"I like fiery passion, actually." - Olympus
Question #92574 posted on 09/12/2019 10:42 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Was BYU your first choice for college? Were you planning, or hoping, for somewhere else? Basically, how did you end up at BYU?

Additional question, which BYU is the best? I recognize it depends on the personality of the person, but what do you like and dislike about each BYU school?

-my favorite is BYUH


Dear you,

I had always planned on going to BYU and the fact that I could get discounted tuition was just the cherry on top. I applied and was rejected initially. For some unknown reason I received another email a couple weeks later that admitted me as a student.

Super confused, but not wanting to see if they made a mistake, I registered for classes and I am now an official BYU grad.

To your question about which BYU is the best: that is definitely a loaded question. It totally depends on so many different factors. Personally, BYU Provo was the best for me, but it's not the best for everyone.

-Sunday Night Banter


Dear Hawaii,

You asked for this long story...

I always wanted to go to BYU first. Probably due to being brainwashed by my sisters who gave me a BYU beanie and a BYU keychain that played the fight song whenever you pressed it. I was obsessed with that key chain in elementary school. It was on my backpack and I'm pretty sure my teachers couldn't stand me whenever it "accidentally" got pressed in class. 

I really didn't take my grades seriously in high school; that makes me cringe thinking about it. I was only 17 when I graduated high school, so I don't think I was really mature enough to move out. I did two semesters at a local community college and the majority of the classes didn't transfer, even though I spent hours trying to verify that each class would transfer to a four year university. 

My testimony wasn't doing too hot since the YSA ward didn't allow 17 year olds, and I was going to Relief Society by myself with a bunch of old ladies. We moved my senior year of high school so I didn't know anyone since my Mom was going to Young Women's. If I was in my hometown ward it would have been way different as I knew a lot of cool women in Relief Society there. 

This made me apply to BYU-I.  My parents weren't convinced I'd get into BYU and didn't want to pay the application fee (honestly I don't blame them.) I got in, but I was still pretty bummed that I was going to Idaho as all of my family and friends went to BYU

I didn't have great room roommates the two semesters I was there, but those are stories for another day. But I feel like my bad roommates (and trying to pull myself out of an abusive relationship with an ex) put a real damper on my overall experience there. But the university itself wasn't bad and I really enjoyed the professors with smaller class sizes. I don't know if I wasn't super social or something, but I feel like it lacked in extracurricular activities. But then again, I am an introvert and I wasn't as good as putting myself out there like I am now. The age change happened while I was in Idaho and I scoffed and said I wasn't going on a mission.

Came home for spring semester since I was on Fall/Winter schedule. That's when I learned that God planned on me serving a mission after all. (Once again this entire story can be saved for another day.) Had the best, but hardest summer with friends while trying to save up for a mission. I only had $100 to my name when I came home. Even though I was desperate, I couldn't find a job up there. I found out my Dad was losing his job during winter semester and I didn't want to be considered a financial burden to them. 

I worked at a craft store and saved everything I could. I bought all of the luggage, clothes, and other necessary things I needed to prepare to serve in the South. My uncle who was part of me deciding to go on a mission told my parents that they would pay half of my monthly cost. We all cried when they told us. I still feel indebted to them for their kindness.

While serving my mission, I really, REALLY didn't want to go back to BYU-I and I desperately wanted to go to school at BYU. I'm the youngest and all of my family graduated from BYU. I figured since my high school transcript no longer mattered, I could try and get into BYU spring term and not have to fight with all of the genius freshman applying. I personally think I rocked those essays.

It ended up working since as I was applying to BYU, I was training a greenie and my mission president had nothing but good things to say about me in regards to the ecclesiastical endorsement. I remember driving on speaker phone with my mission president, ready for the interview. But instead he told me he had already filled it out and told me how great I was instead!

I came home in April and not even two weeks later I was at BYU starting spring term. It was exhausting!! After all those years looking up to my sisters being BYU Cougars, I was finally here. 

I think God understood me well, as BYU is the only university in the U.S. that has a degree in Family History. I didn't know then, but BYU fits me perfectly although I wasn't your average studious student. Additionally, I appreciate that there are more jobs to apply for at BYU, especially one that made such an impact on me and had me switch majors. Weather also really affects me (being from California and all) so I couldn't handle the Idaho winters. 

