Utah passes BYU in acceptance rate for first time in 20 years

Pretty fascinating to see that happening, and look at the applications to Utah!

No! That’s impossible!


I am sure the East Provo Ecclesiastical Post High School Playground will come up with some sort of BS filler to drive their acceptance rates down so they can look exclusive.

The truth is it has always been more rigorous over the last 20 years to get into Utah than the East Provo Sewer District. It has been more a question of do you want to do the paperwork and sell your soul.


Would be interesting to see the conversion rates for each university.

2020 data will be especially interesting with the introduction of common app.

Couple of questions, and this may be due to my distance, physically and time wise from school.

What do you mean by conversion rate, and what is the conversion app?


Conversion rate would be those that actually enroll vs those accepted. IOW, How successful is the university at converting accepted students into enrolled students.

The Common Application is an application format adopted by hundreds upon hundreds of colleges across the country and allows an applicant to fill out a single application that will be used by all the colleges in that “network”. Westminister and Utah use it in Utah. You basically fill out the application then hit the button of where you want the application to go —- makes adding college choices to the application process super simple so you’d expect more applications when adopted. I was under the impression Utah adopted it for this years Fall class.

Utah adopts common app

Common app


Thank you for explanation. It’s definitely a function of my time away from higher ed, than anything.

BYU admits 65% of applicants? That seems high considering how many people want that reduced tuition. Maybe these are numbers for the BYU system.

I wonder what impact BYU-Idaho has had on BYU-Provo apps? Kids from SoCal seem to want to go there. They seem to think of the Rexburg campus as a friendlier, less snobby place to go, and grads from there seem to do just fine in careers and grad school applications.

I think it’s widely recognized outside of true-blue enclaves that the real reason BYU has been hard to get into is that it’s the overwhelming choice of highly-qualified LDS kids. The tuition is otherworldly, it’s seen as a “safe” option, and it is considered divinely approved. It’s not seen as the Harvard of the West except by people who are uninformed or who believe the hype put out by BYU administrators or by smug graduates. And those who do hold that belief hold it in every fiber of their being.


I think it was @Scratch who said something about BYU having the highest ratio of high quality students to mediocre staff of any school in the nation. Meaning the smart LDS kids are going there making the acceptance requirements very high, but it is, for the reasons you cited, not necessarily the quality of education.


I’ve said that or similar things in the past. It was primarily in the context of school rankings. A lot of BYU advocates point to various rankings to argue that BYU is a better school than Utah. The problem is that many of those rankings rely heavily on metrics that stem directly from the quality of students (high school GPA, ACT and SAT scores, placement into grad schools, future earnings, etc.). Of course, those metrics are almost entirely due to the quality of student and have very little to do with the actual education those students receive.

Now, with most schools those metrics are pretty indicative of the quality of education simply because the most qualified students are going to search out and attend the best universities; in most situations, therefore, the quality of admitted students is a good proxy for the quality of the university. Of course, that’s not true for BYU. As people have noted, the primary drivers for BYU are things like the perceived safe LDS environment, cheap tuition, opportunity to find an LDS spouse, etc. In other words, quality of enrolling student at BYU is not a good proxy for quality of education.

Finally, this isn’t speculative. If you look at ranking systems that ignore (or at least put very little weight on) metrics that are tied to the student body, BYU does not fare as well and is completely blown away by the U. This includes stuff like faculty accomplishments, research money, etc.


As someone who is LDS I don’t see the BYU-Provo model as sustainable for the church. I don’t mean that it is going to go away but where its original purpose was to provide affordable quality education for LDS members it has strayed from that goal. Meaning it has become a school for ‘elites’ (which interestingly was not really the case when I was in college 20 years ago - it wasn’t hard to get into BYU then - they accepted me after all - I was encouraged by my high school counselor to at least apply to multiple in state colleges, I had no real intention of going there).

BYU-I and now BYU-Pathways (online BYU) hold far more true to that goal and I expect to see far more resources put into those programs and expanding their offerings from there. BYU-Pathways is interesting because it is a path for people around the world to get a college education and could be a real difference maker for people where that level of education was never a reality.


When I graduated from HS in 1985 it was well known that BYU (and Ricks for that matter) would pretty much accept anyone with a pulse. One only needed to take the ACT and apply. It was pitched at our heavily Mormon HS in Alberta as an easy alternative to trying to get into the much more rigorous University of Alberta or even U of Calgary. If you wanted a good chance to get into a university one could stay local and go to University of Lethbridge or you could just go down to “the Y” and have no problem getting in and graduating. The other major universities in Alberta were pitched for those who wanted to pursue a more academic path. Several of my peers went to “the Y” because it was away from home and they could get in. I went the other direction.


You chose wisely.

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Come on guys. Yes, BYU is a weird place and isn’t for everyone, but, from an academic standpoint you can come away with a rock solid education.

If by ‘rock solid’ you mean pedestrian, average, or run of the mill then yes. The reality is that academically BYU is UVU with a law school. Not particularly remarkable other than having really cheap tuition and a religious bent that is attractive to members of the faith. The education is equivalent to any available just about anywhere at any JC or local college in the country. But let’s not pretend that there is anything close to academic rigor there.


Like all schools it depends on your major, but I agree you can get a good education there. It just isn’t the Ivy League equivalent some of their fans portray it to be.


Like Rocker said, it’s a good school and you can get a good education there. This isn’t about saying that BYU’s not a very good school, it absolutely is. I think we’re just saying that it’s not the school that many of its boosters say it is, nor is it the school that some ranking systems say it is. Ironically, lots of BYU boosters seem to think it’s even better and more prestigious than even the most favorable rankings.


You can get a very good education there. It just ain’t the Yale or Harvard or Stanford many say it is. Kind of like they are not the Notre Dame of the West.

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I like to trash-talk the school in Provorem…a lot but comparing their offering to the U is really an apples v. oranges comparison. TDS is a teaching university. Like all teaching universities, they do some research; but their primary mission is to teach educational skills to their students to make them better able to work and serve the communities where they go to live. Their foreign languages programs are some of the best in the world. In short, they have to be in that they support the university with a number of lucrative contracts with the US Government.

The U is a research university. Undergrad students go there to try to be on the cutting edge of their discipline. With $200 million rolling in the front door to fund research, it makes sense young people would want to be a part of that. It’s something you can really only do at Utah, if you want to be in Utah.

Finally, the University is requiring some entrance requirements more than the fog a mirror that existed when I was an undergrad. Open enrollment in that day led to a 70 percent freshman washout rate. In that day, the undergraduate programs survived on JUCO transfers.

Ok, went off on a tangent. As much as BYU sucks, they aren’t bad at what they are…a teaching school.