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David Recine

Boston College Admissions: The SAT, ACT Scores and GPA You Need to Get In

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Let’s look at how to get into Boston College. Today, we’ll explore Boston College SAT scores, Boston College ACT scores, and Boston College admissions.

How to Get Into Boston College: Intorduction

This section introduces you to Boston College SAT scores, Boston College ACT scores, and Boston College admissions stats. Let’s get started!

Are you Boston College material? Here is a quick snapshot of Boston College Admissions expectations and statistics:

Boston College SAT Scores

  • Middle 50% of accepted students: 1310-1450
  • Mean for accepted students: 1369
  • Boston College ACT Scores

  • Middle 50% for accepted students: 31-33
  • Mean for accepted students: 32
  • Other Boston College Admissions Statistics

  • Acceptance rate: 29%
  • Average GPA: Not given (more on this in the “Boston College GPA” section of this article)
  • Boston College Admissions and Boston College SAT Scores

    There’s something very interesting about the Boston College SAT scores, when you compare them to the Boston College ACT scores. Look at this SAT to ACT conversion chart. Notice that in Boston College’s mid-50% range, 1310 is equivalent io a 28 on the ACT. Moreover, the SAT 1450 is equal to and ACT 32.

    So if you’re applying to Boston College and taking the SAT, you need to be in a range of performance that’s equal to getting a 28-32 on the ACT. But if you’re taking the actual ACT, you’d need a 31-33 to be in that middle 50%. Similarly, the Boston College SAT mean for accepted students is 1369, which translates into an ACT score of 29. Yet the average ACT score for accepted BC students is 32!

    It seems then, that there may be an advantage to taking the SAT if you’re attending Boston College. But is taking the SAT rather than the ACT really the secret to how to get into Boston College? Appearances can be deceiving. Don’t write off the ACT just yet! We’ll discuss reasons to take the ACT in the section of the article immediately below.

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    Boston College ACT Score

    Maybe you read the above and had a sudden urge to take the SAT and not the ACT. Keep that urge to do the ACT in check for a moment longer. Let’s discuss reasons the ACT might be secret to how to get into Boston College after all.

    First and foremost, it’s important to understand that ACT/SAT score conversions are estimates, not guarantees. The SAT and ACT have a lot in common. But they’re also different in many respects, both in terms of how they’re scored and the content found on the test. In fact, it’s quite common for a student to feel much more comfortable on one test or the other. Consider taking a full practice ACT and a complete mock SAT to gauge which test you feel best about. Or consider a faster, simpler diagnostic tool, such as Magoosh’s ACT vs. SAT quiz.

    If you find the ACT easier, you should plan to submit Boston College ACT scores. And there are many reasons you might perform better on the ACT. You could be more comfortable using a calculator all the way through the math test. Or you might really excel in science, a topic that has a whole section on the ACT. Feel out the test, compare it to the alternative, and make an informed decision.

    Liam got a 35 on the act. Get a higher act score.

    Boston College Acceptance Rate

    The acceptance rate is another important Boston College admissions factor. As I mentioned in the intro to this article, Boston College has a 29% acceptance rate for incoming freshman. That makes the school highly competitive. How to get into Boston College against those kinds of odds? That really is the question.

    What you want to do is find a way to improve your odds. 29% is the general acceptance rate. Your chances could be better. Here are two things you can do to make your application stand out:

    Show Boston College Admissions a great application essay.

    Boston College Admissions asks its incoming students to write an application essay. This application essay may be submitted through the Boston College Common App. The Common App system is actually sued by many top schools. How do you submit a good Common App essay? Magoosh has you covered, with our guide to writing the Common App essay.

    Mike M. from Transizion also has some tips on how to excel in your BC admissions essay:

    “As a world-renowned private Catholic institution, Boston College values beliefs and philosophies that are in line with the Jesuit faith upon which the school was founded…The school’s applicant pool can be quite diverse, and not being Catholic should not preclude you from applying to Boston College if you really love the school. However, knowing about Jesuit beliefs and values, even if you aren’t Catholic, might help you strengthen your application…Jesuits want their students to be the best version of themselves possible, not only in academics, but in all facets of their lives. If you can demonstrate your ability to lead by example and help those who are less fortunate than yourself, then your application will almost certainly stand out when the time comes.”

    But wait, there’s more! Admitsee, an excellent admissions advising website, gives examples of several successful Boston College applications essays.

    Get a winning letter of reference.

    Boston College asks its undergraduate applicants to provide letters of reference. See this official Boston College web page for more details. And be sure to check out Magoosh’s helpful guide to asking for a letter of recommendation.

    A strong essay and strong recommendation, along with an overall excellent application, can rocket you ahead of other applicants. With hard work as well as topnotch Boston College SAT scores or Boston College ACT scores, your personal chances of getting accepted can be considerably better than 29%. Remember that the “big picture”–your whole application–is the real secret to how to get into Boston College.

    Boston College GPA

    The Boston College Admissions website takes a strange approach to GPA. They barely mention it at all! I called Boston College admissions to ask them why, and I found out something surprising. For incoming freshman, Boston College doesn’t even look at high school GPA.

    I asked the Boston College Admissions representative why this is. She told me there is a good reason GPA is not an important aspect of how to get into Boston College. She correctly pointed out that many different unpredictable factors go into high school GPA calculations. Since every high school deals with GPA in their own way, Boston College feels it would be unfair to use GPA as a major factor in admissions decisions. Instead, Boston College Admissions looks for students who took the most challenging high school coursework that they could, and did well in those challenging courses, based on letter and percentage grades.

