With Large Freshman Class, Financial Aid Reaches Record High

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The Class of 2021 was awarded $37 million in need-based financial aid from Boston College—a new record. The class is also larger than usual, due to a high yield and low rate of attrition, according to Director of Undergraduate Admission John Mahoney. The exact size of the freshman class won’t be finalized until an official census takes place in September.

Financial aid granted to the Class of 2021 reached a record high because recent federal legislation allowed students to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form on Oct. 1 instead of January. More financial aid applications were completed by the time admission decisions were sent, and, as a result, more students received both acceptance letters and financial aid awards. In addition, families had a longer period of time to appeal initial aid packages, which led to larger financial aid packages for students, since BC pledges to meet full financial need.

“So, for some families, the earlier award clinched the decision for them,” Mahoney said in an email. “For others, the successful appeal was a determining factor.”

On May 1, the yield of accepted students was 28 percent, 2 percent higher than last year’s, according to Mahoney. Expected summer attrition was down a point, to 5 percent, and combined those two factors led to a larger freshman class than usual.

“This increase in yield and decline in summer attrition points to Boston College’s strength in the competitive admission climate,” Mahoney said in an email.

The mid-50 percent range of scores on the SAT was 1310 to 1450, and the mid-50 percent range of performances on the ACT was 31 to 33. Mahoney said that by these and other measures, the Class of 2021 is one of the strongest the University has seen.

Although the Class of 2021 was large, the Office of Residential Life housed every first-year student who requested housing, according to George Arey, associate vice president of student affairs and the head of ResLife. A total of 7,700 students are housed on campus this year, he said in an email. The Reservoir Apartments are slated full for the fall semester.

The second floor of Williams Hall, which typically houses sophomores, is filled with freshmen girls this year. The first floor of Williams continues to house male freshman, as it has for the last two years.

Mahoney also provided some stats on the class’s demographics: Students in the Class of 2021 come from 46 states and 37 foreign countries. Fifty-two percent of the class is female, while 48 percent is male. Thirty-one percent of enrolled students are from AHANA backgrounds.

“Undergraduate Admission has worked hard to build relationships with community based organizations across the country, and these efforts are clearly paying off in terms of the diversity of this class,” Mahoney said in an email.

Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Staff

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Chris is the associate news editor for The Heights. He is from Manhattan, N.Y. and can talk about his love for New York City for hours. You can follow him on Twitter @chris_heights.