Feb. 2, 2006 • Volume 14 Number 10

Another Milestone: Applications Pass 26,000

Boston College continues to reach new milestones in undergraduate applications, with more than 26,000 received for the Class of 2010.

That figure, the highest in University history, represents an increase of almost 12 percent over last year's total of 23,823, the previous high-water mark.

In addition, the University's early action program and its nursing and management schools have seen marked increases in popularity among applicants wishing to attend BC.

BC has set a new record for undergraduate applications almost every year in the past decade, and consistently ranks among the top five or 10 private universities nationally for applications received.

Director of Undergraduate Admission John Mahoney says the factors commonly cited as drawing applicants to BC remain strong as ever: high quality academic programs, proximity to Boston, an attractive campus and a top-notch athletic program.

"Prospective students view Boston College as a place that offers a comprehensive package," he said. "It's a winning combination that works in our favor."

While the increased numbers of applications are substantial, Mahoney said they are not surprising.

"Given the competitiveness of college admission today, students and parents are visiting colleges earlier than ever. We saw huge increases last February and April in the number of juniors visiting us during school vacations. Then, summer visits in July and August were well ahead of the year before."

The larger volume certainly points to Boston's College's strong reputation, Mahoney said, but he added, "It places tremendous pressure on my staff to read the applications and make decisions among so many qualified and deserving candidates."

This year's application trends include a 27 percent rise for the Connell School of Nursing and an 18 percent increase for the Carroll School of Management.

Mahoney said, "Nursing applications declined terribly during the mid to late '90s, and there is a tremendous shortage of baccalaureate trained nurses in this country. I think nursing professionals and educators have done a great job communicating the current demand for nurses in the health care industry."

He said applications to business schools rise and fall with the economy, which affects how students see management careers.

Along with the overall 12 percent rise in applications is a 19 percent increase in the percentage of students wishing to be admitted under the early action plan, a non-binding process that allows high school seniors who submit applications by Nov. 1 to learn their admission status by Dec. 25.

"There is a national trend at work in the increasing popularity of early action," said Mahoney. "Some think of it as a way of telling a college that you're very interested."

Since the University aims to fill no more than 30 percent of the freshman class through early action, says Mahoney, the process is more selective than regular decision.

Mahoney said BC's application statistics mirror a long-standing national trend that shows a favorable demographic moving through the nation's education system.

"The number of 18-year-olds in the US has been on an upward trajectory for some time," he said.

Boston College will notify applicants at the end of March whether or not they have been accepted. Students offered admission have until May 1 to make up their minds.

"Everything points to us enrolling a terrific Class of 2010," Mahoney said.

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