    So that’s why Boston College Admissions doesn’t really look at high school GPA. University GPA is a different story entirely, though. Universities do calculate GPA in a pretty uniform, predictable way. Because of this, Boston College has both rules and preferences for the GPA of transfer students. If you are hoping to transfer to BC, you need a minimum GPA of 3.0. And to be competitive, you should be in at least the 3.5-3.7 GPA range for your previous university coursework. As you prepare to transfer, keep an eye on your current GPA. Magoosh can help. Here on the Magoosh High School Blog, we offer a GPA calculator tool.

    Boston College Freshman Profile

    “Being a part of the honors program is one of the best things to have happened to me at BC. I’ve met some of my best friends in this program and it’s nice to have my core business classes with the same group of people because we all can work together and help each other. I’m on the speaker series committee for the honors program that works to bring in diverse and interesting speakers for students in the honors program to explore different career fields and gain important advice on how to succeed in the business world. I joined a club called Moneythink during my first year and am now a co-president for that club. We teach basic financial skills to low-income students to provide positive change by empowering young people with the ability to take charge of their financial futures.” — Welcenba, AdmitSee

    At this point, we’ve talked a lot about what it takes to get you into Boston College. You may also wonder how you’ll fit in once you get there. What will your classmates be like, and how will you compare to them? Let’s take a look at the Boston College freshman profile.

    One thing that’s striking about the Boston College freshmen is how many of them choose to live on campus after their first year. First-year students are required to live on campus (with a few exceptions). But even after freshman year, more than 80% of your classmates will choose to keep living in Boston College housing. This means that on-campus residence life will be a good venue for social connections and study groups throughout your college career at BC.

    Boston College also has very few non-traditional students. US News and World report indicates that the amount of students over the age of 25 on campus, grad students included, is “0%”. It’s doubtful that the number is literally that low. But it’s safe to say that the figure is less than 1%, and likely less than 0.5%. So if you are a non-traditional student or an older student returning for grad school, be prepared to study among younger learners.

    Speaking of grad students, you’ll have a chance to meet a lot of grad students during your studies. 33% of Boston College’s students are pursuing advanced degrees. As a result, Boston College is a good environment for incoming undergrads to learn all about grad school from grad students themselves.

    If you’re hoping for opportunities to study with peers from all over the world, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that only about 6.5 of Boston College’s students are international; this is relatively low for a top-ranked national university. What’s the good news? Well, in the last year, Boston College saw a noticeable increase in international applications, with 12.4% more international applicants than in the previous year. BC officials expect this trend to increase. So you can expect to gain more and more global peers as your degree progresses.

    (Note: The information in this Boston College freshman profile came from the following sources: Boston College Class of 2021 Profile, Boston College Facts and Figures, Boston College News, and U.S. News and World Report.)

    Boston College Admissions: Other Info

    Beyond the basic requirements for Boston College SAT scores, Boston College ACT scores, and BC’s GPA and acceptance rate, here are a few other fun facts you should know.

    Boston College is Not Just for “Rich Kids”

    There is often an assumption that any top-ranked private university will be full of wealthy students. However, at Boston College, students from middle class and lower income households are common and welcomed. 66% of Boston College undergrads are eligible for financial aid (source: CollegeData). And through financial aid consulting as assistance, BC has managed to ensure that all students with financial need receive grants, loans, and scholarships.

    Boston College has Two Fixed Application Deadlines

    Boston College only accepts Undergrad students for the fall semester. There are two deadlines to get into Boston College in the fall: a January 1 deadline for fall of the same year, and a Nov. 1 “early action deadline” for fall of the next year. (Under Boston College’s early action program, you may receive an admissions decision earlier than regular applicants. But you will then be contractually obligated to attend Boston College, and not go elsewhere.)

    FAQ: Boston College Admissions, Boston College SAT Scores, Boston College ACT Scores, and Other Aspects of How to get Into Boston College

    OK, I’ve really answered most of the frequently asked questions about Boston College already. But here are a few more things that students wonder about BC, stuff I didn’t manage to cover in the sections above.

    Is Boston College SAT-optional?

    Yes! There is a common perception that East Coast schools either require the SAT or prefer it over the ACT. But this is an outdated perception. Nowadays, every university in the US, including Boston College, gives students a choice between SAT and ACT. So you may submit Boston College SAT scores or Boston College ACT scores.

    Is Boston College Ivy League?

    Technically, no. “Ivy League” literally refers to a specific sports conference that consists of a handful of private, elite East Coast universities. Boston College does not participate in that sports league. But many may consider Boston College to deliver an Ivy League-esque education.

    What is the Boston College Admissions phone number?

    You mean the phone number that I called while researching this article? I’ll gladly share it! Boston College Admissions can be contacted at +1-617-552-3100. (You can also find this number right on the Boston College Admissions website.)

    How to Get Into Boston College: The Takewaway

    Boston College is a top school, easily ranking in the top 1% of universities in the United States. It’s also an elite school, with a less-than 30% acceptance rate.

    But take heart. While it’s true that no “Dream school” is easy to get into, no dream school is uncrackable either. This post tells you everything about how to get into Boston College. Follow the advice I’ve given here, and you just might have a good chance at getting through Boston College admissions

    Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

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    About David Recine

    David is a test prep expert at Magoosh. He has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has been teaching K-12, University, and adult education classes since 2007 and has worked with students from every continent. Currently, David lives in a small town in the American Upper Midwest. When he’s not teaching or writing, David studies Korean, plays with his son, and takes road trips to Minneapolis to get a taste of city life. Follow David on Google+ and Twitter!

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