Those accepted to the Boston College Class of 2019 faced the most competitive application process in several years, with the acceptance rate dipping to 28 percent for the incoming class. This represents a significant decrease from last spring’s acceptance rate of 34 percent. BC received a total of 29,400 applications this year. The University admitted 8,300 students for a class of 2,280—it hopes for a 29 percent yield rate. Overall, the applications increased by 27 percent this year. Of the accepted applicants, 54 percent were female, and 46 percent were male. Students have been admitted from all 50 states and 73 countries.
On average, the SAT score for accepted applicants is 2120, and the average ACT score is 32. Both of these represent a slight increase from last year, when the average SAT score for admitted applicants was 2104, and the average ACT score was 31.
This year marks the first in the University’s history that acceptances and rejections were sent to students via email. In previous years, all notices were sent through mail. Accepted students for this coming class received an acceptance package in the mail, while no physical letters were sent to those rejected.
Last year, the University received 23,223 applications for the class of 2018, of which 7,875 were offered admission. This number of applications represented a 5 percent dip from the number of students who applied to be part of the class of 2017. Applications reached an all-time high in 2012, when about 34,000 students applied. The next year, after the University introduced a supplementary essay to the Common Application, applications dropped 28 percent, to just under 24,500.
“We’ve got all of these offers of admission out there, but with Boston College’s level of selectivity and its attractiveness right now, we’re competing for these students with some of the best schools in the country,” John Mahoney, director of the Office of Undergraduate Admission, said. “We’ve accomplished a lot already, but we have a lot ahead.”
Mahoney believes that the increase in admissions is due, in part, to the fact that the supplement is now an expected part of the University’s application. In previous years, applicants were more surprised by the additional essay and subsequently opted not to apply. The marketplace is now sensitized to the fact that the supplement is part of the total application, Mahoney said.
In addition, SAT Subject Tests were made optional this year. Despite this, the vast majority of applicants still opted to include their scores as part of their application.
“The quality of the applicant pool rises, the quality of the accepted student pool rises, and the quality of the enrolling student rises as well,” he said. “It ratchets up just a little every year.”
There are approximately 1,200 students currently on the waitlist. In previous years, as few as 50 students and as many as 300 have been admitted to the University off the waitlist. The number of students on the waitlist is dependent on how many students accept their offers of admission—ultimately, admissions staff will delve into the waitlist and perform a qualitative examination to identify the strongest students, Mahoney said.
“We want the highest quality, but also those that have reached out to us and said, ‘This is still my first choice,’” he said. “Not everyone does that, and the ones who do, we’re probably paying more attention to.”
The 6 percent decrease in the percentage of accepted students reflects the growing esteem in which BC is held by prospective students, University Spokesperson Jack Dunn said. He noted that the increased selectivity reflects well on the University faculty and the work Mahoney and his staff do to recruit high school seniors.
“This is a popular school, it’s a good destination,” Dunn said. “People want to be here. Great faculty, beautiful campus, great student leaders. What’s not to like?”
Featured Image by Joy Li / Heights Editor