I knew I wasn't smart enough to get into BYU Hawaii, so I never really considered it. Therefore, I don't really have an opinion on the university as a whole. 

-Goldie Rose


Dear Tropical Bird, 

I wanted to go to either USU or BYU, perhaps with a preference for USU since that's where all my 4-H friends, cousins, and family were. However, when I applied for college I was planning on becoming a chemist (lol) and BYU has a better chemistry program, so I ended up only applying here (because I didn't want to pay TWO WHOLE APPLICATION FEES.) By the end of my senior year though, I realized I hated chemistry with a passion as fiery as burning thermite, and I quickly regretted only applying to one school. However, I already was accepted and had a scholarship at BYU, my family lives close enough that I could stay with them for the first year... and it seemed like it was still an okay option. I took SOC 111 my first semester and as I started taking more classes I felt like this is where I was meant to be. The more I get to know the faculty and (most) of the students here, the more I'm convinced it was the right choice. 

In my opinion, the OG BYU is the best. The campus is beautiful and the grounds are super well kept. There is seldom a day where I don't think about how stunning campus is. Provo is also where all the excitement of BYU is, especially for sports. While it may have its share of problems, I think the staff and students here are hardworking, intelligent, integrable, and generally kind. 

I'm sure the other campuses are good too, but I would hate all the pointless rules at BYU-I, as well as how cold it is. BYU-H has a nice campus and I love Hawaii, but it was kinda small for my taste and I didn't love the humidity. I also have heard a few friends who are there talk about it being not as academically focused and hard for mainlanders to fit in. I just think it wouldn't be the right place for me. 




Dear Sea-Sider,

The only college I applied to was BYU Provo. I didn't want to pay money or spend time on other applications, and I figured that I would get in, and luckily enough, my plans ended up working out. The main reason that I chose BYU over other schools is that I knew I wouldn't get into other top-tier colleges and BYU is a great school for an undergraduate degree, at least the Provo campus is. BYU Provo is recognized as a good college and the low tuition made it an easy choice. I also have a brother in the area and my mom is from Salt Lake area, so we have some family up here. For me, there are a few key things to consider about each BYU:

BYU Provo This is the most recognized school out of the three and is regularly among the leaders for "best bang for your buck", at least for an undergraduate degree. The campus is well-established and there are a lot of options for majors. The community is also great with a lot of public transportation (free for BYU students) and access to a few different malls and many stores (most importantly Costco), the MTC, and two temples. The downside is that admittance is very competitive, so make sure to have a fall-back school if you feel that you might need one.

BYU Hawaii This BYU has the most beautiful and temperate campus, and I honestly don't know much about it. If you're from the pacific islands or Asia, there are programs that help you get into BYUH and they offer a lot of jobs for students at the Polynesian center through the IWORK program. The downside is that you are probably going to be far from home, the trip is expensive, and I have heard some of my friends have gotten island fever and felt a little isolated.

BYU Idaho BYUI has the highest acceptance rate and sounds like it has a good community. It sounds like a good school, though not at the same level as BYU Provo. It is also very cold in the winters and doesn't have much surrounding it, so I don't know if I would like going there. I also don't have a lot of information about it, but my friends who have gone there seem to like it okay.

I'm not sure if you are looking to apply to BYU or just wondering about them, but I hope this helped. I would say that BYU Provo is the best, but it is also all I have known, so take it as you will. Two of my brothers graduated from BYU Provo and are doing well, and I enjoy it. If you want more information about the campuses (like acceptance rate and GPA/SAT/ACT requirements), you can just google it and find information about each of them. Overall, I think the BYU programs are great. They offer a solid education at a good price that is the same for in-state, out-of-state, and international students, with especially good programs for international students. It has been a good experience for me, and I highly doubt that I will ever regret going here.



Dear You,

BYU was not my first choice. As a matter of fact it was either my 4th or 5th choice. All the other schools were pretty prestigious, so I didn't get into any of them and was left with the choice of BYU or USU.

