Frequently Asked Questions
what international students want to know
Is there a separate application for international applicants?
No. International applicants are responsible for submitting the same application and credentials as domestic applicants. The only additional requirement is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination for students who do not speak English as their first language.
If I submit maturity certificate examination results (such as the "A-Levels," Baccalaureate, Maturité), do I also need to submit a transcript from my secondary school?
Yes. The Committee on Admission takes seriously the work that you do in the classroom on a daily basis. Therefore, both your examination scores and classroom grades are included in our review process. In addition, credit may be awarded for qualifying scores. More…
If my secondary curriculum requires more than the U.S. standard of 12 years of study, can I apply apply after my twelfth year?
We don't recommend it. Our most successful applicants have completed the curriculum they have started. Applicants who will have completed the "A-Levels" prior to enrollment, for example, are considered stronger candidates than those who apply after completing only one year.
Is it easier to be admitted if I apply under your Early Action program?
No. Early Action at Boston College is actually a more competitive admission process than regular decision. Our Committee is committed to filling no more than 30% of the Freshman class through the Early Action process. This ensures that students who apply in the Regular process have the same chance for admission as those who apply early. (Last year only 6,500 of our 33,000 applicants applied as Early Action applicants.)
Are there any restrictions to your Early Action program?
Yes. Students who apply to a binding Early Decision program at another college or university may not apply Early Action to Boston College.
How do I set up an interview at Boston College?
Interviews are not offered at Boston College. Because of the large size of our applicant pool, we are unable to offer interviews to every student who requests one. To make our process fair to all, therefore, interviews are not part of the process. Those students who are planning a visit to Boston College will have the chance to meet students and staff members through our Eagle Eye Sessions and Campus Tours. For those students who have even further questions, staff members will be available to speak with you upon request.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT APPLYING TO BOSTON COLLEGE, CLICK HERE.
Is financial aid available to international students? U.S. Permanent Residents? U.S. citizens living abroad?
Detailed information about financing an education for international students, U.S. Permanent Residents, and U.S. citizens living abroad can be found on our Costs & Finances page.
Are there other sources of financial aid available for international students?
Boston College provides international students with information on external scholarships and foundations that work with students to assist them in financing their education. More…
The estimated budget on the Confidential Declaration of Finances form is higher than the costs listed in my admission packet. Do international students pay a higher tuition than domestic students?
No. The tuition, room, board, and fees that international students are charged are the same costs charged to our domestic students. Other figures are listed to account for increased indirect costs such as travel expenses and other expenses that international students may incur.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COSTS AND FINANCES, CLICK HERE.
Which standardized tests are required for admission?
Boston College requires that international students fulfill the standardized testing requirement in one of the following two ways:
- Students may take the SAT I and two SAT Subject Tests of their choice.
- Students may take the ACT with the optional Writing examination*.
* In some countries, the optional ACT Writing Examination is not offered. In this case, providing the ACT without the Writing Exam would meet our requirement.
In addition to the SAT I & SAT Subject Tests or the ACT, international students who do not speak English as their primary language are required to take the TOEFL examination. More…
Which SAT Subject Tests should I take?
For the SAT Subject Tests, students are encouraged to choose two exams in subjects they have enjoyed and which will highlight their particular academic strengths and interests.
Since I have taken my country's national examination, are the SAT exams still required?
Yes. The SAT (or ACT) are credentials that are required of all applicants, regardless of other examinations they have taken.
What are the minimum SAT scores required for admission?
There are no minimum SAT scores required to submit an application to Boston College. Most of our successful students have earned individual scores ranging between the mid-600s and the low 700s. The average SAT Critical Reading, Math, and Writing scores for admitted Freshmen this year were 688, 708, and 703, respectively. It is important to remember that standardized test scores are only one portion of the application, in a highly subjective process. Students with lower scores should not automatically assume that they will not be admitted, while students with higher scores should not assume they will be admitted.
What if I am unable to take the SAT or ACT in my country?
Students who do not have access to testing centers in their country should contact the Office of Admission to discuss alternatives to this requirement. Sometimes, we may know of alternate options that may be available to you.
For example, official SAT test centers are not offered in every major city in China, however, there are also a handful of private centers at international schools in the People's Republic of China have been authorized to give the exam. They include individual schools in Beijing, Kunming, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Tianjin, Xiamen, and, soon, Guangzhou.
