Friday, August 10, 2012

BYU Provo VS. BYU Idaho.

first, a few disclaimers...

1) everything is my photography, and therefore not very good, nor do I care. I was just snapping pictures like every five seconds. oh, and some of them were taken from the car and our windshield was quite dirty. ALSO, every single picture was taken of the campuses. (with the exception of the cougar car wash, Wendy's, and Wyview pictures, pictures of provo and rexburg)
2) i am trying to be as un-bias as possible, but the pro's and con's do directly correspond with my personal preferences. example: you will probably see me state that i liked the large campus at BYU provo, that's a personal preference.
3) one thing that i can honestly say, is that i went to both colleges with absolutely NO bias towards housing. i honestly didn't have one certain place in mind.

-very spiritual
-most of the students will have the same standards as me
-i'll actually get asked on dates! (really, this is like a huge huge huge pro to BYUs in general)
-really fun
-good schools
-both have my two majors (: ...humanities and choral/general music
-beautiful campuses (i'll get more into that though...)

-Diet Caffeine-Free Coke. really, it's awful. can i just have regular diet coke? i mean, really.
ummm... yep, i think that's the only con of going to a BYU

The Campus Tours
Honestly, if i knew ABSOLUTELY nothing about BYU or BYU-I, and I chose which college I was going to attend strictly depending on the campus tours, I would hands down pick BYU-I.
Personally, yes, I am concerned about the academics of the college I attend, but I'm more concerned about the student life on campus. That means... what can I do outside of class? And the campus tour at BYU-I showed me all of my options. From the awesome (and free) student gym, intermural sports teams, free exercise classes (like zumba!), the 1$ dance classes/ 2 hours dances, free counseling, indoor track and sports, to the tons of student activities in the surrounding town. And BYU-Provo didn't tell me any of that. So, if I knew nothing about the two colleges, I would automatically think that BYU-I had wayyyy more student activites and perks on campus than Provo. which is entirely untrue actually... but I had to figure that out by myself. BYU, in fact, has all of the above (a student gym, free classes, indoor track and so on) and more.
The BYU tour was almost entirely made up of impressive facts about the college. is it cool that BYU-provo has the third largest library on a college campus in the united states (oh, and most of it is underground?)? why, yes, that is pretty cool. but you know what's also pretty darn cool? that BYU-I has free Zumba classes or free personal trainers. (same with BYU provo I later found out... but no one told me that on the campus tour). Is it cool that, even though there's no "pre-med" major, the BYU provo students who major in something medical-like get into Med school at a larger percent than most other colleges? Is it cool that BYU graduates created Poe from Kung Fo Panda? yep...     actually, that's pretty cool...
and so on.
The paper that they handed out? ugh. i hated it. because BYU-I only had one semester cost on it, and BYU provo had a full year. also, is it really $1000 more personal expenses at idaho? and travel cost? yeah, i'd have to double that. but there's a cost section in this nice little blog post, no worries(:
also, BYU-I gave me a t-shirt, water bottle, and pen. BYU-Provo gave me a bumper sticker, t-shirt, and an outline of classes I should take if I want to double-major in Humanities and Music. helpful? yes... stressful? yes. i'm too young to think about my classes in college. to Provo's credit, they also gave me a pretty cool folder.
so, the first step of my tour experience... BYU-I wins.
unfortunately for BYU-I, I figured out that BYU offers the same student life as them, so that sorta dis-credited it.

my suggestion to students who are deciding between BYU and BYU-I... DO NOT just decide after a campus tour. as i learned, they leave out key details. walk around the campus yourself. talk to the tour guide yourself.

now, one thing that did actually bug me about the BYU-I campus tour... the tour guide made a statement that i think is actually VERY false. she said that BYU-I was about social and BYU Provo was strictly academics and kids didn't have as much fun there. this really really annoyed me. because every person that i know that has gone to Provo has had tons of fun. to the point that they don't get as good of grades as they could (i don't plan on getting bad grades, no worries). so, that statement, in my eyes, 100% false. yes, BYU really IS more academic. you can tell that by the entrance averages. They estimate that by next year, the average incoming freshmen attending BYU Provo will have an ACT score of 29. obviously, if a college has an average ACT score of 29, the students are going to be pretty smart. The average ACT score this year was a 28.4 and an UN-weighted GPA of 3.82. BYU is an ACADEMIC school, but i'm pretty sure they still know how to have (good, clean mormon) fun. Likewise, BYU-I has pretty good students. The average ACT score is a 24, so clearly, the students are no where close to being unintelligent, that's above the national ACT score average. and above the average college incoming ACT averages.

so, thus far, i realized that BYU (both of them) has a pretty awesome student life. I mean, cheap entertainment, free counseling, sports, blah blah blah... either one is a fantastic college for that sorta stuff.

some things about BYU and Provo.
-i really love provo. it's beautiful. there are huge tree everywhere, and everyone is BYU friendly. (i'll talk more about location in a second)

BYU- campus
-the campus is HUGE. and i love it! i love all the open green grass everywhere.
-i love the campus. there a huge trees everywhere, which seems to make everything shady.
-the mountains. are amazing.

