Comments about ‘Ask Angela: I don't want to go to BYU’

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Published: Monday, July 7 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Harwich, MA

Not wanting to go to BYU is an excellent choice. I can go on for pages why but follow your personal inspiration and go where you want. You'll be happier and more successful.


Look into Southern Virginia University. It's like a mini-BYU in Virginia and the price is reasonable.


Most colleges have an institute building nearby, so if you can get a scholarship to the school of your choice and figure out living expenses you should be fine. Another option if you want to go east and yet go to a school with LDS influence, there is Southern Virginia University. The website says it is a "private liberal arts college dedicated to educating Latter-day Saints and those with similar standards and ideals." Good luck.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Ya got to be logical. The Barby dream world isn't for every one. I'm not a Senators son so I've had to face the reality of money situation. Is it real or is it fantasy.

Kearns, UT

She also needs to figure in the costs and time involved in travel for holidays and other family activities.

BYU is an excellent choice for a college education. I have my degree partly from BYU and from a school in the East. I completed my college after I was married and had children. I don't see any advantage to attending in the East unless her major is highly specialized at a particular school. If I were to go back to college as a single student, I would choose to live on campus with meals provided. I noticed BYU even rents cars now. Non of our children had cars at BYU. It was easier to use public transportation. If she attended school in the East she would probably use public transportation too.

If she really wants to travel, then she could do that during breaks and in the summer. If she wants to surround herself with those from other countries, BYU has plenty to choose from. It is not all pasty white. She can also sign up for travel abroad studies at BYU.

St George, Utah

How about the GI Bill or whatever it is called these days?

Sore loser
tampa, fl

I am of the opinion that the Ask Angela columns would be better classified as part of the Family, Sports, Opinion, MoneyWise, or start a new section called Culture/Style. I am not sure if its really a Faith subject.

Lilburn, GA

There are a lot of great schools here in the East. Many are reasonably priced (once you get residency for state universities). I would say stick to the universities in bigger cities, they have the biggest institutes. Do what you feel is right for yourself. If you always do what others want you to do, and not what you feel is right for yourself, you won't ever be completely happy. Good Luck and God Bless in this decision.

Redlands, CA

My criteria for college was small, out of state, and not BYU-Idaho. I wound up going to Idaho State just three hours from Salt Lake. It got me out of the house, out of the state, but not too far away. BYU isn't the end all, be all of colleges for LDS people; there are a lot of good choices out there, including back East. Good luck!

Charlottesville, VA

Don't ask anyone where the nearest temple is. There's an Internet. Look it up on Google Maps, ldschurchtemples, or the LDS temples website. But you're a teenager; I'm sure you already knew that.

I'm not so sure, however, that you know what "Hola" means. You seem to think it means "Hooray!" Either that, or you decided to start talking and then randomly interrupt your train of thought to go back and say hi.

Centennial, CO

As someone with 3 college-age kids who all went/are going to different schools:

Parents need to see a plan, in detail: what you're majoring in, what it will cost, how much you will pay and what you will do to earn the money, how long it will take to graduate, if you can earn college credit before you go, where you will live, where the local Institute is, name of the bishop of the local singles ward (from mormon.org), etc. The more detail, the better. Include why exactly you want to go, minimizing the whiny kid stuff ("I'm TIRED of Utah!")

If your parents are reasonable people and you have clearly put in a lot of thought, you have a much better chance of success. Putting together a plan like that is an indication to your parents that you really are as mature as you think you are. Good luck!

Casey See

For LDS students who hope to marry another LDS person, your options become very limited if you choose to attend school outside of Utah, Arizona, Idaho, and California. However there are pockets of large single LDS populations in various parts of the country such as Atlanta, Washington, DC, and I believe the Boston and Tobacco Road (Duke, NC, NC State, Wake Forest) NC area. Having lived outside of the Inter-mountain west their is a huge percentage of LDS students who choose to stay close to home for college who eventually find a spouse outside the LDS church and become less active.

As a parent and church leaders, we are extremely concerned about this statistic. Be sure to check out the size of the LDS institute in your area you wish to study. Many have less than 20 or 30 students. This limits the dating pool.

