CU123 point taken and agreed but I think popular would be if you only took the number of applications side of the equation. The true measure for tiering purposes I think has to involve the effort and resources expended versus the inverse relationship of acceptance.
As an example their are several cal schools that routinely get 75,000+ applicants. That is a measure of popularity but is driven by a variety of economic and geographic reasons. The number of applicants is actually distorted higher not by prestige, or perceived educational opportunity.
The list of admissions percentages while not anywhere near perfect science does show an expenditure for possiblility that is based on the entire picture. Stated differently it is the difference between people playing the lottery because they think they will win and it’s cheap versus people who are willing to spend a few bucks because they value the life changing opportunity of winning although they know the odds are against them.