-all the buildings (with a very few exceptions) are new.

take a look at the music building: it's amazing! (i also really liked the law{?} building or something, with all the glass, but let's face it, i'll neevveerr spend time there... the music building i will)
also, the library. it's one of the largest in the country. not to mention, most of it is underground...



See that last picture of the grass? yeah, that entire thing is the library... underneath it.
p.s. see that commercial?  yeah, it was filmed in the library. oh, and it's funny(:

 The Mariott Center

*note* this is usually a basketball center... but we walked in during a graduation...
20,900 seats. basketball games. yeess.- wikipedia it(:
"BYU's buildings exceed 300 in number and cover the university's 560 acres of property." (wiki)
obviously, a lot of these building are housing and offices, but still(:
another this, is that people say it's TOO big of a campus. well, guess what. it's not like you have classes in all the buildings. by you sophomore year, most of you classes will be in a select few buildings.

So... basically the BYU campus was beyond beautiful. and amazing. and it's a great school.

So, the first note, is there are technically five different options for housing for freshmen. or live at home. but my home is five hours away, so that might not work too well(:
you can stay in Heleman halls (dorm style, either four girls to one bathroom, or two girls with a sink in their room and a common bathroom for the entire hall), Heritage (they have new buildings or old buildings... basically three rooms, two girls to a room, and one bathroom-two showers), or wyview.

Heleman Halls
First, the dorms in general. Two girls to a room, they are dorm style, so no kitchen. In each building there are practice rooms, a laundry room (with a bunch of washers), a lounge on each floor (boys not allowed), and a downstairs lounge (boys are allowed there). In the downstairs lounge, there is a full kitchen, and almost everything you'd ever need to cook is available to check out. There's also a tv in downstairs. Also, in each building there's a huge main lounge with fuse-ball, a piano, etc... (boys are allowed here all long as the building is open.)

the actual rooms:
there are two different floor plans: (i got these from the website)

now, i thought, that since the shared suite is more expensive, it would feel bigger. and i was actually wrong...
anywhooo... pictures:
shared suite


bathroom in shared suite

kitchen in downstairs lounge

downstairs lounge (there is a tv, but i didn't take a picture of it.)

 sorry, i didn't realize till just now that i really didn't take very good pictures. but really, the room with a shared sink seemed WAY larger.

lets just get this out now. i hated wyview. it was really far away from campus. like a good 15-20 minute walk. (yes, they do have a shuttle going back and forth but still)
everything just felt far away. and it was old. very very very old. and it just sorta felt... dirty. maybe that was just me, but that's what i thought.
another thing that's relatively important to me: there aren't practice rooms. you'd have to walk/shuttle to campus.
now, there are still a couple of pros to living at wyview. for one, it's WAYYY cheaper. also- the closet space. the closets were pretty big, which i liked.


(please note... i spent a week of BYU tennis camp in old heritage and i hated it. the rooms are wayyy too small, so we didn't even bother touring old heritage)
Heritage floor plan:

I actually really really liked New Heritage. First of all, the building are BEAUTIFUL!! and they have a practice room on each floor. they have a main lounge (it's so nice!) and a girls only lounge (that has BEAUTIFUL views!)
now, pictures. because this place was amazing.
main lounge

girl's only lounge
this is an awful picture of me. lets ignore that fact, shall we?
Heritage feels.. well, new and clean. I think that comparing it to wyview, it wins hands down. It has a HUGE kitchen, and a large(new) living room. The rooms are good size, and the counter in the hallway is a huge plus. Having two bathrooms would be amazing. one shower per three girls. the closets are actually pretty good size and the drawers they provide are pretty big, and there's four of them.also, to the classes that i'll be going to for the most part, it's like a three minute walk if that. the cleaning checks are only twice a semester, which is really nice.
the only down side, is you have to cook.

so, basically, i can't decide between heleman with a shared sink or new heritage...

Other reasons to go to BYU.

#1 BYU Creamery. anyone who's been to the creamery understands.
#2 BYU mint brownies. they're like heaven... in a brownie.
#3 The Football Stadium.
#4 The fact that they have sports against other colleges. basically, that means a lot. it means that there's tons of social stuff to do. and if you get the all-sports pass, it's pretty cheap.

#5 Provo. I loved provo. There's tons of "city" stuff to do, but there's also a ton of outdoor recreation activites too. hike the Y, float the river, blah blah blah.

