"Forbes" Ranks BYU No. 1 as Best Value College in America

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SamBee
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"Forbes" Ranks BYU No. 1 as Best Value College in America

Post by SamBee » 30 Apr 2019, 12:57

http://www.ldsliving.com/Forbes-Ranks-B ... n-America/
In 2019, Forbes ranked BYU at no. 1 on the list of America's Best Value Colleges. This isn't the first time BYU has cracked the top 10 for best value colleges in America. In 2018 it was ranked no. 3, in 2017 it was ranked no. 10, and in 2016 it landed no. 2.
BYU comes in for a lot of stick sometimes, but when something like Forbes gives it this rating, it is very flattering indeed.
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Re: "Forbes" Ranks BYU No. 1 as Best Value College in America

Post by SilentDawning » 01 May 2019, 06:30

I was comparing stats for BYU-P to other colleges and BYU-P had amazing stats in terms of starting salaries and graduation rates.

It's a model for successful education...my daughter also attended it for a while but had trouble being academically successful. The professors were able to hold really high academic standards, from what I could see. The questions on her assignments went into high critical thinking territory and from what I heard and could see, grade inflation was not a big issue like it can be in other colleges.

So, what is the secret sauce? STRONG DEMAND. The school has so many variables I wish we could duplicate across education in general
but the key one is STRONG DEMAND for its programs. Being a church school, it has a niche that is attractive to Mormons. It also has fewer seats than applicants, with no plans to expand, from what I have heard.

The subsidy from the church also makes it affordable. So this means they have the luxury of selecting the best of the best. What you end up with is an affordable school with high admission standards. And you end up with capable graduates who would succeed even amidst some of the worst teachers on the planet. I am not saying BYU teachers are not good teachers -- I am saying the students are so good they will figure out a way to learn the material even if they happen to get a weak teacher.
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Re: "Forbes" Ranks BYU No. 1 as Best Value College in America

Post by dande48 » 01 May 2019, 07:06

It's the best value for LDS students, who are required to adhere to certain standards, including the paying of tithing, or risk expulsion. I have no doubt the system is in place to guarantee the Church a hefty return on their investment. Compared with other universities, they operate on an "alternative revenue stream".

That being said, I think most every other private college is all about getting the most profits up front. It's not a good deal for students. I really hope, and think we will, completely change our current secondary education system. Education beyond high school doesn't make a lot of sense, and a lot of companies are forming their own "universities" (from Google to McDonalds), which cater their education towards a specific skill set, rather than giving a "general education", thinking it'll prepare students for the workforce. Plus, online education is becoming a lot cheaper, more effective, and more lucrative.

But maybe I'm biased. I earned one of the toughest degrees from BYU, and couldn't find a job that paid more than $17 an hour (after three years of searching), completely unrelated to what I studied. So I took some time off, went through a bunch of online courses in programming, built up a portfolio... and in six-months of non-formal education wound up with a job that I love, and pays a LOT more. And the company I work for (which is incredibly good to us), straight up doesn't care if you have a degree. They only care if you know how to do the work.
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Re: "Forbes" Ranks BYU No. 1 as Best Value College in America

Post by DarkJedi » 01 May 2019, 11:57

I have or have had 4 students at BYU-P. (I am not bragging, just a statement of fact.) I live in the Northeast US where we have good state schools, lots of private liberal arts colleges, an IVY or two and some other well known institutions of higher learning. I'm not really going to talk about the privates, Ivies or others except to say they're quite pricey and some of them have extremely expensive housing/meal plans (eg $20,000 and the requirement to have the plan). Comparing tuition, our state schools in state are about the same as BYU member. But, our state schools also have fees added in (eg technology or activity fees) that BYU does not have. Overall, the cost of the school is less at BYU than our decent state schools and for the most part BYU offers a good education in many fields. Housing on campus and in Provo is also pretty reasonable compared to what I see advertised here.

So from my personal experience, I have to agree with Forbes - BYU is a good value for the education my kids have received. Is BYU for everybody? No, and there's more than just selectiveness involved with that.
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Re: "Forbes" Ranks BYU No. 1 as Best Value College in America

Post by Roy » 01 May 2019, 14:32

My wife graduated from BYU 15 years ago. She felt that the teachers were also very good. She said that several of her teachers were not in it for the money. They had done very well in their industries, retired relatively young, and saw teaching at BYU as their way of giving back to the next generation of young church members.
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Re: "Forbes" Ranks BYU No. 1 as Best Value College in America

Post by Old-Timer » 01 May 2019, 19:42

Cultural issues aside (although some are large), BYU-P is an exceptional bargain, with excellent academics.

BYU-H is a good academic bargain in an island location.

BYU-I is a financial bargain.
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Re: "Forbes" Ranks BYU No. 1 as Best Value College in America

Post by SilentDawning » 04 May 2019, 08:23

Old Timer wrote:
01 May 2019, 19:42
Cultural issues aside (although some are large), BYU-P is an exceptional bargain, with excellent academics.

BYU-H is a good academic bargain in an island location.