Additionally, students may explore taking the ACT, which is offered in some cities in China. For more information, click here.
Do I have to take the TOEFL?
Yes. The TOEFL examination is a required credential for all students whose first language is not English, even if the student studies at a school where instruction is in English. Many times, international students' SAT Verbal scores are lower than those earned by domestic applicants. The TOEFL gives us more information about the students' English skills that would help us in making a decision. In most cases, a strong TOEFL score strengthens the candidacy of our international students. The recommended minimum TOEFL score for admission is a 600 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), 250 on the Computer-Based TOEFL (CBT), or 100 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT). For the Class of 2015, the average TOEFL scores for enrolled freshman were 106 (IBT).
The educational system in my country differs significantly from the secondary system in the United States. Will this affect my candidacy for admission?
No. The International Committee on Admission takes seriously its commitment to learning the educational systems from around the world. Students can be confident that the Committee will fully understand the educational background of each international candidate.
Because the educational system in my country differs from the system in the U.S., I am unfamiliar with the U.S. grading system. How do I know if I will be a realistic candidate in the application pool at Boston College?
Successful students at Boston College typically perform at the top of their educational systems' grading scales. Most secondary programs categorize students' performance as superior, excellent, good, fair, poor, etc. Students performing at the excellent or superior levels should be realistic candidates for admission to Boston College.
Does Boston College award credit for IB programs and other foreign programs (such as the "A-Levels," Baccalaureate, Maturité, etc.)?
Yes. A full description of the credit awarded for various world educational systems can be found here.
What type of academic program do you recommend to make me a strong candidate for admission?
Students who are successful in the admission process at Boston College have taken the strongest programs available to them at their secondary schools. This would include courses taught at the advanced levels, such as the full IB diploma, British A-Levels, etc. If these types of programs are not offered, we recommend that you engage in a balanced curriculum, taking courses in a variety of disciplines. In short, students should challenge themselves as much as possible.
How do I access the city of Boston?
Boston College is located approximately 10 kilometers (6 miles) west of downtown Boston. The city's subway system, which is part of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA, or "the T" for short), ends at the foot of our campus. For one dollar, students can go anywhere in the city. Because of its reliability, convenience, and minimal cost, "the T" is the method of transportation that most people in Boston use.
How do I get to Boston College?
The city of Boston is serviced by Logan International Airport, bus terminals, and train stations. For directions to Boston College from Logan or for driving directions from anywhere in the States, click here.
Can I live in a single room in my Freshman year?
No. The most common type of residential room for a Freshman is a double-occupancy room. Living in community can be a new experience for students who are used to having their own room, but it is a critical part of interpersonal development in our students. There is a limited number of single-resident hall rooms available for upperclassmen, but most students enjoy living with their friends in doubles, small suites, or on-campus apartments.
May I live off campus if I choose?
Yes. However, 99% of freshman live on campus. We strongly recommend that first-year students live on campus, as this is where you will best be able to discover the resources of the University and begin the campus friendships that you will continue for the rest of your life.
May I have a car on campus?
No. There are a limited number of parking spaces (150) on campus for Juniors and Seniors only. These spaces are reserved for students who need an automobile for a pre-practicum or similar experience. Spaces are awarded through an application process. Most students will tell you, however, that "the T" is the only way to travel, and that, if they were given the opportunity to have a car on campus, they would not.
FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM THE OFFICE OF RESIDENTIAL LIFE, CLICK HERE.
Is Boston College a college or a university?
Boston College was once a small college located in downtown Boston. Over the course of the past 14 decades, Boston College has evolved into a full university and is now located in the Boston suburb of Chestnut Hill. More…
Should I attend International Orientation?
Yes, we strongly recommend it. The International Orientation is specifically designed to meet the needs of international students. The Orientation begins three days prior to the regular orientation in the end of August, and is run by the Office of International Students and Scholars at Boston College. International students who attend the International Orientation frequently comment that they have had an easier transition through their first year at Boston College than those who do not.
How do I obtain a student visa?
Upon admission to Boston College, students will receive a Confidential Declaration of Finances form that must be filled out by the student, parents, and the family's bank. This form provides evidence of financial support for the first year at Boston College and is a requirement in order to receive a Form I-20. The Form I-20 is used to obtain a student visa. More…