#6 A lot less traveling to get home.

#7 The huge campus.

#8 They have a great music program, and a really good humanities program

#9 The Cannon Center (the cafeteria) It's absolutely amazing in my opinion.

cons to BYU provo
-it is a bit more expensive... but don't worry, there's a cost section coming up.

-i won't get a car my freshman year if i go to provo.

once again, i loved the campus tour of idaho. It took us through this BEAUTIFUL garden (understatement really), showed us the student gym (its free), and took us inside quite a few of the buildings, including one with the new "conference center look-a-like" room. It was pretty legit. and i know BYU provo has the student stuff too, but i didn't see that on the tour.
but then, the lady was all like "we're not as academic."
uh. excuse me? i like academics, in fact, i'm going to (ok ok, my parents also) pay THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of dollars to send me to college. college is a place to further my education. also, i wanna marry someone really really really smart, and if the college i go to is "not as academic as provo" then my guess is, 95% of the boys that i meet won't be as academic either. but... the garden part of campus was BEAUTIFUL. like amazingly. and the rest of campus was nice. not as many trees, and the campus was TINY. (for some people though, this may be a plus actually.)

so first thing about rexburg. i'm sorry, but it was ugly. rexburg itself was ok, but driving in was depressing:

now the campus...
 The buildings we nice, although a lot of them felt pretty old. 

one huge drawback is that the cafeteria, bookstore, TESTING CENTER, and a lot of stuff are all in the same building. i don't really know how i feel about that...
the cafeteria was really really nice...
now, one thing i LOVED about BYUI... the temple is literally within 3 minutes walking distance from campus. and you can see it, and it's beautiful. just sayin.

they don't have dorms, and they only have one choice for "on campus housing", that being said, the farthest away off campus housing is like a 15 minute walk from campus max. the on campus housing, was, how do i put this? old. if i go to BYUI i will definitely be staying off campus. one of the first things the guide told us when we walked in was (and i quote- no joke) "Here in idaho, we have automatic dishwashers... i don't think provo does..." (turns out provo does) anyways, that was hilarious, to say the least. i've looked at off campus housing, and some of it actually looks pretty good, but i didn't tour any. here is Perkins hall (on campus)
also, the on campus housing doesn't have RAs. which is weird. and the common rooms are reallyreally small.

but check this site out for an off campus housing. it rocks. here. it looks pretty amazing...

now, about my BYUI experience. I don't know how to feel about Trimesters, even though my guide told me you get used to them which I suppose is true.

the BYUI student gym ROCKS.

um, i think that's it.
so next, i figured out costs** of each school for me (for the first year's worth of school)...

BYU Provo-
Helamen Halls (shared suite with sink)- $3,300
Tuition- $4,710
Meal Plan- $3,900
Travel costs*- $372
Books and Supplies- $1000
total= 13,282 (two semesters)

BYU Idaho-
Birch Plaza- $2,000
Tuition- $3,520
Food (silver dining plan- i'd have a kitchen)- about $2,400
Travel costs*- $663
Books and Supplies- $1000
total= 9,583

*for both BYU (310 miles) and BYUI (591 miles) i estimate 22 miles per gallon at 3.80 a gallon... plus oil changes and such... assuming i come home at thanksgiving, christmas, and once during spring, then getting there and coming home... (plus ware and tare on the car)
** also, i didn't include personal expenses because i have no clue how much that'll cost, but it'll be the same (or very close) at both colleges.

so, BYU Idaho is cheaper.($3,700 cheaper)

Well, i'm leaving it there. If i get in, I'll be going to BYU provo, and i guess it'll cost more. But honestly, compared to any other college...

let's look at CSU:
Estimated total price of attendance: $18,888
^that didn't include travel, or food. but it's not important so i'm not wasting time doing math...

BYU has a great humanities, music, and teaching departments. so, honestly, its a great deal.

Erica Michelle

UPDATE: I am now attending BYU Provo and absolutely loving it! You can read about the adventures on this blog, and feel free to contact me!


  1. I liked your side by side comparison!I go to BYU-I and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! and actually we do have the cards that get you everything ;)
    I'm sure you will love provo and BYU! but if not byu-i and Rexburg is a GREAT too!

  2. thank you! and it's good to know that idaho has the cards, it just didn't really seem like it in the housing vending machines and washers and stuff, but good to know! Thanks! I'm pretty sure i'll love where ever i go!

  3. It would also help to consider the difference between BYU Idaho Housing and those in Provo... not much of a difference but you might see something that will set them apart once you actually get to talk to landlords and residents.

