Brigham Young University jumped up four spots to 71st in the U.S. News & World Report 2012 Best Colleges rankings, released earlier this week.
The BYU football team has been taking advantage of the academics offered, posting a 3.0 cumulative team GPA, the highest cumulative team mark in years. Last season, running back Bryan Kariya earned Academic All-American Second Team honors and was the only running back from an FBS school to earn Academic-All-American.
Since Mendenhall took over the program in 2005, BYU earned seven Academic All-American honors, including six in the past three seasons.
The 350-page 2012 Best Colleges guidebook, which hits newsstands Sept. 20, ranks more than 1,400 four-year accredited colleges and universities. BYU falls into the category of "national universities," which includes schools that offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and doctoral degrees.
This year BYU also surged seven spots to 13th in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category and is ranked 8th in the category of “Least Debt,” which compares the average debt carried by departing graduates. The Marriott School of Management is ranked 36th in the category of undergraduate business programs.
The Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology was also listed among the top engineering schools, with its undergraduate program ranked 82nd.
In specialty categories, the Marriott School moved up three spots to 14th in international business while also registering 21st in entrepreneurship.
Princeton and Harvard tied for the top spot in the "national universities" category, followed by Yale, Columbia and the California Institute of Technology.