19 Reasons BYU-Idaho Rocks

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Photo of hundreds of BYU-Idaho students forming BYU-I for a tenth anniversary picture

Many know that BYU-Idaho is usually covered in snow about half of the year, resides in Rexburg, and because of this is referred to as “the Burg.” Since it has only recently become a four year school and has no competitive sports program, some might wonder what could possibly be so exciting about BYU-Idaho?

Actually, there are lots of reasons why BYU-Idaho is exciting and rocks, but here are just 19 of them.

1. Lots of Outdoor Activities

BYUI students white water rafting
Lots of outdoor options is an understatement. Rafting is only one of the many options available to students.

There are so many options for outdoor enthusiasts available in the winter and the summer.

Summer options for students include:

  • Taking advantage of the sand dunes 20 minutes north of Rexburg where you can
    •  Ride four wheelers, dirt bikes, or dune buggies
    • Swim in Egin lake or play sand volley ball
  • Exploring the Civil defense and the Ice caves located 45 minutes north of Rexburg
  • Boating 45 minutes away at Rire Reservoir, where you can also play with paddle boards
  • Canoeing , floating, rafting, or bridge jumping in nearby rivers
  • Rock climbing outdoors near Heise hot springs and other areas
  • Zip lining at Heise hot springs
  • Riding several of the mountain bike trails within 20-30 minutes of Rexburg
  • And more
BYU Idaho student snowboarding at Kelly Canyon
If you’re bogged down with class work and hard pressed for cash, Kelly Canyon is 20 minutes away with lift tickets around $15.

Winter options for students include:

  • Cheap skiing 20 minutes away at Kelly Canyon
  • World class skiing 1 1/2 hours away at Grand Targee ski resort or Snow King ski resort (commonly voted and ranked one of the best resorts in North America)
  • Several places to go snow shoeing
  • Snow sledding and tubing
  • Several snowmobile trails 30-45 minutes away
  • Cross country skiing
  • And more

2. A Variety of Student Activities

Man playing a guitar and singing on stage

Each semester is loaded with activities available to students with any kind of talent. These are just a few of them.

  • Improv comedy groups like Academy of Comedy and Cats of Comedy
  • Dance competitions like Battle of the Dance
  • Grand Pianos for all the piano players
  • Battle of the bands
  • General talents shows
  • BYU-I Idol for singers and bands
  • Last poet standing for all of those poets
  • And more

3. Extensive Intramural Sports Options and Facilities

Picture of BYU-Idaho's huge indoor gym
The gym in the I-center contains 10 full sized basketball courts and an indoor track around the outside on the second level. There are three additional basketball courts in other buildings.

No competitive athletic teams at BYU-I means no sports teams to support or watch, but it also means more people can be involved in sports. The sports people are able to participate in and the facilities to accommodate them are impressive considering they are just for intramural sports.

The facilities available include:

  • An indoor pool
  • 13 full sized indoor basketball courts that can be used for other sports
  • Grass fields where four flag football, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, or two soccer games can be played
  • A stadium with turf football field
  • Two turf fields that can be used for soccer or lacrosse games
  • Two baseball or softball fields
  • An indoor and an outdoor track
Two intramural soccer players running after a soccer ball
There are different levels of competition available for those that just want to have fun and those that love to compete.

Sports available to students include:

  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Flag and full contact football
  • Futsal
  • Lacrosse
  • Ultimate frisbee
  • Volley ball
  • Water polo
  • Swimming
  • Wrestling
  • Baseball and soft ball
  • Dodge ball
  • Track and Field
  • And more

4. A Three Semester System

Graphic of the BYU-Idaho three semester track system

BYU-Idaho switched to a 14 week, three semester program when it became a four year college. While this can be a hassle for some couples that find themselves on different tracks, it has two big benefits.

  • It allows students on the fast grad program to graduate in three years with an internship instead of four
  • It allows higher student attendance because of the rotating Winter, Spring, and Fall  track system

5. The ORC

BYUI Student biking a local mountain biking trail
Exciting activities at exciting prices. The ORC puts activities like Mountain biking and paddle boarding in reach.

Hidden under the bleachers of the Football stadium, is a place that can help you fulfill your outdoor dreams and bucket list goals.

