How to Get Into Boston College: Admissions Stats + Tips

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What’s Covered:

 

Boston College was the first institution of higher education in Boston. Founded in 1863 by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), the college has gained acclaim, graduating notable figures like Amy Poehler, John F. Kerry, Molly Schaus, and Chuck Hogan.

 

BC’s undergraduates learn within Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, Carroll School of Management, Lynch School of Education and Human Development, or Connell School of Nursing.

 

What does BC look for in applicants? And how can you improve your chances of admission? Let’s take a look.

 

How Hard Is It to Get Into BC?

 

During the 2020–2021 admission cycle, 29,382 students applied, and 7,752 were admitted, for an acceptance rate of 26%.

 

Of these students, 3,225 applied Early Decision I and II combined, and 39% were admitted, filling up nearly half of the class of 2025.

 

BC’s acceptance rate is quite low, but your personal chances of admission will vary according to your profile strength. Find out your real odds of admission using CollegeVine’s free admissions calculator. This tool uses your grades, test scores, extracurriculars, and other factors to estimate your chances, plus gives you tips on how to improve your profile for success.

 

Average Academic Profile of Accepted BC Students

 

GPA

 

According to BC, the average GPA for admitted students is an A/A- in the “most rigorous program available.”

 

SAT/ACT

 

For admitted students, the middle 50% SAT range is 1410-1520, and the ACT range is 33-35.

 

What is BC Looking for?

 

BC employs a holistic admissions process, seeking diverse talents and individuals, along with academic preparation. It’s important to note that the college continues to operate according to Jesuit principles, on which it was founded. 

 

“Boston College urges students to look inward but always to reach out—to develop their minds and talents to the fullest and use them in service to others,” the college says. “There is no specific formula to gain admission—our goal is to enroll a class filled with various types of scholars, learning styles, talents, and personalities.”

 

To that end, the college considers “grades, standardized test scores, what you do outside of school, teachers’ and others’ appraisals, and how you express yourself through writing.”

 

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

 

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting into BC

 

1. Achieve at least an A/A- average while taking the most challenging classes available.

 

Admitted students at BC have an A/A- average in high school. Competitive schools often use the Academic Index, which combines academic factors like GPA and test scores for a single metric that filters out students who don’t meet certain thresholds.

 

Grades alone are not enough, however. BC also wants to see you challenging yourself with the most rigorous curriculum available to you. Taking AP, IB, and honors courses—and succeeding in them—demonstrates that you are well prepared for BC’s curriculum.

 

If your GPA is lower, and you’re earlier on in your high school career, check out our tips for increasing your GPA. If you’re a junior or senior, it will be harder to increase your GPA, so the easiest way to increase your Academic Index is to get a higher test score.

 

2. Aim for a 1520 SAT and 35 ACT.

 

To be a competitive candidate at BC, you should aim for an SAT or ACT score at or above the 75th percentile of accepted students—1520 or 35 respectively. Anything within the middle 50% range (1410-1520 SAT or 33-35 ACT) is acceptable, especially this year, when many students are applying test-optional. 

 

We recommend taking the test if you can do so safely since it will boost your application. If you are wondering whether or not  to submit your score, we recommend submitting anything at or above the 25th percentile of admitted BC students’ scores. 

 

You can get recommendations on whether or not to apply test-optional using our free Chancing Engine. 

 

Bear in mind, too, that BC superscores, meaning they will only consider your highest subsection scores for both tests, so it’s in your best interest to take the test more than once.

 

For more guidance, check out these free CollegeVine resources:

 

 

3. Cultivate at least one or two Tier 1-2 extracurriculars (find your “spike”).

 

You know that extracurricular activities are important, but it’s a bit more nuanced in that. First, you should ensure that you have at least a couple Tier 1-2 activities from the 4 Tiers of Extracurriculars. These are the most specialized and unique extracurriculars, such as winning first place in the Math Olympiad or receiving an award from the National Art Honor Society. Meanwhile, Tier 3-4 activities are more common and less specialized, such as minor club leadership or participation.

 

Your activities should also be grouped around one or two themes, so you can demonstrate that you have a “spike”—developed interests in specific areas. For example, BC would rather see that you were president of the Biology club and that you shadowed a doctor at a local hospital to show your interest in medicine, rather than spreading yourself thin in five different clubs and two volunteer positions.

 

4. Write engaging essays.

 

Essays help the adcom go beyond your statistics to learn who you are as a person. From grappling with critical questions to analyzing the impact of the national reckoning on racial injustice, BC’s prompts are meant to encourage you to probe your thoughts and beliefs to present a clear picture of who you are.

 

Check out CollegeVine’s essay guide for advice on writing the BC essays this year. 

 

5. Apply Early Decision.

 

The Early Decision acceptance rate of 39% is considerably higher than the overall acceptance rate of 26%. In general, ED plans do offer admission at a higher rate than Regular Decision plans, so if BC is truly your first choice, it’s in your best interest to apply early.

 

However, there are some disadvantages to applying ED to BC. If your profile isn’t nearly as strong as that of admitted students, then you won’t gain an appreciable advantage, and your early application is better used elsewhere. Moreover, if financial aid is a concern, you should bear in mind that you won’t be able to compare offers, since you’ll be locked into attending BC if you’re admitted.

 

6. Understand the school’s religious affiliation.

 

While not everybody who is admitted to or attends BC is Catholic, it’s important to remember that the school is Jesuit-affiliated, and this plays a role in your application. Make sure you understand this when you apply. Know, too, that you can exemplify the values of BC without being religious. You should play these qualities up in your application—and if you are Catholic, you should say so.

 

How to Apply to BC

 

Deadlines

 

Application Timeline

Deadline

Early Decision I

November 1

Early Decision II

January 1

Regular Decision

January 1

Spring Freshmen

November 1

 

Application Requirements

 

  • Common Application
  • Writing Supplement
  • SAT/ACT scores (optional for the class of 2026)
  • High school transcript
  • School Report 
  • Counselor Recommendation Form
  • 2 Teacher Evaluations (from English, Social Studies, Science, Math, or Foreign Language teachers, recommended)
  • Mid-Year Grade Report
  • $80 application fee or fee waiver

 

Learn more about BC

 

 

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Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.

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