7 months ago
Admissions Advice

Apply Early Decision to Boston University or Boston College?

Hi! So these past few years have obviously made the college admissions process even more unpredictable than it usually is, and I know that there is no cut-and-dry answer, but any advice or personal stories may help me. I have an estimated 3.7/3.8 unweighted GPA (our school only gives us a weighted percentage so it is hard to be sure) and a 1390 SAT. I have great extracurriculars and job experience and am confident in my writing skills for my essays. I just visited Boston and I love it, but I am super conflicted between Boston University and Boston College. As a philosophy major, I know Boston College is stronger for me, but which school will I have a better chance of getting into by applying early decision? (I know my grades and SAT are bad, I'm not stupid, I just went through a lot during high school and COVID and I think the COVID essay will help explain that)

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[🎤 AUTHOR]@ishikapatel7 months ago [edited]

@2022student Boston University is 50% through early decision. But they get a lot more applicants, especially during this time

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7 months ago

First, congrats on making it through COVID-19. Secondly, it's great you have some schools you are interested in. They are both great schools but I think they are very different from one another. BU doesn't really have a centralized pastoral park like campus and you are basically living in the Back Bay area bouncing around from class to class witin different city block office looking buildings. BC does have a beautiful campus but they are know for being stingy about high SAT/ACT scores and if you are not Catholic (or Christian), you might find the culture challenging during the holidays.

Due to record ED applications this current cycle both schools got a lot of applications. BC received 3248, accepted 1280 for 39% admit rate. BU received 5663, accepted 1696 for a 30% admit rate. These are still significantly higher than the 18.9% and 18.3% RD admit rates. The avg SAT/ACT for ED at BU was 1440 and 33 and the final tally including RD was 1482/34 for the 58% submitting test scores.. At BC the final tally was 1495/34 for the 61% that submitted test scores. So for apples to apples comparison, they are equivalently challenging. And if I'm not mistaken both schools have middle 50% UWGPA of between 3.7-4.0 unweighted.

Honestly given the anticipated high volume of future applications prompted by the extended test optional policies and the additional wave of International students that will be applying the next 2 cycles, neither one is going to be a better deal for you. I believe both BC and BU will get even more ED applications this Nov.1 because of these factors and the hypercompetitive environment.

Currently you have two deficits which is your unweighted GPA and your SAT composite score. Since you don't know your unweighted GPA, I have to assume that it's in the 3.4/3.5 range if you've taken say 6-9 weighted classes. You unfortunately don't have enough time to get this up to 3.87 (middle GPA score). Your SAT is about 90-105 pts lower than the admit average. However, that is something you can work on this summer.

UWGPA is actually one of the most important stats any admit can have on their college application so if you don't have the middle GPA, you have to have other stats that make up for it like very high test scores or amazing spikey ECs like being a recruitable athlete. I recommend that you work on what you can and just pick the one school you want to apply ED to and don't get too vested into thinking that you are a shoe-in to get in.

In the meantime, it would be a good use of time, to make a list of target schools that would be happy to attend if you got in. I don't know if you are on the East Coast, but if you are, it would be great idea to visit some other colleges with your parents. When I toured NE Colleges I made sure I visited some safeties and targets as well and I'm glad I did because they are all great schools. I especially liked Mt. Holyoke, Smith, Trinity College, Vassar, Hamilton, Colgate and Wellesley. If I had more time, I would have liked to check out Bates, Skidmore, Connecticut College, Bryn Mawr, Sarah Lawrence, Marist Bennington and Middlebury.

If you have aspirations to one day consider entering a profession that requires a graduate degree, it really doesn't matter where you go to undergrad. You can apply to top Elites and Ivys for Law, Business or Medical School from any 4 year school. Sometimes its better to a top student at a smaller liberal arts college than just a number at really big school. Just keep that in mind.

I for one was overprepared for the worst and got into one of my Top choice schools. But 90% of my classmates all thought they were going to get in ED to Brown, Columbia, Yale, Stanford, etc and I was the only one to get in ED to a top school. But I had a back up plan of 20 schools to apply if I didn't. So you need a solid back up plan because the college admissions process is unforgiving.

Have a great summer!


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