In hindsight, BYU has been everything I've hoped and dreamed of. My academic experience has been great, I've been able to be involved with extra-curriculars in a way that I don't think would've been possible anywhere else, and I have made amazing friends. Now I'm sure that God lead me to BYU, because it really has been the place for me.

I've never gone, but I just want to put a plug in for BYU-I. My dad teaches at BYU-I, and 2 of my siblings go/went there. For a long time BYU-I was a "lesser version" of BYU, but now I would say that they're a different version. Here are some of the nice things about BYU Idaho:

  • Smaller Class Sizes: There are very few classes over 30 people at BYU-I.
  • Teachers Focus on Teaching: Professors don't do research, so they have more time for office hours.
  • More Professors with Professional Experience: Most professors at BYU-I have industry experience and aren't just academics. This is great because they can bring their experiences into their teaching and prepare students for work experience.
  • Less competitive environment: BYU-I is less competitive and more cooperative.

Anyways, TLDR; I love BYU, but BYU-I is legit too.




Dear Aziraphale,

I've wanted to go to BYU ever since I was 6. And when I was 13, there was one time where I decided to "cleverly" express this still present desire by loudly declaring that I wanted to be a cougar when I grew up. I was on a public street at the time.

Adding to my interest in BYU, when I was a junior in high school, my older brother started in the ACME program. I was very intrigued by this intense major, and thought that a super hard mathematics program sounded pretty cool. 

When it came time for me to actually apply to universities, I decided that it would not be very wise to only apply to BYU, so I applied to the University of Utah as a backup. I don't recall having applied for any of their scholarships, but the U offered me four years full tuition, and strongly recommended that I apply for more scholarships there (dropping hints that I was a likely candidate for more). BYU did not offer such scholarships right off the bat to me, but as soon as I was accepted, I knew where I would be going.

I'm really glad that I went to BYU, and that I majored in ACME. It ended up being a very worthwhile experience for me. The only thing I would change if I were deciding things all over would be to officially get a double major in Economics (as a sophomore, I'd thought it would be too hard with ACME, but I ended up practically doing it anyways).



Dear pigsquatch,

BYU was my first choice of school. It had two things I wanted: like a billion foreign languages, that is, 55 typically offered and over 30 others on demand, many of which Katya explains are not typically offered elsewhere), and a film program. I'd seen BYU-Hawaii briefly, and wasn't impressed by a very quick look at it, and as I was a shorts-and-sandals lad, I flat-out would not consider BYU-I. No shorts? No sandals? No way.

I think I judged BYU-Hawaii too harshly, when I visited it again not long before graduating from BYU I discovered it to be a school with an amazing international component and a beautifully diverse cohort of students I would have loved to be around. Add this to its unique location with world-class surfing and rugged, intense tropical mountain peaks (may it be known that hiking in Hawaii is like 408% more difficult than Utah, owing to how most trails are grown in with uluhei ferns, obscured by constant fog and cheerily bordered by crumbling, sheer volcanic cliffs), and I think it's safe to say I would have deeply enjoyed studying at BYU-Hawaii.

BYU-Idaho would have probably been good as well, I have a friend who transferred from BYU to BYU-I and preferred its superior teacher-to-student ratio. Sure, it's cold, but that means you can wear all kinds of great coats.

I also applied to Utah State, and it sounded fine, but the half-scholarship I landed wasn't entirely persuasive. I'd likely have liked it there, because they have a great deal of expertise with plants, which are what I probably like most.

As for BYU and its languages? While at BYU, I took varying amounts of Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Amazonian Kichwa, Hebrew, K'iche Maya, and Guarani. I'm not a polyglot, so I didn't magically learn all of these, but it's really fun to be in those classes.
I do not regret it, though perhaps trying to take Mayan and Arabic in a semester when I was taking 18 credit hours total was pretty stupid.

As for my interest in film at BYU: after shelving this interest for a bit I ended up minoring in Media Arts at BYU, and I both loved and highly recommend that program.

Overall, I do think BYU was the best fit for me and allowed me to explore esoteric interests like dance (Indian! Ballet! Ballroom! Latin! ...Zumba?) and visual arts I otherwise would have missed. I do think, however, that I would have done better at BYU-H, because their science classes are the right amount of difficult and not merely gauntlet classes for medical school (a rant for another day). I liked BYU, but I've definitely had my share of failed classes and really bad mental health times that were probably not necessary.

