Comments about ‘BYU among top 25 choices for high-performing high schoolers, study says’

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Published: Thursday, Aug. 15 2013 8:15 p.m. MDT

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Spanish Fork, UT

First of all, I am a BYU Fan but I am appalled the comments some of you are making. I am ashamed at the stupid comments towards the UofU. Why don't you just let the U be who they are a like BYU for who they are? Seems like some of you BYU fans just can't wait to get a jab in at the U every time you get a chance but when the U does it to you, you get all offended. BYU students are very competitive. Its a great school. These (mostly) LDS kids have worked very hard through High School to get into such a place. Some people just don't want to scrap for every 1/2 point. Not their personality. But really... you have to argue about everything? Grow up BYU and Utah fans... not everything is a competition.

Costa Rica, 00

For the link to the published research in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, you can refer to the BYU news release.

hymn to the silent
Holladay, UT

This is really no surprise to anybody in academia, or those of us who regularly hire college grads. High performing students function well in highly structured environments. What makes the BYU experience so polarizing is that environment. Those students who are bugged by all the rules and lack of open thinking should have gone somewhere else; likewise the kids who go to more open environments like Berkley or the UofU and complain about the lack of structure should go somewhere else as well. What's tiresome is the self-righteousness of some BYU fans believing they are the Harvard of the west. Anybody who has actually been to Harvard finds this laughable. BYU's strength is its dedication to a very structured undergrad experience. They do that very well. By the way, this article had nothing to do with football; however an in-depth tour of pac 12 schools and you would see why BYU was not invited.

Ray E.

""BYU's strong academic programs and campus culture make it a popular choice among certain groups of high schoolers"

Yes, and that "certain groups of high schoolers" are called LDS.

Get real. BYU is a good school, but it ranked high strictly because of religious affiliation.""


Why would researchers at Harvard purposely target high schools with large LDS populations? Serious students in all walks of life know of BYU's reputation for excellence. The only thing preventing many from attending is the Honor Code.

Truth Machine
Salt Lake City, UT

"After surveying more than 3,000 high-achieving high schoolers, the authors ranked Harvard, Caltech, Yale and MIT as the nation's four most popular schools [for high-performing high schoolers]. BYU ranked just after Duke and the University of Virginia, and was the only Utah school to make the top 110 schools listed by the study."

With BYU's high academic standards, well-rounded culture, and excellent athletic programs, it's no surprise that BYU is listed near the top of this study.

Saint Paul, MN

2nd comment ... I must agree with downntown424, Esquire, and strangethingintheland -- where is the study?! I did a cursory Google search, as well as searching on Harvard's website, but haven't yet found anything. Author Emma Penrod, please do tell!

Layton, UT

An article about nerds and some of you turn it into vs Utah and the Pac12. Insecure?

Average, SE

Here're the top 25 rankings from the article. BYU is the only Utah school in the full table (110 schools).

1Harvard University
3Yale University
5Stanford University
6Princeton University
7Brown University
8Columbia University
9Amherst College
11Wellesley College
12University of Pennsylvania
13University of Notre Dame
14Swarthmore College
15Cornell University
16Georgetown University
17Rice University
18Williams College
19Duke University
20University of Virginia
21Brigham Young University
22Wesleyan University
23Northwestern University
24Pomona College
25Georgia Institute of Technology

West Point , UT

I know Utah is a tier 1 research school and BYU is not. You've seen me post this multiple times. My insinuations came from the fact that the PAC 12 was more than happy to look the other way on non tier 1 schools, as you pointed out, and are obviously oblivious to the other academic qualities a university possesses (which is no surprise, again, considering these schools create their own prestige and hype). Everyone knows Utah is t1 and BYU is not in terms of research. I'm simply pointing to how snooty and biased the PAC12s vision is toward schools that obviously have merit but don't fit their liberal view of research and academics.

I've also said before: I don't think BYU is a good fit for the PAC12 so this isn't sour grapes or wanting BYU to be a member. Like U and many others, I feel the Big 12 is a better fit. I've also said Utah deserved their invite based on what the conference wanted, so congrats to them.


