Trend Continues As Early Action Applications
Top 2,700

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

Early action applications to Boston College increased from last year and have remained at a high level for most of this decade, administrators say, as the University continues to attract many top students hoping to complete their college search early in their senior year of high school.

Undergraduate Admission Director John Mahoney Jr. said last week that early action applications for the Class of 2001 rose slightly over those for the current freshman class, to 2,757. While that figure is less than the 2,895 early action applications received two years ago, Mahoney said, it is still considerably more than the 1,061 applications submitted for the Class of 1995.

The trend is encouraging, administrators say, because early action applicants who are offered admission are usually the top-performing students in the applicant pool. The University has accepted 1,351 of this year's early action applicants.

"Most of the nation's more selective institutions seem to be relying on early action applications to help recruit their freshman classes," said Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties William B. Neenan, SJ. "In that context, what we have seen during the 1990s is a very positive sign indeed for Boston College. The quantity is certainly evident among early action applicants, but so is the quality."

"There has been a leveling-off, but the numbers are still well above what they were several years ago," Mahoney said. "Clearly, the interest in Boston College continues to be very strong nationally."

The deadline for early action applications is Nov. 15 and applicants receive a decision regarding admittance by Dec. 15. While students who are offered admission through early action have until May 1 to decide whether to enroll - the same date as students applying under the normal process - Mahoney said that, on average, approximately 20 percent to 25 percent of incoming freshmen are accepted through early action.

"These are among the very best students," Mahoney said, "and Boston College is very pleased to have them consider enrolling here. We will do what we can to ensure they will be members of the 1997 freshman class."

The students will be invited to an open house on Feb. 1, Mahoney said, and will receive telephone calls from current undergraduates to encourage them to select BC. Faculty and alumni also contact students.

Mahoney noted that the generally high quality of Boston College's early action pool is reassuring at a time when increasing numbers of high school students seem to be taking this route.

"In the last couple of years, there has been a lot written and said about applying early for college," he explained. "It's taken on a frenzy among many students, especially as a lot of colleges and universities are trying to market themselves so aggressively. The impression created is that early action is your best shot at getting into the college of your choice.

"The point we, like other selective institutions, try to get across," Mahoney continued, "is that our standards for acceptance through early action are quite high. Early action rewards the most stellar students with the very best credentials."

Mahoney added that a majority of the students who are not admitted through early action are deferred to the normal application cycle, and thus may still be considered for acceptance.

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