BYU is America's most popular school, again

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  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Jan. 28, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    BYU is such an outlier when you look at it. BYU has a very unique niche they fill, and students are attracted to it not for its academics, though they quality and worthwhile, but for the BYU-experience. In just about every field you will find a school that is better. But no school can provide that unique experience that the Y does - much to the heart ache of many parents who don't live in Utah.

    BYU's mission has always been a bit fuzzy to me. World class academics is said to be one. But that is hardly the reason many go there. It is that other "intangible" that most who apply and their parents are going after.

    Now Rexburg is a fine place for some. You have to be singularly focused on those other intangibles the school offers to want to go there. Educationally, it is adequet. But for many kids, it is not their first choice unless they are realistic about their educational record.

    BYU has a very highly self selecting, focused target audience. Not many apply where BYU isn't their first choice. The typical Harved, Yale, Stanford applicants are looking for something else.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Jan. 26, 2011 8:52 p.m.

    ... and just like last year, this is based on statistics that would get you an F in a BYU Stats class ...

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Jan. 26, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    The following comment by Fibonacci represents exactly what I am talking about:

    "It's been said that most U of U students have one thing in common with BYU students - they both applied to go to "the Y". I guess those tough BYU academic entrance standards can be a real disappointment for some."

    See what I mean? This attitude is pervasive in this State. It is not what the Church teaches so why do we have such a hard time following?

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Jan. 26, 2011 11:25 a.m.


    Amen, brother. I, too, graduated from BYU. Even though I have always been active and "worthy", I was always disgusted by the arrogance that permeated that campus.

    I enjoyed my education, and I think I got a good one.

    But the keeping up appearances, self-promotion, and self-righteousness was so thick you could cut it with a knife.

    School spirit and pride is one thing, but when it is combined with self-righteousness as it is at BYU, it transforms into a horrid holier-than-thou haughtiness.

    Articles such as these only stoke the supercilious conflagration.

  • Vanka Provo, UT
    Jan. 26, 2011 11:06 a.m.

    "Most popular"

    Is this something like what we heard over and over a few years ago about the LDS Church: "fastest growing"?

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Jan. 26, 2011 10:55 a.m.

    Ted H,

    You missed the point entirely. I didn't mention anything about Utah. Besides, there is no perception in the State of Utah or beyond that Utah carries a "holier than thou" attitude. There is that perception about BYU and articles like this just stoke the fire. These articles are more appropiate for the student newspaper, "The Daily Universe".

    Why are you so quick to judge that I hate BYU? Actually, I am one of those that applied to BYU and got accepted there and earned a masters degree there. I met my wife there. We are still married after 32 years. We have four kids in college. All of them qualify both scholastically and spiritually (three are returned missionaries) to attend BYU but elected to make applications at other Universities. None of them applied to BYU. Does that make them less in your eyes? There is a real feeling in this State that if you grow up in the Church but don't attend BYU then you are not as good as those that do. Until that is recognized and dealt with in this State we have no chance of bridging what divides us.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Jan. 26, 2011 9:15 a.m.


    Would you be throwing the same hissy fit if the study showed that Utah was the most popular, with popular being how the study describes it?

    Or is it just your continual hatred for byu?

    Don't bother answering - we know.

    And don't forget - byu, the mormons, and the des news did not conduct this study.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 10:01 p.m.

    fresnogirl and others,

    You have obviously not read all my posts. In the past I have posted comments defending BYU's academic standing, their research status, their rights as a private university and I have even advocated that if the PAC 12 expands in the future that BYU should be invited as a member of the conference.

    What hurts BYU in Utah and other parts of the country is the perception that they are better than everyone else and that they carry a "holier than thou attitude". The Deseret News has said in mission statements that they want to change the civil discourse in this community and that it is their desire to bridge the "religious divide" that hangs over most of what goes on in Utah. I find that articles such as this serve to continue the perception that BYU is "holier than thou" and better than anyone else. Others may not see it that way. But I believe the Deseret News does a disservice to the community by fomenting this perception with articles like this proclaiming BYU as the most popular University. Others will disagree but it is how I see it.

  • Cougarista Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 9:40 p.m.

    Compare the SAT scores of incoming freshman at BYU with the other Utah schools if you want something stunning. They're available online.

  • You know it Apo, AP
    Jan. 25, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    It seems the people most irritated by this article are those who don't understand the statistic.

    They are calling the winner of this stat "the most popular school" which means that when accepted to the school, you enroll.

    It is interesting that about 23% of people accepted at Harvard turn them down, roughly the same as BYU.

    Of note, BYU has many more freshmen than Harvard each year.

    In general, the higher the denominator the harder it is to get high or low numbers in a rating like this. (This is also true for low denominators.) Hence, most schools in the top have 2-4k enrolling students.

    I'm impressed with Florida and Oral Roberts pulling in good numbers as well for their respective student populations.

