How to Get Into Boston College: Admissions Data and Strategies
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 2022, and only 16% of applicants were accepted and the average SAT score of those admitted was right around 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’s Class of 2026 acceptance rate
- Boston College’s ED acceptance rate
- SAT, ACT, and class rank of accepted Boston College applicants
- Admissions trends from the Class of 2026
- The demographics of current Boston College undergraduates
- Boston College’s yield rate
- How Boston College’s admissions officers evaluate candidates
- Tips for applying to Boston College
- How to assess whether applying to Boston College 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 – Class of 2026
BC received 40,477 applications for its 2021-22 freshman class and accepted only 16%, three degrees lower than the 19% acceptance rate for the Class of 2025.
Boston College: Early Decision Acceptance Rate
In constructing the Class of 2026, the university admitted an estimated 27% of the 4,428 applicants. This is believed to account for approximately half of the incoming freshmen cohort.
Boston College Admissions – SAT, ACT, and Class Rank
The mid-50% SAT for Class of 2025 members was 1430-1510. The average ACT score range was 33-34. An overwhelming 79% of Class of 2024 grads finished in the top decile of their high school class; 94% placed in the top quartile.
Admissions Trends & Notes – (Class of 2026)
- 62% of the applicants to the Class of 2026 attended public high schools.
- Just 45% of applicants included an SAT or ACT result with their application. However, 67% of those admitted did submit test scores.
- 11% of those admitted are first-generation students.
- The admitted group in 2022 was made up of 42% 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.
Who Actually Gets Into Boston College?
Let’s look at the demographics of BC undergraduates:
Geographically, the Class of 2025 included the following breakdown:
- New England: 31%
- Mid-Atlantic: 30%
- Midwest: 9%
- South/Southwest: 11%
- West: 11%
- Other U.S.: 1%
- Outside the United States: 7%
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.
Out of the 45 countries represented in the Class of 2025, the most common were:
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
Looking at ethnic identity, the breakdown of the current undergraduate student body is as follows:
- Asian American: 11%
- Hispanic: 11%
- African American: 4%
- International: 8%
- White: 58%
- Two or more races: 4%
The breakdown by gender of all students in the Class of 2025 reveals 6% more female students than males.
- Male: 47%
- Female: 53%
The Class of 2025 hailed from the following types of high schools:
- Public: 52%
- Catholic: 20%
- Private: 28%
What the Class of 2025 be studying—a breakdown by college:
- Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences: 1,708 students
- Carroll School of Management: 578 students
- Lynch School of Education and Human Development: 131 students
- Connell School of Nursing: 99 students
BC’s 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 33% last year. For comparison, many other elite private universities enjoyed higher yield rates such as Vanderbilt (40%), Rice (41%), and Carnegie Mellon (36%).
How Boston College Rates 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.
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 to Boston College
If you plan on joining the 40,000+ 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 (when COVID-19 is no longer an issue) 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.
- Make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the supplemental essay required by Boston College. In the 2021-22 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. Students applying to the HCE major must respond to prompt #6 only.
- 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?
- When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. What is it about your background, your experiences, or your story, that will enrich Boston College’s community? (400 words)
- Boston College strives to provide an undergraduate learning experience emphasizing the liberal arts, quality teaching, personal formation, and engagement of critical issues. If you had the opportunity to create your own college course, what enduring question or contemporary problem would you address and why? (400 words)
- Jesuit education considers the liberal arts a pathway to intellectual growth and character formation. What beliefs and values inform your decisions and actions today, and how will Boston College assist you in becoming a person who thinks and acts for the common good? (400 words)
- For Human-Centered Engineering major applicants only: One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College strives to develop people who will integrate technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. How would a Boston College engineering education enable you to contribute towards these goals?
For detailed advice on how to tackle these prompts, visit our blog: Boston College Essay Prompts and Tips.
Should I Apply to Boston College?
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).
A licensed counselor and published researcher, Andrew’s experience in the field of college admissions and transition spans more than one decade. He has previously served as a high school counselor, consultant and author for Kaplan Test Prep, and advisor to U.S. Congress, reporting on issues related to college admissions and financial aid.