highest baptizing mission in the world....can anyone confirm that? If so, it shows that the 1 and 1/2% get A LOT of attention...

Salt Lake City, Utah

My wife and I attended BYU. Then I spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy far from Utah. After retiring from the Navy we moved back to Provo so our kids could have the BYU experience but that was the time that standards were changing and although our kids were great students and participated in extra-curricular activities at Timpview High School they could not get into BYU. Thank goodness for Utah Valley University. We're disappointed that our kids missed the experience but they got a good education at UVU and we've all adjusted to the inevitable. We understand the higher purpose of the Trustees.

Farmington, UT

I remember when Elder Oaks was made the President of BYU and once at a public meeting he talked about the issue of admissions in the realm of "not wanting BYU to be solely avilable to the 25,000 brightest kids in the Church." One thing that is considered is whether or not a person has available other opportunities such as a good local institute program. That's one reason students from Utah (the State, not the university) have a tough time because there are excellent programs at UVU, USU, U of U, SUU, Dixie, etc for spiritual development. My daughter was one of the few that has attended all 3 BYU schools.

Back before electricity when I went to BYU, a returned missionary was always admitted and I had a few roommates taking remedial classes as thery barely graduated from high scjhool but they were teriffic missionaries who finally saw the light regarding personal effort in obtaining an education. I transferred from Snow College after serving and I think a true freshman at BYU could easily be intimidated. Student Singles Wards help a great deal with the transition to college life, especially for freshmen just away from home.

Layton, UT

I love BYU football. It is an education in itself.

center valley, pa

Being a parent of four kids in the Allentown, Pa area, my wife and I have done everything we can to get our kids excited about going to BYU. It's not hard to understand why. First, the education is great. BYU offersthe best education for the price of any university in the country. Second, our four kids will have an opportunity to meet other LDS kids and hopefully, find someone of their faith to marry (yes, that's important for my wife and I). Tithing subsidizes the cost of attending BYU, and as a full tithe payer, I would be upset if one my kids (who was qualified) did not get accepted because of a desire to increase "diversity" by admitting more non-LDS students. The BYU experience is not just about obtaining an education. It's also about associating with other students who hopefully, share the same values that my wife and I have spent teaching our kids. It's about their future, their educations, their families. And hopefully all of this can be accomplished without causing me to become broke paying for it all (including the weddings)!!

Chris from Rose Park

I am also thankful for the 1.5% that are non-LDS that attend here at BYU. I have the privilege to learn along side many great students from around the world. Mostly, in engineering, I have worked with non-LDS people from India, Nepal, and one from Germany. The one from Germany has become one of my best friends.

At the same time I want to say I am thankful for the other 98.5% of the students. I love all of the friends that I have gained here over the years. I am about to graduate and when I look back on the experience I am so glad I have had the opportunity here.

I hope this is how everyone feels about where they go to school. Every place to get an education is a blessing. The majority of my buddies before college go to the U of U, LDSBC, or Utah State. Each of them are being able to have great experiences in gaining their educations. I think it's wonderful that we live in a world that prizes education.

I guess the purpose of my post is just to express an overall gratitude that their are great educational opportunities in so many places. I suppose the world, in this way, is getting better.

Beaverton, OR

Duckhunter, I know it doesn't seem fair to you that a student from elsewhere might have precedence over a Utah county student. If a Utah County student and a student from Vermont or Bulgaria, or South Africa were equally qualified, I know which one I would like to see attend BYU. If a student has grown up as one of just a couple of LDS kids in their high school, or has never been able to attend General Conference, or did not have a seminary building within hundreds of miles, doesn't it seem "fair" to give them the BYU experience? No doubt there are difficult choices for the admissions committee.

So. Cal Reader
San Diego, CA

Good article. I have three children whove enjoyed the BYU experience. One graduated and one is a freshman in Provo; and the third child will graduate from BYU-I in Dec. 2012. My only other comment to your article, Vai, is to include BYU-I as well in the "BYU Experience" discussion. My wife and I are very familiar with both schools & campuses. Candidly, we would put the spiritual experience of Rexburg above Provo, hands down. And I have yet to talk to other parents whove had children attend both campuses who didn't feel the same way as my wife and me. In fact, can I be so bold as to even say there's no comparison. My college experience was at San Diego State and University of Southern California, so I never personally experience the "BYU Experience", and I didnt have a desire to. Once our oldest started to attend Provo, I was quickly won over. I, too, am so grateful our three oldest children have wanted to and have been accepted to enjoy the BYU experience.

Baltimore, MD

Vai - this was a very insightful article. I am an advocate for increasing "diversity" at BYU, including making the extremely difficult decisions to increase the non-LDS proportion as well as LDS students from overseas. I also strongly recommend, as someone with first hand knowledge and experience, other LDS options, including the great work going on at BYU Idaho, BYU Hawaii, and Southern Virginia University. Graduates of each of these institutions are consistently achieving outstanding results that parents, students, and yes, even Bishops and Stake Presidents are hoping to realize. One stat to bear in mind: when you have 80,000 (or so) kids graduating from high school in the US/Canada each year and have 5,000 "seats" available in Provo, it creates the pressures that Vai and others are describing in the admissions process. Throw the "rest of the world" into that equation and a desire to benefit those who are not LDS and you see the challenges being faced by students and parents.

Tempe, AZ

Duckhunter, I don't think it's the fact that you live in Utah County but more that your daughter got a Utah education. My family moved from Illinois (where teachers have the 6th highest salary) to Utah (where teachers salary is 46th) while my younger brother was in high school, and he went from needing a full load of scholastic (meaning not elective) classes to graduate from his HS in IL, to only needing like a math and english and ceramics class and he could graduate a trimester early. 3.8 here doesn't equal 3.8 elsewhere.

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