Thanks for reading this stream-of-consciousness stuff.  You should tell me more about what you like about BYU-Hawaii.


--Ardilla Feroz, who is still enjoys being nominally involved with BYU even after he graduated from it


Dear you,

My parents met at BYU so I always assumed I would go here. Given the tuition and my interests (the political science program is pretty fantastic here), there really weren't any other contenders. I think the only other school I applied for is BYUH.

I don't know if there's a best BYU, because they're all meant for different things. For me personally, BYU Provo was the best. It has the best academics of all three BYUs, has the most funding, and is taken more seriously by other schools, making it easier to get into graduate programs. The cons are that people are more snooty here ("BYU is just as good as Harvard" ummm no), honor code issues (which are thankfully being worked on), and the hike to the Y isn't that great. While there are other things I dislike, they apply to all the BYUs.

This is horrible, but I can't think of much I like about BYUI. Maybe a positive is that the classes are easier, making it easier for students to get a college degree debt free? They care too much about marriage at the BYU I Do, have a stricter dress code, and literally freeze during the winter. 

I love BYUH. It has incredible diversity, is in the best location, is meant to help international students, and has lots of jobs available at the Polynesian Cultural Center to help students. While there are cons, I blame church and school leadership for them. They shut down their loved sports program to try and save money (which didn't), their past president was a bit of a jerk and hurt the school's relationship with the community, and they don't give enough funding/scholarships to the students and programs. I think we need to take some of Provo's money and give it to BYUH, because right now leadership is obsessed with cutting costs at BYUH and it's only hurting the school, students, and community.

And finally the thing I dislike about all the BYUs: because couples can't really be alone in rooms together, they may think it's normal to be waaaaaay too friendly in public. Now listen, I'm a reasonable woman. I think that rule is just fine. I'm also okay with hand holding and quick pecks. But when you're my cousin from BYUI and during the family reunion you're sleeping in the same room as me and my sister and you start full on making out with your fiance the moment after my sister and I announce we're going to sleep and you keep up those horrible noises and clothes shifting until 12:30 am when at which point my sister and I leave to sleep outside because we much prefer sleeping on the freezing ground as opposed to hearing you two going at it - well, let's just say I wouldn't be heartbroken if BYUI burned to the ground.

-guppy of doom


Dear person,

I only applied to BYU for undergraduate, so I guess that also makes it my first choice.

It was not my first choice for graduate school but this is where I got in, and I'm reasonably happy to be here. I'm glad I got to unretire and write for the Board again.

BYU-Hawaii has the best weather. BYU-Idaho has the best acceptance rate. BYU is the most prestigious.



Dear Hawaiian,

For me, there was never any question that BYU was where I wanted to be. Most of my extended family lives here in Utah, so even though I didn't live here growing up, we would find our way here every few years for summer vacation or for the Christmas season. I have lots of fond memories of going bowling at the Wilk or eating at the Creamery or exploring the bookstore when I was little, awed by the sheer size of a college campus like BYU, and that sort of childlike wonder for the campus never really left me--especially knowing that BYU is where my parents went to school, too.

With that said, I applied to both BYU-H and BYU; I was actually quite doubtful BYU was going to accept me, and BYU-H seemed like the more likely proposition, if maybe not my first choice. I've spent lots of time on both campuses, and BYU-H is beautiful. The climate is also unbeatable--really, there couldn't have been a more obvious second choice. But ultimately the larger size, the proximity to family, the programs and opportunities available, and the financial considerations of BYU won me over when I was accepted by both.

My experience here thus far has been everything I hoped it would be. Notwithstanding my still ongoing case of decision paralysis where my direction in life is concerned, I've enjoyed my classes, made great friends, and generally had a great college experience. It's been almost surreal returning here to be a student after so many visits over the course of my growing up where I wondered what being a college student was like. So far the experience hasn't disappointed. This semester I'm rooming with two friends who go all the way back to junior high and elementary school, and I couldn't be more excited for the coming months.