    1. Thank you for the idea! I should have visited other housing sites besides the on-campus housing when i was in Idaho!

  4. The connections you will make and the reputation of BYU Provo, as well as the ease of on and off campus jobs, cancel out the price difference. And I hope you're living in New Heritage--they call them The Hotels and after my daughter's mission she is moving back to be an RA because they are SO NICE!
    Great post, I am going to keep it handy for my other kids!

  5. I went to a campus tour at BYU and they didn't show me as much as they did to you! and I drove all the way from Tijuana to get there which sucks but it's cool that they showed you all of that :) I'm going to Idaho though, I wasn't thinking about that option when I went to Provo, but I'm studying business so I think I might transfer to provo if possible

  6. Hi, I want to start off by saying I loved your post. I just so happen to be the Director of the Campus Ambassador Director, which puts on the Campus Tours. I want to say I am happy you enjoyed the tour, but want to apologize for the comment the tour guide gave. That comment does not reflect the view of the program or school. We ARE very academic, and prove IS very sociable, which I know you know. I know you will be pleased with BYU. Thank you for the dissecting both schools and tours.

  7. Thank you for this! I am applying to BYU and BYU-I but I haven't had the opportunity to visit the campuses as I live in the UK. I really appreciate your detail and complete honesty about the schools. You've really helped me feel closer to the Universities!

  8. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS! Serioulsy this helped me out so much. you are awesome.

  9. I love how the Rexburg people felt like they had to put Provo down to make people go there. Pretty typical haha

  10. After reading all of the Honor Code statements from all of the church schools I was saddened but not surprised at the wording that came from BYUI regarding tattoos and piercings. The condescending statement not to disfigure one's self was disturbing. In a growing church with many converts is that kind of wording we need from a church institution? I'm ashamed that this king of wording is only in the Honor Code of BYUI.

  11. Your description of BYU Idaho is biased and awful. I am someone that loves the Provo campus but I am grateful that I go to Idaho because the professors know your name and care about you. Also, we are way more spiritual. Devotional is something that everyone looks forward too. And we have great parties and great social life. Just be careful what you say about BYUI because you didnt show half of the campus and your opinions about the campus are invalid.

    1. I'm glad you were willing to voice your opinion (:
      What's important is to remember that I was 17 and just starting my senior year of high school when I wrote this post. If you feel this post is biased, then I'm really sorry. I didn't want it to be like that because I went to both campus tours pretty unbiased.
      As for "the professors know your name and care about you" at BYUI, that is awesome! I have many friends who attend BYUI and love it for this reason. However, you aren't taking into account that I have a lot of classes like that as well. Last semester, my humanities class only had 14 students. My professor and TA knew me very well. I have had several classes that the professor knows me personally. Even in my larger classes, the professors still care. (Just for your information, in 2011-2012, 42% of classes at BYU had less than 20 students and another 25% had less than 40 students. I think you are being unfair in believing that the professors here just don't care about their students and you seem a little misinformed about the class sizes at Provo.
      As for BYUI being "more spiritual" this is completely an opinion. My testimony has been strengthened more than I imagined possible since I got here to Provo. We have weekly devotionals as well, and they are well attended and looked forward to. I love the atmosphere here at BYU and I think that your statement about it being less spiritual is, quite frankly, a little rude. I recognize that this perception may come because of BYU's academics... BYU is much harder to get accepted to (with a 49% acceptance rate from 2013- and BYU Provo and a 99.4% acceptance rate at BYUI-, therefore nearly everyone is accepted to Idaho) BYU Provo is seen as being more focused on academics, but I feel like an awesome balance between school and spiritual things has been attained here (:
      As I said before, I have a lot of friends at BYUI and they love the social life! I don't think I said anything in my post about BYUI not having a good social life. I recognize that anywhere you stick thousands of LDS young adults... there's going to be tons of fun! I have yet to be bored at BYU (: There is always something awesome happening, either on campus or around Provo! Whether is be a dance, Basketball or Football game, Intramural tournament, or BYUSA event! I was just facetiming with my best friend in Idaho last night and she was telling me about all the fun things she's done this week. I think BYU and BYUI tie for social life (: And quite honestly, neither one could get much better because they both ROCK!
      For your last point, my "opinions about the campus are invalid"? This is my PERSONAL blog where I'm allowed to write my own opinions (: I'm sorry if you didn't like what I wrote, but this is my own blog, after all and I'm entitled to my opinions!
      I just want to end on a good note. Whether you go to BYU or BYUI, you are receiving an awesome education at an awesome college and being spiritually uplifted while doing so. Let's part ways saying that I prefer BYU Provo (hence the reason I'm attending college here) and you prefer BYU Idaho (or else you wouldn't be attending BYU Idaho). I think that's great that we all have our own opinions. If you would like to discuss this more, feel free to email me. I hope you're having a great day!

  12. this was awesome!!! I have been trying to find good comparisons of the schhol and this was perfect! Thank you!