    BYU was a wonderful school to attend! I highly recommend it.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Jan. 25, 2011 8:51 p.m.

    I knew it. Look at all these trolls. Hillarious to watch them hyperventilate.

    Just to take the edge off they should read more than the headline. Then they'd understand that the report isn't saying it's the most popular school for all americans....Oh never mind, if I need to explain it, it's not funny anymore.

    Keep hyperventilating!!! Too much entertainment.

  • Duh west jordan, ut
    Jan. 25, 2011 8:36 p.m.

    At rodgerdpack2.....uh yeah!! Most colleges take the smart ones. It is harder to get into a 4 year college if your not.

  • srh83 Hillsboro, OR
    Jan. 25, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    @ Mount Olympus,

    Looks like you need to read or re-read the article. There is nothing there that says that BYU accepts 78% of all applicants. It does however say that 78% of accepted applicants choose to go to BYU rather than go to another school. Those are two completely different things.

  • C1 Saint George, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 8:23 p.m.

    Whoop tee do.

  • rogerdpack2 Orem, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 7:39 p.m.

    My question is, if BYU attracts reasonably "credentialed" freshmen (high SAT's or what not), how is it able to accept like 80% of applicants? It's like, if you're not smart, don't apply, or what?

  • Bigdude Twin Falls, ID
    Jan. 25, 2011 7:38 p.m.

    You're right! Only the Desnews would post this. Oh, and that other news source that actually did the research and ranks all the schools in the country.

  • Fibonacci Centerville, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 5:48 p.m.

    It's been said that most U of U students have one thing in common with BYU students - they both applied to go to "the Y". :)

    I guess those tough BYU academic entrance standards can be a real disappointment for some.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    Jan. 25, 2011 5:45 p.m.

    And of course Dutchman couldn't ever pass up a chance to try to minimize anything positive about BYU. Predictable....

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 5:42 p.m.

    If you're mormon, you want to go to the mormon school. If you're not, you don't even apply. Ergo, a high yield of applicants willing to accept.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 5:29 p.m.

    Hilarious to see all these bitter kids get bent out of shape over something like this.

    I'd tell you to grow up, but I'd have a greater chance with my 8 month old.

  • sisucas San Bernardino, CA
    Jan. 25, 2011 5:27 p.m.

    This headline is pretty misleading. BYU isn't the most popular school at all; the stats only mean that peopld who get into BYU are more likely to matriculate than those accepted at other schools. A lot of comment-makers here don't seem to understand that either. Personally, I had an awesome time at BYU and would recommend it to anyone, but I had friends and family who loved the U, Utah State, Weber State and UVU. There were also students from each of these schools in my graduate school. Utahns should feel lucky that they have so many great educational opportunities.

  • juni4ling Somewhere in Colorado, CO
    Jan. 25, 2011 5:16 p.m.

    Interesting statistics...

    I didn't go to BYU, but you have to respect many of their programs...

    Yeah, when an LDS kid decides where they are going to apply, they are more than likely, trying to go to BYU as their first choice. When I graduated HS I had a friend who turned down the AFA to go to BYU, and another who turned down several Ivy-league schools to go to BYU.

    If you are planning on going on a mission, you got to know that BYU is going to accomodate you... And I believe that right there is the reason they are ranked "popular."

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 5:12 p.m.


    Rankings can be relative though, dependent on scheme used to calculate them. For instance in the worldwide Shanghai rankings the U of U was 82nd globally (47th in US) and BYU was in the 301-400 range globally (112-137th in US). So I have to take both rankings with a grain of salt. Which ranking system is closer to the truth? *shrugs* No clue. It's probably in between the two. They're both very good schools.

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    Jan. 25, 2011 4:57 p.m.

    Although my profession leaves me more interested in the rankings of specific programs instead of universities as a whole, I still find the latest rankings to be quite interesting. Here are excerpts of how the Utah schools compare:

    Rank: 75
    Fall 2009 Acceptance Rate: 69%
    Tuition and Fees: $4,420

    University of Utah
    Rank: 129
    Fall 2009 Acceptance Rate: 80%
    Tuition and Fees (In-State): $6,274

    Utah State University
    Rank: 170
    Fall 2009 Acceptance Rate: 98%
    Tuition and Fees (In-State): %5,150

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 4:45 p.m.


    "wasn't BYU the most hated school in America according SI a few years ago?? Now the Y is the most popular. Wow, other than the menu at the Cougar Eat, what's changed???"

    Probably nothing, the hated school in America title is won by being hated by everyone outside of the school. The metric used here to define popularity is the rate that students given offers accept the offer to come here. It's a completely different standard used for the two things so technically a school could be most hated and most liked at the same time.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 4:42 p.m.

    "That headline ought to drive a few folks up north crazy."

