"Ignorance isn't only for deep things." -Dragon Lady
Question #26691 posted on 09/16/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Random thought to get things started: when receiving acceptance letters from universities, I thought it kind of odd that BYU didn't require a reply of intent. My friend's thought - well, that's arrogant of them.

Regardless of arrogance, I figure there's got to be some fall out... some difference between the number of people that are accepted and the number that register for that year.

My question is this: What's the percentage difference between those accepted and those who attend (register) here at BYU Provo and how does that compare to BYU-Idaho? What about Hawaii?

- Questionable Humility

A: Dear Questionable Humility,

I went over to the ASB to ask about why BYU doesn't require a reply of intent: it's less hassle. If employees have to track whether or not someone is intending to come to BYU, it requires a lot more effort. So, if a student doesn't sign up for classes, administration just assumes he isn't coming. BYU overbooks students like an airline, knowing that some students will choose to go elsewhere. So it's not out of arrogance that BYU doesn't require a letter of intent, it's out of convenience. Also, BYU-Idaho does require a letter of intent.

A: Dear Questionable Humility,

Let's start with knowing the population of the student body at each of these schools. BYU-Provo hosts approximately 33,000 students. BYU-Idaho has approximately 12,000. And currently BYU-Hawaii school hosts approximately 2400 students, which is just a mere handful compared to BYU-Provo and BYU-Idaho.

And now here are some numbers. BYU-Provo has an acceptance rate of 78 percent. BYU-Idaho has an acceptance rate of 60 to 65 percent. BYU-Hawaii has a really, really low acceptance rate. Currently it is at 11 percent--in 2003 it was 30 percent.

But acceptance rates can be misleading. And so can rankings. A great article at http://www.collegenews.org/x2732.xml addresses this very issue. According to the author, "what matters is the quality of the educational experience and the many ways students' lives are transformed." Therefore you can either live by the numbers or you can take your chances--each school does look at other objectives besides just GPAs and ACT scores.

As another example, according to BusinessWeek Online, the acceptance rate for BYU's Marriott School of Management graduate program in 1999 was 42 percent. However, that number was somewhat misleading because the applicant pool was small--many students don't bother to apply because the ethics code and school culture don't fit their lifestyles. The same goes with all BYU undergraduate institutions. Some just don't bother applying.

That's probably more information than you wanted to know, but considering this question has passed through two adjunct (and now retired) writers, I think this is pretty good.