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In Spite of Rise in Admission Rate, 2016 Early Action Acceptances Maintained Rigorous Test Scores

Despite a decrease in the number of early action applicants and a rise in the acceptance rate, landing at 32 percent, Boston College’s early action admittance class maintained last year’s academic rigor and matched the class of 2019’s average SAT and ACT scores.

BC Undergraduate Admission received 8,600 early action applications, a decrease from last year’s spike in interest. John Mahoney, Boston College Undergraduate Admission Director, says, however, that the number of applications is similar to what was received in past years.

“We have carved out our niche in terms of the reputation of the institution and the quality of students that apply,” Mahoney said.

The admitted class averaged a 2128 on the SAT and 33 on the ACT, nearly matching last year’s early action class’ scores.

BC Undergraduate Admission admitted 30 percent of the 2020 class through the restrictive early action program. Because the office received about a third of the overall applications through early action, allotting 70 percent of spots for the regular decision students creates a fair playing field for those who apply to the Jan. 1 deadline, Mahoney said.

“We are great believers in this idea that the people applying at the Jan. 1 deadline should be treated with the same fairness and equity that those who are applying early action,” Mahoney said. “So as a result, we do apply a somewhat tougher standard to the early action pool.”

In the early action admittance class, students represent 46 different states and 28 different countries. The most students, however, reside in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, California, and Connecticut. 28 percent of admitted students also come from AHANA background.

Mahoney also believes that 25 percent of deferred applicants will gain admission in the regular decision pool.

BC admission works through a restrictive early action system, meaning that students who apply early to BC may not apply with a binding early decision agreement to any other university. Mahoney reasons that this system gives students who are really interested in BC a greater opportunity to be admitted. Georgetown and Notre Dame practice the same admission system.

The admissions team is now working to encourage around 700 to 750 students to enroll at BC by hosting events with BC alumni throughout the country. Over Christmas break, 42 events were held nationwide. About 2,700 students were accepted in the early group.

Undergraduate Admissions is hosting Admitted Eagle Day on Jan. 31, where admitted early action students will have the opportunity to visit campus and hear from administrators, professors, and students. Current BC student volunteers will also begin to make phone calls and send out emails to admitted students.

“I am not exaggerating when I tell you that we could probably enroll Boston College’s entire freshman class in that early action group,” Mahoney said.

Correction: this article has been updated to reflect the fact that the admissions team is hoping for 700 to 750 students of the early acceptance class to enroll.

Featured Image by Kelsey McGee / Heights Editor

January 21, 2016