Boston College accepted 16 percent of a record-high 40,477 applicants for the Class of 2026, according to a University release.
Four years ago, the University admitted the Class of 2022 with a then-record-low 27 percent acceptance rate. Now, that acceptance rate has dropped by almost 41 percent.
“BC is getting more ‘best-fit’ students than ever in our applicant pool, who see themselves as aligning with BC expectations and values,” said Director of Undergraduate Admission Grant Gosselin in the release.
BC’s acceptance rate dropped nearly three percent from last year, and students averaged 1510 on the SAT and 34 on the ACT this year. Though BC is test optional, 67 percent of admitted students submitted standardized test scores.
Forty-two percent of admitted students identify as AHANA+ students, with nine percent international and 11 percent first-generation college students.
Early decision (ED) students account for approximately half of this year’s admitted students. The introduction of BC’s ED I and ED II program in 2019 and the test-optional admission plan account for the recent trends in BC’s increasing selectivity, according to Gosselin.
“We have every reason to believe that the degree of academic excellence among our undergraduates will continue to rise,” Gosselin said.
Lucy Michael, a current senior at The Harley School in Rochester, N.Y. and MCAS ’26, applied ED II to BC, explaining that she would pick BC out of all of the other schools she applied to “in a heartbeat.”
“I love the culture of it—the sports and academics balance,” Michael said. “And it’s also just the prettiest campus I visited out of all my college tours.”
Michael said the variety of classes BC offers also caught her eye.
“I was looking into the classes, [and] they all seem really interesting,” Michael said. “Not that I’m really looking forward to class, but they seem better than other schools I’ve seen.”
Giovanna Giuditta, a senior at Ridge High School in New Jersey and MCAS ’26, said she decided to apply to BC after hearing about her brothers’ positive experiences at the University and learning about BC’s strong Jesuit values.
“I do volunteer work at my church now, and my volunteering and my faith are a really important part of my life,” she said. “I’ve seen my brother get involved with volunteer work through things like Appa at BC, and I really look forward to participating in the volunteer culture at BC.”
Ella Duchnowska, a senior at Newton North High School who plans to study neuroscience, said she had varying motivations for applying to BC. Duchnowska was raised in Newton, Mass. and said she grew up going to BC football games.
“I’ve been here most of my life,” she said. “It’s a beautiful campus, and it’s the perfect size—not too big, not too small.”
According to Duchnowska, this year’s college process has been unpredictable, with uncertainty surrounding admissions rates and whether standardized testing centers would be open due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everything I thought I knew about the process seems to be wrong,” she said. “I have an older sister, so I was prepared for the stress of applications and writing essays, but with all the decisions coming back there’s so many things I didn’t expect. … For example, so many students are getting into their reach [schools] and then getting rejected from [safety schools]. It’s just crazy.”
Michael also said the college application process was erratic, with a lot of initial deferrals before she received her acceptance to BC on Feb. 4.
“I noticed with every school, the acceptances seemed random at times,” Michael said. “Even my counselor told me that she thinks BC’s regular decision acceptance rate was like under 10 percent.”
Duchnowska said that although she submitted her test score to the University, she appreciated BC’s decision to be test optional this year.
“It’s probably a way more fair system now because the whole testing system is so messed up and not really valid or predictable,” she said.
Giuditta said she believes this year may have been particularly challenging because current high school seniors are competing with students who may have taken a gap year.
“I think having kids that would be freshmen now taking gap years has just really boosted the amount of applicants that colleges are getting,” she said. “I’m really lucky and thrilled to have gotten in during such a competitive year.”
Anticipating the upcoming school year, Giuditta said she looks forward to meeting a diverse group of students on BC’s campus this fall.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting different students from different backgrounds and areas,” she said. “I’m so open to not just growing academically, but also socially.”
Brandon Alvarez, a current senior at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, Fla. and CSOM ’26, said he is most excited to continue his passion for playing soccer at BC.
“I’ve heard the club soccer team is competitive, but I’m up for the challenge,” Alvarez said. “I’m definitely looking to try out next year.”
If she attends BC, Duchnowska said she looks forward to growing both personally and academically.
“I’m looking forward to learning things that will actually directly impact my future career,” she said. “And socially, I’m excited to meet new people. I love the people in my high school, but it’s going to be nice to break out and meet new people with different backgrounds and perspectives.”