Having said all of this, I also found my wife while at Grad-School. I told my friends that all it takes is one diamond in a coal mine. But be careful. You will have to sift through a lot of coal should you go to a school with a very small LDS population.

orem, UT

This is a common feeling for Utah Mormon kids, that they'd like to experience more of the world than just more of the same from what they've grown up with. I think it's healthy. I also think the parent's concerns are valid. A relative of mine had the philosophy for their kids that for undergraduate studies (or the first 2 years) their kids would attend BYU. Ater that they could go anywhere. It has worked well for them.

Another point is often the adjustment from teenager at home to young adult at school is more difficult than a high school senior might suppose. Suddenly things the parents have taken care of are the young adults responsibility and it can be overwhelming. Wise parents keep this in mind as they "launch" their children. Some college environments are easier than others in facilitating this transition. This may be part of this high school senior's parent's motivation in their opinion and not just tradition - as might easily be supposed by a teenager.

Somewhere in Time, UT

I attended another university but graduated from BYU. I consider having attended BYU to one of the greatest blessings of my life. Most people who say negative things about going to BYU are saying them because they couldn't get in. If you can get in and don't go, that's your right, but there are many thousands of other kids who will be thrilled to take your place. You might want to think about it a while longer.

buena vista, VA

Sounds like Southern Virginia University might be the right fit for you. It is East Coast and something like 91% LDS. It is the least expensive Private Liberal Arts school on the East coast. I went there and loved every minute of it and by working hard and getting scholarships i came out with little student loan debt. I highly recommend looking at it. www.svu.edu

Charlottesville, VA

@TimD: SVU tuition is $14,600 per year. BYU is $4,850. SVU may have a lot to offer, but if the goal is to escape the "Mormon bubble" and have the experience of being LDS in a predominantly non-LDS environment, going to SVU won't do that--nor does it have BYU's academic reputation.

@McMurphy: Going into the military instead of college may be the right choice for many people, but young Mormons who want to serve missions and get married and who can afford college now might do better to consider ROTC if they want to serve their country. Otherwise, you end up being 26 or so before you get out and start school. The military is selective nowadays in enlistments--they have enough recruits. No one should enlist simply for the sake of some notion of duty.

@Casey Sue: Comparing non-Mormons to coal and Mormons to diamonds may not be very helpful to missionary efforts. I appreciate your wisdom, but please think about your word choice.

I'm saying this one who enjoyed BYU, my East Coast grad school, and serving in the military, but recognizes none of these choices are for everyone.

Danbury, CT

There are so many great universities in this and other countries. What is it you're looking for exactly in an education experience? What do you want to be doing in the future? What do you want to be able to say your university experience did for you? What kinds of people do you want to meet?

You've stated a clear reason why not BYU, but what do you want? If you can answer those questions, it will help those advising you.

As for finding other LDS students, there are institutes in practically every university in the country and many overseas.

Do you want to live permanently outside of Utah? If you do, going to a university far from home will likely take you on a path where you will find employment, friends and likely someone you marry...far from your current home. If that's what you want and it's your dream...go for it!!

I love my family in Utah but have never had any desire to live there. btw, I met lots of non Utah students and friends at BYU (75% of students are from outside the state). I even married one!

Riverdale, MD

The only real issue here is financial.

You can keep your testimony anywhere if that is what you want to do. If you choose a school with a good institute program you can find good lds friends, maybe even some lds roommates, as well as the benefit of religion classes. If you're having trouble convincing your parents about this, just find someone who did it and listen to their experience. I grew up in Seattle and I know that the University of Washington institute is really strong.

Solving the financial problem is more difficult. I don't think you're justified in taking a student loan so that you can attend school on the East Coast. Investigate the possibility of scholarships. I think you'll find that public schools have mostly need based scholarships. But maybe you can find a scholarship based on your major? I know there are special scholarships for certain fields--teachers, or women in engineering or math, maybe. You also could consider doing a church school for undergrad (BYU-Hawaii?) and doing grad school in the East when you're more likely to find a fellowship that will pay all of your tuition.

Danbury, CT


My fellow New Englander. How does where you go to school have anything to do with one's happiness and success? You may hate BYU so I'll grant you wouldn't be happy there. But happiness and success have more to do with one's perspective in life and finding positives in what you do and who you are with.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Gosh byu is the best choice by far. Gosh I hope she goes there.

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