(The Heights) By Connor Murphy — The Office of Undergraduate Admission admitted 2,900 students to the Boston College Class of 2021 in December, about 33 percent of a pool of 9,000. Last year’s early action acceptance rate was 32 percent, with a pool of about 8,500 applicants, marking a 5 percent increase this year in early applications.
Admitted students averaged a 33 on the ACT and a 1425 on the SAT, which was updated this year by the College Board to a 1600-point scale and a new Evidence-Based Writing and Reading section. Last year’s early action admits averaged a 33 on the ACT and a 2128 on the old 2400-point SAT.
Students were accepted from 46 states and 30 countries, with a geographic distribution that Director of Undergraduate Admission John Mahoney said is about the same as in years past. AHANA students make up about 27 percent of those admitted, compared to 28 percent last year. Mahoney said about 30 percent of high school graduates nationally are AHANA.
Admissions hopes to fill about 30 percent of the Class of 2021 with students who were accepted early action. BC uses a non-binding restrictive early action program, which means applicants may not apply to both BC and another school’s binding early decision program.
Mahoney’s office makes extensive efforts to recruit students from AHANA backgrounds, starting with buying the names of high school juniors who perform well on the PSAT. Counselors travel widely in the fall to present about BC, targeting specific schools with large AHANA populations, as well as community-based organizations, which often come to BC to tour.
“We’re working hard to increase the AHANA student application pool and ideally would like to see that percentage of AHANA students ratchet up a little each year so that we look more like the country,” Mahoney said.
Mahoney said that the updated SAT took some getting used to for longtime admissions counselors, but his team received training and concordance tables from the College Board to help smooth the transition.
Georgetown University and the University of Notre Dame, generally considered BC’s biggest competitors for applicants, released their early admissions statistics before Winter Break. At Georgetown, the early action acceptance rate was 11.9 percent from 7,822 early applicants, a record-low rate, according to The Hoya. Notre Dame accepted 24.4 percent of 6,020 early applicants. Its admission website reported that it saw a 10 percent increase in early applications over last year.
Georgetown reported an average SAT score between 710 and 770 for critical reading and 700 and 770 in math, and an average ACT score between 32 and 35. Notre Dame did not report standardized test scores. Both schools have different yield targets and class sizes from BC’s, so acceptance statistics are not necessarily directly comparable.
About 2,500 early action applicants to BC were rejected, and 3,500 were deferred to be reconsidered in the regular decision round. Mahoney said his office has an ethical obligation to reject applicants who would not be competitive in the regular decision pool. Combined with the regular decision applications received by the Jan. 1 deadline, BC has received a total of 28,500 applications to the Class of 2021, down from last year’s total of 28,900.
BC’s alumni network has hosted 45 receptions across the country for admitted students since applicants were notified, and Mahoney expects about 800 students to attend an Admitted Eagle Day on Jan. 29.
“Now we want to yield these students, and get as many of these great students to come to BC as we possibly can,” he said.