PROVO Brigham Young University students have long been known as the most sober in the country. Now students in two of BYU's graduate programs have revealed themselves to be the ultra-competitive.
For 10 years, surveys of college students have placed BYU first on the Princeton Review's list of "stone-cold sober" schools. In two new books, the company ranks students in BYU's law school and graduate business programs No. 1 in the category "Most Competitive Students."
Does that mean BYU grad students are running around with 8-ounce milk cartons under one arm while throwing elbows at each other with the other?
"I think it totally could," said a laughing Robert Franek, Princeton Review vice president and publisher. "They're all like Mitt Romney, right?"
Romney, of course, is a BYU graduate who gave $1 million to the business school and is throwing political elbows as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination.
The Princeton Review rankings hit the streets today with the release of the books "Best 170 Law Schools" and "Best 290 Business Schools." They are designed to help graduate school applicants find the right fit, Franek said.
"When thinking about going into professional school, some students want to know there is going to be an incredibly competitive atmosphere there and other students know they won't excel in that kind of environment. You want to find the environment for you. It's hard to see that from an average GPA or GMAT score."
The Princeton Review includes those kinds of statistics in its books, but it compiled the competition rankings based on surveys of 18,000 law students and 19,000 graduate business students.
Franek was surprised to find BYU finish No. 1 in competitiveness on both lists, especially because the criteria were different, and BYU was the only school to appear on both lists.
The competitive ranking for the law school book was based on four questions the average hour of sleep a student gets each night, the hours a student studies outside class, the hours a student believes classmates study outside class and the degree of competitiveness among students at the school.
How the business ranking considered competitiveness among classmates: how heavy the workload is and the perceived academic pressure.
"This goes hand in hand with the rankings we've seen recently where they've done so well," BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said of the business and law schools. "It speaks to the rigor of both programs."
BYU and the University of Utah made several other lists.
BYU's Marriott School of Management and the David Eccles School of Business at the U. ranked No. 2 and No. 7, respectively for "Most Family Friendly." Dartmouth College was No. 1. The category was based on survey questions about how happy married students are, how many students have children, how helpful the school is to students with children and how much the school does for spouses of students.
BYU's business school was third on a list titled "Best Administered," which asked students to rate how smoothly the school is run and how easy or difficult it is to get into required and popular courses. New York University was No. 1.
BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School was No. 3 for "Students Lean to the Right." Regent University was first.
The S.J. Quinney College of Law was No. 10 for "Most Welcoming of Older Students." The ranking was based on the average age of entry of law school students, which at the U. is 28, and how many years students spent out of college before enrolling in the law school. Queens College in New York was No. 1."These are the things we think students would want to know about," Franek said.