    Not at all because we're familiar with the reason why this is the case. It's not academic rank (like Harvard) nor is it "it's the only school within 200 miles of home" like those Alaska or North Dakota ones. This is purely because of the LDS culture and how BYU provides something that is highly valued to about 1-2% of the US population and no other school (other than other BYUs) can provide. Those who want that sort of thing target BYU and choose it if they get in, those who don't just plain don't apply to BYU at all, so you get a really high percentage acceptance rate. That's all, nothing that a Ute like me should be upset about.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 4:25 p.m.

    What this means is that many people apply to the U as a back-up plan. If they don't get into one of their preferred choices, they go to the U of U. If BYU is one of the ones that accepted them, they are more likely to go there over the other schools that accepted them.

  • tweedmeister Yakima, WA
    Jan. 25, 2011 4:22 p.m.

    This has nothing to do with BYU being an LDS school and Deseret News being an organ of the LDS church?

    As for the faulty and simplistic "statistics" of this article, go back and read comments by alert reader "Mount Olympus."

    C'mon, DN. We need people reporting the real news. Lots of things are happening in the big world. Report them.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 4:15 p.m.

    Everyone knows that the Pac 12 and Big 12 don't want schools that refuse to play on Sunday. Since Utah has no standards, they fit right in. I should know, I went to Utah. They truly have no moral code and I've never heard of anyone who couldn't get past the academic standards (what academic standards?). I've even known people who got accepted at Utah who never even graduated from high school.

    Fortunately, I was able to tranfer and graduate from BYU. It was like coming out of the darkness into the light.

    BYU is truly a special place with outstanding students and faculty. Many people want to go there and can't get accepted. That's why UVU has gotten so huge. Many students are there to get their GPA up so they can transfer into BYU. If not, they want to be in the BYU environment.

    From a grateful alum.....Go COUGS!!!

  • ST Layton, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 4:07 p.m.

    come on people if you don't have something nice to say ... then don't say anything at all.

  • ST Layton, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    As a Utah and BYU fan - both in academics and sports ...
    I would just like to say - would all you moronic hater types quit bashing someone elses school, grow up or just go away.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    Only the Deseret News would publish such a meaningless survey. I bet I won't find it in the New York Times, Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times. Although, maybe President Obama will mention the results in his State of the Union address tonight. It is obviously so earth shattering. Maybe the Nobel Prize Committee in Stockholm, Sweden should look into it.

  • 2TimeBCSbuster Holladay, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    and the Big12 and Pac12 still don't want them?

  • Big Daddy Ute Logan, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 3:41 p.m.

    Hmmmmm, lets see here. If I am Mormon, BYU is the largest Mormon school. I love being a Mormon and I want to be with other Mormons, and learn beside other Mormons. I apply at BYU, my dream school. I get accepted. You bet your butt I am going. The headline is misleading and this stat has no value whatsoever as to how popular BYU is outside of the Mormon community.

  • BigCougFan Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    What it means is more people prefer BYU than the others... it's interesting that the school in Salt Lake doesn't make the list.. at all.

    and it means that lots and lots of kids grow up wanting to attend the Y.. some are unable to and end up at the U of U or some other school. But it doesn't make those schools bad. It's just a good reflection on the Y !!!

    It's always good to be a Cougar!

  • ute alumni Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    mt. oly:

    Lots of people do not want to go to the Y as there are both academic and moral codes that many do not want to deal with. You must have gone to Harvard.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    wasn't BYU the most hated school in America according SI a few years ago?? Now the Y is the most popular. Wow, other than the menu at the Cougar Eat, what's changed???

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Jan. 25, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    Ahhh this is just so hillarious, I can just see eyes popping out of the heads of trolls right now, pacing back in forth, cussing everything BYU and Mormon as they go. Whoever typed this headline has been laughing for over an hour now.

    Heads are exploding everywhere trying to think of a way to put a negative spin on this...I really feel sorry for the trolls today.

  • Mount Olympus Holladay, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 3:25 p.m.

    Don't forget Idaho State and North Dakota are in the top 10.

    If someone wants to go to BYU then they apply and most likely get accepted and go there. BYU accepts 78% of applicants.
    If someone wants to go to Harvard, most likely they don't. Harvard only accepts 5.9% of applicants. If someone wants to go to Stanford, good luck to them, as Stanford only accepts 9% of applicants.

    If BYU was America's most popular school, they would have many, many more people applying to go there, and not be able to accept 78% of applicants.

  • mtgirl2 Saint George, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 3:13 p.m.

    I'm sure being a Mormon school has nothing to do with this either.....

  • Lux et Veritas Draper, UT
    Jan. 25, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    and Georgia Southern and the University of Alaska are both more "popular" than Yale, which clearly means they are better schools.

  • DaveKnowsWhatsUp Bloomington, IN
    Jan. 25, 2011 3:00 p.m.

    That headline ought to drive a few folks up north crazy.

    I love it though.