Applications Top 16,000 For Third Year

AHANA numbers grow

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

Applications for admission to Boston College have topped 16,000 for the third consecutive year and they include a record number of African-American applicants.

Director of Undergraduate Admission John Mahoney Jr. said the final figure for applications will come within 30 of last year's total of 16,501. The record for applications, 16,680, was set in 1995. There will be approximately 2,200 seats in next year's freshman class.

Undergraduate Admission Director John Mahoney Jr. (Photo by Gary Gilbert)

"The fact that applications are again well over 16,000 is especially gratifying this year, when it appears that applications to most leading universities, including the Ivies, have fallen off," said Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties William B. Neenan, SJ. He added that applications to most Ivy League institutions are down 8 percent to 10 percent.
"Given that we compete with a number of those schools for the same students," said Dean for Enrollment Management Robert Lay, "and that the quality of our applicant pool has risen again this year, I'm very optimistic that next year's freshman class will be the best in Boston College history."

Mahoney said the University is holding steady in attracting applicants from targeted geographical areas, such as California, and that applications from AHANA students are on the rise.

AHANA applications rose 3 percent, to 3,300, over last year's levels and applications from African-Americans hit an unprecedented 612.

"This is the first time in Boston College history that we've gone over 600 and it has given us a record pool of African-American students for the third consecutive year," Mahoney said.

Mahoney said Boston College's maintenance of an applicant pool above the 16,000 mark is especially impressive in light of the University's new set of competitors, which includes many of the nation's elite universities.

"We're doing extremely well," Mahoney said. "Last year was a watershed year for Boston College. The quality of our pool was higher and the quality of our competition rose, yet we saw a 5 percent increase in our yield [the percentage of accepted students who enroll]. This year, the quality has risen again and we want to meet or exceed last year's yield, and I feel very good about it."

Mahoney said Boston College's rising national reputation as a highly selective school "is both a positive and a negative." It may be keeping the number of applications from rising further because many students are "self-selecting" out of the pool, figuring they won't be accepted. Those who do apply, however, are higher-quality students.

Mahoney added that an open house for students accepted through the early action application process - who tend to be the best students - and their parents netted about 1,000 people. "Boston College is definitely very high on their list," he said.

He added that the Admission Office is expecting about 3,000 accepted students and parents for an open house week next month, and will work with current students and faculty to contact accepted students and persuade them to enroll at BC.

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