Just when you thought you had left high school popularity contests behind, now you have to worry about the status of your college. U.S. News & World Report has released its popularity rankings for national universities and liberal arts colleges. Service academies and Mormon education are the big winners.
When it comes to a liberal arts colleges, the United States Naval Academy and the United States Military Academy are the two most popular schools in the country.
And in the rankings of national universities, which are research-oriented institutions that offer degrees at all levels, Brigham Young University edges out blue blood Harvard University for the top spot.
Before you start stressing out because your school isn't number one, take note of how the rankings are determined. U.S. News dubiously determines popularity solely by looking at yield rates, or what percent of accepted students actually end up enrolling.
Through that lens it makes sense that Brigham Young University is in the top spot nationally. If you're Mormon and you want to attend a national Mormon university, well, BYU—which has a yield rate of 76.9 percent and is roughly 98 percent Mormon—is pretty much your only option.
Likewise, if you spilled the blood, sweat, and tears to get into Harvard, which has a yield of 76.5 percent, chances are you're not going to turn down the offer.
The service academies rank higher than other liberal arts colleges because of their rigorous admissions processes. Students must pass a fitness test and obtain a recommendation from a U.S. Congressman—if you get in, you're going. Indeed, 85.5 percent of students accepted to the Naval Academy actually attend, and 77 percent matriculate to the Military Academy.
photo via Sydney Morning Herald