Early Action Applications Rise 3 Percent

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

Early action applications for admission to next year's freshman class increased by 3 percent over last year's figure, a reflection of the University's appeal among some of the nation's most ambitious and scholastically gifted high school students, according to administrators.

Through the early action program, prospective students who submit applications by Nov. 1 receive a decision from the University by Dec. 25. Undergraduate Admission Director John Mahoney Jr. said 2,829 early action applications were received last fall, and that Boston College offered places in the Class of 2002 to 1,402 - or 49 percent - of the applicants. Students who are accepted have until May 1 to enroll.

Administrators said these figures indicate the early action program's continued success of recent years. BC received 2,757 applications to the Class of 2001 through early action, and a record 2,895 three years ago.

Enrollment Management Dean Robert Lay said early action has become an increasingly attractive option for prospective freshmen.

"The program provides a valuable service to high school seniors engaged in the often pressure-filled process of applying to colleges," Lay said. "These high-achieving students see Boston College as one of their top choices and they want to know early on what Boston College thinks."

In contrast to "early decision" arrangements at some other universities, the student accepted to Boston College through early action is under no obligation to attend. But Mahoney noted that the University enrolls a substantial portion of its freshman classes through the program. Of the 2,757 early action applicants last year, 1,351 - 49 percent - were offered admission, he said, and the 574 who accepted account for 26 percent of the current 2,168-member freshman class.

"It's an option for students to apply early and thus receive good news early from BC," Mahoney said of the program, which he said draws applications from some of the best and brightest college-bound high school seniors.

"The quality of the early action applicant pool is always extremely high," he said. "These are students who, by the end of their junior year, feel very good about their academic records, and feel that they will be competitive at top schools."

Most students not accepted during the early action period are deferred for reconsideration during the regular admission period. Under the regular admission schedule, students have until Jan. 15 to submit applications, and are notified on acceptance between April 1 and 15.

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