SSmith; nice joke, however, I never applied to BYU. I did go to the UofU.

Average, SE

Having been at multiple major universities (including BYU and Duke) for my education, training, and work, in my experience BYU students are among the most impressive I've been around. I'd put them solidly up there with Duke (which coincidentally ranks just a couple spots above BYU in this article). The average caliber of BYU students might not be quite up to Harvard, Yale, MIT, or Stanford standards but it's close. There's a reason why BYU is one of the top schools for producing students who go on to earn PhDs.

Further, BYU is considered a top tier university by all within academia I've been around. I know many universities, programs (medical, dental), and individuals who go out of their way to recruit students who went to BYU (even going as far as putting them on a special fast track for admission). People who doubt the respect that BYU and BYU students have should spend time with graduate/professional admissions committees at institutions around the country.

Layton, UT


Pacific *Athletic* Conference.

Salt Lake City, UT

Should rename the study to say, the 25 most popular schools in the country. Highly doubt these kids know anything about BYU other than it is religious and they have good sports.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

to thebigsamoan

Good catch.

to Cougsndawgs

Please. Harvard and the rest of the Ivy League (Cornell may be the exception. It sure isn't Brown) are there to tweak the status quo so only the 1% benefit.

I'm no fan of the NorCal Bay area schools but they are hot beds of innovation. Same for MIT!

As for byu being popular; my theory? If you want to be a attorney or accountant then why not go where the conformity degrees are emphasized.

Salt Lake City, UT

re: hymn to the silent

Byu isn't even the Northwestern of Utah County.

Hyrum, UT

@ JoeBlow:

No need to get real, since the study itself is already real and already acclaimed for it's legitimacy. If you could read without bias, you'd understand that religious affiliation is only ONE of many factors in the study for all schools... including BYU. To contend otherwise is stating something not found in the study itself and exposes a personal bias.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

Interesting. For years Harvard University has sent representatives to high schools just to encourage students to apply knowing full well that the vast majority could not qualify. The biggest data manipulator seeks to eliminate data manipulation. Now that is news.

The most selective universities are determined by the percentage of students who apply that actually get admitted. That is a bit more difficult to prevent data manipulation.

If you want to get into Harvard you need a 4.0, must be student body president and drum major in the band. Harvard Universities make the university, it is not the other way around.

River Falls, WI

@ Cougsndawgs
My bad, I misread your original post. I agree with you 100% that we're better off not being in the PAC12, partly because of the academic, religious, and political snobbery that takes place among the movers and shakers in the conference. The Big 12 would be a much better fit... but until then independence is working out much better than I expected (I admit I hated the idea when it was first announced).

@ Neuron
I've also lived, studied, and taught at several universities outside of Utah and my experience has been similar to yours. BYU enjoys a well-deserved reputation for producing outstanding students and employees.

@ BYU Rugby
I don't understand why you'd discourage out-of-staters from going to the Y, I believe the BYU experience is unlike what you'll find anywhere else and I hope my kids choose to go there. As a current institute teacher (and a former institute teacher at another Big 10 school) I know that we can't replicate what BYU has... or what is offered at the UofU, UVU, and USU institutes. In "in-the-bubble" experience can be really great for out-of-state kids.

Hyrum, UT

@ JohnInSLC:

Yes, many of us already read the article you mentioned. But most of us are also informed enough to know that a very small student athlete issue regarding an online course restricted by NCAA athletic department rules doesn't have anything to do with this broader based high achievers study. Only a ute troll with a personal bias would think otherwise. And out of 36 posts so far, only 1 has. As such, the only LOL is on you.

Genola, UT

A link to the study can be found on BYU's home page. There are a couple of points about the article that should be made. First, the authors of the study came from multiple institutions including Harvard, Stanford and Boston University. Second, BYU should not be referred to as a Utah school. It is a school that is located in Utah but, unlike the state universities, most of its students are not from Utah. BYU has a very unique mission that is attractive to a very selective group of students who tend to be high-achieving. Students may choose to go to BYU for reasons other than academics.

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