BYU-I is a financial bargain.
I say "ouch" when I read this. But I know its probably true for BYU-I and many schools in which there is an "open" admissions policy or where the university isn't at capacity.

I work at a school with some very excellent students, but also our share of underperforming students. We put a lot of resources into helping the underperforming students.

I wish there was a way of turning underperforming people into strong performers, reliably. I am in the trenches with it every week, trying to motivate, inspire, and help people elevate themselves. There is some impact, but ultimately the individual must have a spark or drive to learn. As academics, we can only do so much to help people.

I recall investing significant, quality tutoring hours with some students. After several hours I realized their problem was memory. They could not remember concepts long enough to apply them properly. I reverted to memory techniques to help them, and they could remember for the session, and do the work, but next time I saw them a few days later, they couldn't remember the concepts/formulas/processes enough to apply them again -- I had to start over again. The learning was never even semi-permanent.

Example, I hold a weekly WebEx meeting for my online students. There are 20 of them in a typical course. Usually 0-2 people of the entire class actually show for these meetings. Yes, they are optional and recorded, but few even watch the recording afterwards. We have a lot of other resources available, and many go unused in spite of evangalizing them to the students.

For some students, it's as if education is something everyone wants, but they want to minimize the effort involved in acquiring it. From Curt's explanation above, it sounds like BYU-I has a lot of students that are not strong performers....so it's not a great academic experience. Or maybe it's the professors, curriculum or absence of rigor? Anyway, I'd like to know more about BYU-I and why it's a financial deal, but not a great academic experience...

I wish there was an open discussion forum like StayLDS for academics where ideas could be bandied around. I hate to blame it all on the students in more open admissions schools, but the preparedness and native ability of students DOES have an impact on how much I can impart as a professor, and just how much universities can expect to accomplish.

Also, I think BYU-I is an undergraduate college as well, and undergraduates typically don't perform as well as graduate students. Yes, there is variation around the mean. But as one academic said, "education takes a while before students blossom".

Again, not a STayLDS thing, but something Curt's post above brings to mind.
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Re: "Forbes" Ranks BYU No. 1 as Best Value College in America

Post by dande48 » 04 May 2019, 09:56

Hope this isn't too off topic, but along the lines of what SD mentioned...

My sister-in-law's husband, before he married her, basically told me that the purpose of BYU (they went to BYU-I) was not to get an education, but to get married. With the focus on YSA wards, and a lot of the rhetoric you hear over the pulpit, I have a hard time believing it's not true. He convinced her to drop out. They both joined the airforce, but he didn't make it through. Now she's the primary bread winner, but I can't help but think their lives would be better if they were actually focused on an education at BYU.

It's probably more of a doctrinal issue, than a university one. But I can't help but think everything the Church does is ultimately for the Church's sake. Marriage between members, increases their chances of activity. Education increases prosperity, and as a result, activity and tithing. If the Church weren't directly profited by it, I doubt they would've gotten so involved in secondary education.
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Re: "Forbes" Ranks BYU No. 1 as Best Value College in America

Post by Old-Timer » 04 May 2019, 10:05

BYU-I serves a real need, and I don't mean to diss it through the description above. There are excellent students who attend, but it functions largely as a place for decent or average students to get a four-year degree while being "nurtured in the Gospel". It is open enrollment, so it serves almost anyone who wants a four-year degree. It also is a good setting for the Pathways program to be offered at such a crazy cheap cost.

I am grateful the Church expanded Ricks and made it a four-year BYU institution, but I doubt it ever will be known as an excellent or even above average college - and I actually am fine with that. I am glad the Church is trying to educate all members who want a degree.

Also, SD, you are correct about inherent ability being a huge factor in college success. I wish there were more public, low-cost trade options for students who really shouldn't be incurring debt to pursue a four-year degree.

dande48, while I think there is a self-serving aspect, the Church has strsssed education for since the beginning, long before the BYUs were expanded. I truly do believe the core motivation is based on the idea that the glory of God is intelligence and Jospeh Smith's obsession with learning.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: "Forbes" Ranks BYU No. 1 as Best Value College in America

Post by SilentDawning » 04 May 2019, 10:16

Old Timer wrote:
04 May 2019, 10:05
dande48, while I think there is a self-serving aspect, the Church has strsssed education for since the beginning, long before the BYUs were expanded. I truly do believe the core motivation is based on the idea that the glory of God is intelligence and Jospeh Smith's obsession with learning.
I heard the church's affinity for education many times prior to GBH. I thought the church's support for education was to enable the mind and spirit, to benefit the members' economic lives, etcetera. Then GBH indicated the reason we like education is because it "increases members' ability to serve in the church". No other reasons given.

It left a sour taste in my mouth. Another church-centric comment.

But I don't want to detract from the fact they inadvertently created a model that I envy -- strong demand for students to attend, leading to being able to cherry pick people who have the ability to succeed, leading to higher completion rates and starting salaries in their field than most universities out there. All because of the church angle and the limited investment in campuses/infrastructure.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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