Photo by Caitlin Cunningham

Having received the most undergraduate applications in its history this winter, Boston College is set to enroll a first-year class that furthers the University’s efforts to promote diversity as well as academic excellence, and provide higher-educational opportunities for underrepresented students, according to Director of Undergraduate Admission Grant Gosselin.

As of the week of February 7, there were 40,484 applicants for the Class of 2026, compared to last year’s total of 39,877—which represented a record at that time for BC and a 36 percent increase over the applications total for the Class of 2024.

Such results are gratifying, said Gosselin, but as he has reiterated throughout the success of recent years, setting impressive benchmarks is not the intent of BC’s undergraduate admission program. He points instead to the success of various components that represent the key to a successful long-term strategy in line with the University’s enrollment goals.

One facet is BC’s Early Decision application program, introduced in 2019 to meet the growing preference of high school students and enroll more applicants for whom BC was a first choice—students can apply November 1 for a December 15 notification (ED I) or January 1 for a February 15 notification (ED II). This admission cycle has seen a 37 percent rise over last year in ED to 4,428 applications, and approximately half the Class of 2026 has enrolled via ED.

“Interest in Boston College is at an all-time high, evidenced not only by the overall application total, but also by the rise in Early Decision applications,” said Gosselin. “By nature of their ED applications, these students have determined BC to be their top-choice college and the best fit for their academic and personal aspirations.”

Also encouraging, he said, is the increase, from 50 to 75, in enrollees through QuestBridge College Match, a nonprofit program that helps high-achieving, low-income students gain admission and scholarships to the country’s top-ranked colleges and universities; additional QuestBridge applicants will be admitted in the Regular Decision period. This was BC’s second year participating in QuestBridge, he noted, which augurs well for the future—and in fulfilling BC’s objective of bringing first-generation and low-income students to the Heights.

Related to this, Gosselin reported that among the applicants to the Class of 2026, 39 percent come from AHANA backgrounds.

“I’m enormously proud of Boston College’s increased investment in our QuestBridge partnership, which is further strengthening our commitment to diversity, access, and equity. The students we’ve enrolled through QuestBridge thus far will impact our community in meaningful ways.”

Interest in Boston College is at an all-time high. . .By nature of their ED applications, these students have determined BC to be their top-choice college and the best fit for their academic and personal aspirations.
Director of Undegraduate Admission Grant Gosselin

Although BC, along with many other colleges and universities, was test-optional for the 2021-2022 admission cycle, 45 percent of applicants submitted test scores. The average SAT score among applicants is 1452, 33 for ACT.  

Public high school students account for 62 percent of Class of 2026 applicants, while private and independent school applicants are 23 percent of the total, and students from Jesuit or Catholic high schools represent 15 percent.

Gosselin said the return to in-person admission programming at BC contributed to the growth in interest this year. “Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, we welcomed a record number of prospective students to campus last summer. Programming continued in full force this fall, and the members of the Student Admission Program have done a remarkable job showcasing their student experience. Visitors have been impressed with BC’s commitment to in-person learning and co-curricular opportunities during this challenging moment in time.”

The University’s continued growth in academics and facilities made an impact on campus visitors, said Gosselin, citing the cutting-edge Complex Problems and Enduring Questions classes in the undergraduate Core Curriculum as well as new programs in Human-Centered Engineering and Global Public Health.

“The opening of 245 Beacon Street also impressed many prospective students and families,” he added. “This collaborative, academic research center will be a centerpiece of student innovation to address the world’s challenges for decades to come.” 

Sean Smith | University Communications | February 2022