Many colleges have several outdoor options available to them, but at what cost? The Out Door Resource Center or ORC has many cheap options available to outdoor enthusiasts. Some cheap options include:

  • Mountain and tandem bikes
  • Paddles boards river rafts and inner tubes
  • Volley ball nets and human foosball
  • Rock climbing equipment
  • Alpine skies and snowboards
  • Snow shoes and air boards
  • Trailers for bikes, rafts, and canoes
  • And much more

Those are the main items. There are several other items available to rent or buy. For more info and pricing, visit their webpage.

6. Forbes Ranked BYU-Idaho 9th in most Affordable Colleges

Image of Taylor building and Taylor quad on BYU-Idaho campus
Maybe you already knew BYU-I was cheap, but what you might not have known is that it is cheap and offers a quality education.

If you have ever looked at going to a school out of state, then you realize just how much a college education can cost now days. Even most in-state schools require significant financial investment. While there are several other factors that will help a person decide where to go to school, price is definitely a major factor.

Forbes Magazine’s list of top-quality undergraduate colleges ranked BYU-Idaho 9th in the nation. With an annual cost of $11,398 for both in state and out of state students. The average cost for a student to attend at an in-state public college is about $23,410. The average cost for a student to attend at a private college is $46,272.

That price makes BYU-Idaho’s education look like a sweet black Friday deal available to anyone with a job waiting at the end of it thanks to the internship program.

7. Education for a Complete Individual

Students Graduating from Brigham Young University Idaho
Many employers aren’t just looking for qualified individuals with degrees, they want people of integrity.

BYU-Idaho’s education consists of most of the usual courses a college student will receive. However, it also includes many courses that will not only help students become knowledgeable, effective future employees, teachers and professionals in every field, but also honest and value driven ones.

Every university strives to give its students the necessary knowledge and information so they can succeed in the real world, but how many of them also make an enormous effort to build a student’s character like BYU-Idaho does?

8. Marine Biology Field Experience

Two marine biologists investigating a tide pool

BYU-Idaho students are offered an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in marine biology and marine ecology. This opportunity is a four week program at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB), located at the mouth of Coos Bay, Oregon. The University of Oregon allows BYU-Idaho students to use it facilities the first block of the spring semester during odd years.

During their time at OIMB, MBFE students participate in marine biology course work and visit a wide diversity of intertidal habitats learning methods of field research.  They work together in research teams to propose, plan, and carry out research projects in marine ecology.

Each research team writes a research manuscript in which they report the results and conclusions of their work.  The best papers are submitted to a professional journal for possible publication. For more info about this opportunity, visit the Biology department’s webpage.

9. Many Successful People Have Attended BYU-Idaho

Image of the cartoon strip Pickles by Brian Crane
The creator of the comic strip Pickles attended BYU-Idaho.

Successful individuals that attended BYU-Idaho include: entrepreneurs like Frank Vandersloot the president of Melaleuca; Brian Crane the author of the cartoon strip Pickles; Rulon Gardner, who took gold in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney by beating Aleksandr Karelin who had been undefeated for the last 13 years of international wrestling; and many others.

10. Its Emphasis on Student Education, Rather than Research and Publishing

teacher teaching students in a class

Many schools allow and encourage their professors to complete research or publish works that are relevant to their fields, while some require it of their faculty. At BYU-Idaho, the administration and the faculty focus on how to better educate the students that attend the university.

This does not mean the school doesn’t allow teachers time to do research or to publish works. There is a time allotted for teachers to work on projects so they can stay current in their fields.

What student wouldn’t want to attend a school that places its emphasis on continually improving the methods used to make sure its students receive the best education possible?

11. Well-Known Former Presidents

Former BYU-Idaho president Kim. B Clark holding up scriptures at a BYU-Idaho Tuesday devotional
Kim. B Clark holds up his scriptures at a BYU-Idaho Tuesday devotional.

All of BYU-Idaho’s past presidents have done great work when it came to improving the college. Some past presidents that everyone should recognize are President Henry B. Eyring, the current first councilor in the first presidency of the Church and Elder David A. Bednar, a current member of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Elder Kim B. Clark, the most recent former President of BYU-Idaho, did so much for the school. When he accepted the invitation to become the president of BYU-Idaho and leave his position as the dean of Harvard business school, many of his colleagues did not understand. His time and efforts at Brigham Young University – Idaho have done much to improve the teaching and educational opportunities for many people.

