How to Get Into Boston College: Acceptance Rate and Strategies

June 5, 2023

From 1980 to 1990, Boston College accepted as few as 31% of applicants and as many as 45% of prospective Eagles. Between 1994 and 2003, the average SAT score jumped roughly 100 points with the 50th percentile scores climbing from 1120-1270 up to 1210-1360. The most generous year for acceptance was 1991, when 56% of those who applied were successful. Fast-forward to 2023, and the Boston College acceptance rate is just 15% and the average SAT score of those admitted was above 1500. While you don’t quite need a Doug Flutie-level Hail Mary pass to get into today’s iteration of Boston College, you do need to have much stronger credentials than in previous eras.

Given that the process of gaining acceptance into Boston College becomes increasingly challenging with each passing year, we will make sure that you are up to speed on the following topics:

  • Boston College acceptance rate 2023
  • Boston College ED acceptance rate
  • SAT, ACT, and class rank of accepted applicants
  • Admissions trends from the Class of 2027
  • The demographics of current undergraduates
  • Yield rate
  • How Boston College’s admissions officers evaluate candidates
  • Tips for applying
  • How to assess whether applying is even worth the $80 application fee (for you)

Many students applying to Boston College may also find the following blogs to be of interest:

How to Get Into:

Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.

Boston College Acceptance Rate 2023

The school received 36,525 applications for its 2023-24 freshman class. The Boston College acceptance rate was 15% for the Class of 2027.  Recent admissions cycles have seen the following admit rates:

  • Class of 2026: 17%
  • 2025: 19%
  • 2024: 26%

Boston College ED Acceptance Rate

In constructing the Class of 2027, the university admitted 30% of applicants. This is believed to account for approximately half of the incoming freshmen cohort. The Boston College ED acceptance rate was 28% between the ED I and ED II rounds for the Class of 2026.

Boston College Admissions – SAT, ACT, and Class Rank

The average SAT for admitted Class of 2027 applicants was 1511. The average ACT score was 34. An overwhelming 94% of Class of 2027 acceptees finished in the top decile of their high school class. For enrolled students in the class of 2026, the average test scores were 34 on the ACT and 1482 on the SAT.

Admissions Trends & Notes – (Class of 2027)

  • 12% of those admitted are first-generation students.
  • The admitted group in 2023 was made up of 44% AHANA (people of African, Hispanic, Asian, Native American descent), higher than the previous year.
  • Admitted students had an average SAT of 1510 and an average ACT of 34.
  • 9% of admits were international students.

Behind the Boston College Acceptance Rate – Who Gets in?

Let’s look at the demographics of BC undergraduates:

Geographically, the Class of 2026 included the following breakdown:

  • New England: 29%
  • Mid-Atlantic: 30%
  • Midwest: 9%
  • South/Southwest: 11%
  • West: 11%
  • Other U.S.: 1%
  • Outside the United States: 9%

As with all selective colleges, those from lower-populated, more remote areas of the country (e.g. Wyoming, South Dakota, and Alaska) enjoy a boost to their admissions prospects. The Class of 2025 hailed from 45 states.

Boston College Acceptance Rate (Continued)

The most common countries of origin for the 168 international members of the Class of 2026 were:

  1. China
  2. South Korea
  3. Canada
  4. U.K.
  5. Brazil
  6. Hong Kong
  7. India
  8. Spain
  9. U.A.E.
  10. Vietnam

Looking at ethnic identity, the breakdown of the current undergraduate student body is as follows:

  • Asian American: 11%
  • Hispanic: 11%
  • African American: 4%
  • International: 9%
  • White: 57%
  • Two or more races: 4%

The breakdown by gender of all students in the Class of 2026 reveals 8% more female students than males.

  • Male: 46%
  • Female: 54%

Boston College Acceptance Rate (Continued)

The Class of 2026 hailed from the following types of high schools:

  • Public: 50%
  • Catholic: 21%
  • Private: 29%

What the Class of 2026 be studying—a breakdown by college:

Yield Rate

Boston College’s yield rate — the percentage of accepted students who elect to enroll, divided by the total number of students who are admitted — was 34% last year. For comparison, many other elite private universities enjoyed higher yield rates such as Vanderbilt, Rice, and Carnegie Mellon.

How They Rate Applicants

There are only two factors that BC ranks as being “very important” to their admissions process: rigor of secondary school record and GPA. Rating as “important” are: class rank,  essays, recommendations, extracurricular activities, talent/ability, character/personal qualities, legacy status, religious affiliation, and volunteer work. “Considered” factors are: first-generation status, race/ethnicity, and work experience.

Boston College Acceptance Rate (Continued)

In the words of Boston College admissions officers themselves: “We review each application with a level of thoroughness and thoughtfulness that reflects the time and effort you have invested in Boston College. In making admission decisions, we consider grades, standardized test scores, what you do outside of school, teachers’ and others’ appraisals, and how you express yourself through writing.”

Tips for Applying  

If you plan on joining the 36,000+ Eagle hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • There are no interviews offered through the university. As such, you’ll need to use the essays and recommendations to forge a personal connection with an admissions officer.
  • Boston College does not consider “demonstrated interest” so it is less important that you make contact with the admissions office, connect through social media, and visit campus or meet Boston College reps at college fairs near you. However, engaging in any of those activities is never a bad idea, if only as a way to learn more about whether BC is the right fit for you.

Boston College Acceptance Rate (Continued)

  • Make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the supplemental essay required by Boston College. In the 2022-23 cycle, the instructions/prompts were as follows:

We would like to get a better sense of you. Please respond to one of the following prompts. All applicants, except those applying for the Human-Centered Engineering (HCE) major, should respond to one of prompts #1-5 listed below.

  1. Students at Boston College are encouraged to consider critical questions as they pursue lives of meaning and purpose. What is a question that matters to you and how do you hope Boston College will help you answer it? 
  2. In 2020, we faced a national reckoning on racial injustice in America – a reckoning that continues today. Discuss how this has affected you, what you have learned, or how you have been inspired to be a change agent around this important issue.
  3. At Boston College, we hope to draw on the Jesuit tradition of finding conversation partners to discuss issues and problems facing society. Who is your favorite conversation partner? What do you discuss with that person?
  4. Socrates stated that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Discuss a time when reflection, prayer, or introspection led to clarity or understanding of an issue that is important to you.
  5. Each year at University Convocation, the incoming class engages in reflective dialogue around a common text. What book would you recommend for your class to read and explore together – and why?
  6. One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College integrates technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. What societal problems are important to you and how will you use your HCE education to solve them? (400 words)

For detailed advice on how to tackle these prompts, visit our blog: Boston College Essay Prompts and Tips.

Boston College Acceptance Rate – Final Thoughts 

With Boston College growing more competitive each year, you will likely need to possess stellar SAT scores, near-perfect grades, and earn a place in the top 10% of your high school class. Applying ED will provide a sizable edge if you find yourself “on the cusp” from an admissions standpoint. All college-bound teens need to make sure that they formulate an appropriate college list, containing a complement of “target” and “safety” schools. You’ll definitely want to do this in conjunction with an admissions professional (including your own high school counselor).