Colleges with Mormon Affiliations
LDS students will feel right at home at these schools, from Utah to Hawaii.
For many people, attending a school with a religious affiliation can be a great way to meet like-minded classmates and professors. If you’re searching for a college affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you’ll find that you’re most likely to end up in Utah. This should come as no surprise considering the state’s exceptionally large Mormon population. While several colleges linked to the LDS are located in Utah, there are also two officially affiliated universities located in other states. Learn more about each of these colleges with Mormon affiliations to help determine which one is the right match for you.
Though most of your options for colleges linked to the Mormon Church are found in Utah, don’t forget about the two additional BYU schools in Idaho and Hawaii
Brigham Young University
Located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in Provo, Utah, Brigham Young University is by far the largest university supported by and affiliated with the Mormon Church. With over 31,000 students enrolled and a 557-acre urban campus, students at BYU enjoy many of the perks of attending a large public university, including numerous student clubs and competitive athletics programs. BYU also boasts an excellent language program. In fact, over 75 percent of BYU students speak a second language. This often goes hand-in-hand with Mormon missions in foreign countries, which many students take time off from college to complete.
When it comes to religion, students are required to live by a strict honor code that prohibits (among other things) extramarital and gay sex, in accordance with the teachings of the church. Students must also follow a modest dress code, use clean language, attend church services regularly, and abstain from drinking alcohol or smoking. Each student must also complete the university’s “core classes,” which includes a number of courses about the Book of Mormon, LDS doctrine, and continuing to serve the Church in their life after graduation.
BYU boasts exceptionally affordable tuition rates of around $4,800 per year. However, students must be a member of the LDS Church to receive these rates. Tuition is about twice as expensive for non-LDS students.
Brigham Young University – Hawaii
Located in Laie, Hawaii, Brigham Young University – Hawaii has about 2,800 students currently enrolled. Per capita, this college boasts the most internationally diverse campus in the U.S. Students at BYU – Hawaii hail from more than 70 countries around the world, exposing enrollees to a variety of cultures and backgrounds. Tuition for LDS members is around $4,600, and students must abide by the strict student code.
Brigham Young University – Idaho
Previously known as Ricks College, Brigham Young University – Idaho is located in Rexburg, Idaho and has about 15,000 students enrolled. Tuition fees are structured like that of BYU in Provo, with LDS members paying only about $3,700 per year. Students at BYU – Idaho are also expected to follow the same honor code. As with the other BYU universities, a major percentage of students at this college take a hiatus from their studies to serve as missionaries.
LDS Business College
Other than the three BYU campuses, the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City is the only other college that’s officially affiliated with and supported by the Mormon Church. The college offers one- and two-year vocational programs in areas like business entrepreneurship, project management, accounting and information technology. As part of their degree program, students must take a number of religion credit hours, during which they learn more about the Mormon faith. Students can attend a number of faith-based events on campus and receive spiritual support from the college.
Like BYU, LDS Business College determines its tuition rates based on membership with the LDS Church; LDS students pay about $1,500 per semester, while non-LDS students pay about $3,000 per semester. Also like BYU, students at LDS Business College are expected to live by the same strict honor code influenced by the teachings of the Church.
Southern Virginia University
While it’s not supported by the LDS Church or officially affiliated with a particular religion, Southern Virginia University in Buena Vista, Virginia, is a private college that embraces the values of the Mormon faith. Students of all faiths are welcome on campus, but 92 percent of students are members of the LDS Church. SVU has a code of honor similar to but not as strict as that of BYU and LDS Business School. The small campus has around 700 students enrolled and offers clubs, organizations, athletics programs, weekly devotionals and service programs for students. Tuition is similar to that of most private colleges at about $18,300 per year for all students, regardless of their faith or state of residency.
Dixie State University
The LDS Church founded Dixie State University (then called Dixie Normal College) in 1911 and continued to support it until 1933. Located in St. George, Utah, DSU has since become a public university supported by the state. However, it still attracts a large number of Mormon students every year. Currently, over 8,800 students are enrolled at DSU. The school participates in NCAA Division II athletics and has excellent nursing and dental hygiene programs. Tuition is relatively affordable at just over $3,600 for in-state students and $11,600 for out-of-state students. When it comes to student life at DSU, there’s no strict honor code like the one found at BYU. However, many students come from a religious background, and the school’s association with the Dixie spirit has led to a somewhat conservative atmosphere on campus.
Much like Dixie State University, Snow College in Ephraim, Utah was originally founded by local citizens and supported by the LDS Church. In 1932, Snow College was transferred from the LDS Church to the State of Utah, making it a public college. Due to its location in Utah and its relatively conservative atmosphere, Snow College still attracts a sizable number of Mormon students. This two-year school was voted the sixth most successful community college in the nation (based on graduation rates) by CNN Money. With nearly 3,800 students enrolled and a low tuition rate of under $3,000 per year, this medium-sized community college is a top choice for LDS students who want a two-year degree.
Though most of your options for colleges linked to the Mormon Church are found in Utah, don’t forget about the two additional BYU schools in Idaho and Hawaii, as well as SVU, if you’d prefer to attend college in another part of the country.