Boston College has launched a $125-million fundraising effort to bolster its commitment to need-blind admissions for undergraduates. The Be a Beacon Campaign for Financial Aid will run through May 31.

“We believe that any student who has earned admission through our rigorous admission process should be able to accept the offer to become an Eagle—regardless of their family’s financial circumstances,” reads a statement on the campaign website. The site noted that Boston College’s undergraduate financial aid budget for 2020-21 is $152 million, which represents a 43 percent increase over the past decade.

In an October 22 letter, University President William P. Leahy, S.J., noted that BC is one of only 20 private national institutions of higher education in the United States that are need-blind in admission—admitting students on the merit of their applications, not on their ability to afford tuition—and also meet full demonstrated need of qualified undergraduates.

“Current economic conditions and loss of family income have made it increasingly difficult for deserving applicants to enroll at ‘the Heights,’ spotlighting the importance of financial aid and endowed scholarships,” he wrote.

“Please join us in supporting individuals of potential, commitment, and generosity who will assist Boston College in living up to its mission and who will also contribute to resolving challenges of today and tomorrow.”

The Be a Beacon campaign website features a video message from University Trustee Steve Pemberton ’89, H ’15, a philanthropist, speaker, and executive whose best-selling autobiography describes how his BC education enabled him to overcome a childhood of poverty and hardship.

The site also includes testimonials from current and former BC students who have benefited from the University’s need-blind admission policy: They include artist and human rights activist Naren Briar ’20, the daughter of Iraqi refugees; Jamie Kweon ’21, a neuroscience major and music minor who works as a research assistant in Associate Professor of Psychology Liane Young’s Morality Lab; and physics major and budding entrepreneur Peter Huynh ’21, whose family is supporting five students in college at the same time.


University Communications | October 2020