12. The Annual Pond Skim

Each year around February, students dress up as ninja turtles, Elvis, smurfs, and anything else you can think of. Decked out in their costumes, these students strap on their skis or snowboards and get their sleds ready, then fly down a man-made mountain of snow to see how far they can make it across the pond at the bottom.

Hundreds of people come to watch them in their efforts and listen to the live music in this exciting annual winter event.

13. BYU-Idaho Has Survived Two Floods

Deep snow drifts and frequent high winds are not the only things that BYU-Idaho and its students deal and have dealt with. BYU-I has survived two floods. The first one occurred on June 5, 1976, when the Teton Dam broke releasing 80 billion gallons of water on everything in its path.

The second flood occurred July 15, 2014. It was a flash flood that filled the lower levels of several apartment buildings and got into the ground floors of several buildings on campus.

14. The Ropes Course

people climbing up the different challenges at the BYU-Idaho ropes course
Challenge yourself and your fears at BYU-Idaho’s ropes course.

West of the Rexburg temple, just a little ways down the hill, sits BYU-I’s ropes course. There is no room for fear here. Its  large cable swing, tall tower you have to scale, cable walks, and many other exciting challenges will help you to rule your fears.

It is definitely worth checking out.

15. The International Dance Festival

Russian dancers performing at the international dance festival in Rexburg Idaho
Russian dancers performing a dance portraying what it is like to be bothered by a mosquito.

BYU-Idaho hosts the annual international dance festival that has gone on for 29 years now. In the past, nearly 300 teams have come from 60 different countries.

This event is a fun and unique opportunity to be exposed to many different cultures around the world through dance. It is fascinating to see the types of dances performed, listen to the different music that inspires the artistic expression in the dancers from each country, and the different styles of clothing each culture wears for their traditional dances.

16. Its Ability to Get Noteworthy Artists to Perform on Campus

BYU-Idaho has hosted artists and groups like the Vienna Boys choir, the Piano Guys, the King’s Singers, David Archuleta, the Shanghai Quartet, and many more.

If you are a fan of great music and great talent, then you should be a fan of BYU-Idaho, because they can bring it in.

17. It Won the 2015 National Collegiate Landscape Championship

Lots of people looking at booths in a gym at the national landscape competition
Competing students and potential employers interact at the 39th annual national landscape competition.

BYU-Idaho’s Applied Plant Science PLANET Career Days team won the Collegiate Landscaping Championship.

The 2015 annual national Collegiate Landscaping Championship took place at North Carolina State University. About 850 college students from 65 of the nation’s top horticulture and landscape programs attended the three-day competition.

Their skills in 28 events were tested at the Olympics of Landscaping. Students competed in 3-D landscape design, irrigation techniques, hardscape installation, plant identification, small engine repair and many more events requiring the expertise needed to work in the industry.

18. It Helped Two Students Place 1st in National PAS Competition

Two teams of students debating at an agricultural competition
There are several events at the national PAS competition and BYU-I had students place in other events aside from their first place winners.

The National Postsecondary Agriculture Student Organization has a yearly competition. This year’s took place in Boise, Idaho.

PAS is often compared to the FFA organization, but it is very different. In FFA contests students teach about agriculture in general, but the PAS contests are more career-focused. The competition had about 570 students in attendance with individual competitions. The competitions are in areas such as career planning and progress and employment interview. There are also some specialist competitions.

Two of BYU-Idaho’s students placed first in two different events in this years competition. Joel Crowther in employment interview for crop production and Avery Robertson in the beef category of livestock specialist. He also placed second in employment interview for Livestock production.

19. The Pathway Program

Graphic explaining the benefits of BYU-Idaho's pathway program

An entire post could, and probably should be, written about Brigham Young University Idaho’s Pathway Program. It is innovation in higher education. It isn’t just changing higher education in America, it is making it available to many more people that are eager to learn around the world.

President Clark and BYU-Idaho must have a touch of Nissan in them, because the Pathway Program is truly “innovation that excites” a lot of people in higher education.

To know more about the Pathway Program and how the BYU-Idaho has improved over the years, see Deseret News’ article about the changes it has undergone.

Image of the Taylor chapel on BYU-I campus

Abe is always aspiring to be awesome. It wasn't until he started to go bald that he finally started to realize that goal. When that happened, he realized his writing, and life, drastically improved. He enjoys writing, growing his facial hair, and many other pursuits. Abe is a Professional and Creative Writing Major and an intern with LDS.net