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Becoming a Terrier got a little harder this year: only 36 percent of Class of 2017 applicants were offered admission to Boston University, compared to 46 percent last year.

“The BU Class of 2017 is truly extraordinary and among the most accomplished in the University’s history,” says Kelly Walter, an associate vice president and executive director of admissions. Collectively, the students offered acceptance come from the top 9 percent of their high school class, have an A- average, and scored an average 2016 on their SATs. But they aren’t just a bunch of brainiacs: some speak six languages, others have earned a black belt in tae kwon do, marched in Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee parade, and conducted research on the neurosystems of zebra fish.

“What I really have come to appreciate over the years is that our students are multifaceted,” Walter says. “Academics has been a priority, without a doubt, but these students are not one-dimensional. They do have talents, skills, and high aspirations, and they want to bring them to BU.”

Admissions received a record-breaking 52,693 applicants to fill 3,800 seats in the Class of 2017. That’s a 20 percent increase over last year’s record of 44,006 applicants for a class of 3,900. Walter says the jump in applications came as a surprise, but proves the University’s strengthening position in the marketplace. Students have until May 1 to accept their offers.

While BU’s overall admissions rate was just over one-third of students, it was much tighter in certain schools and colleges. The School of Management had 42 percent more applicants and admitted just 22 percent.

Sargent College reported a whopping 67 percent increase in applications and an admission rate of 22 percent. “The quality of the admitted students is much higher, given that we were able to be so selective,” says Gloria Waters, dean of SAR. “SAT scores of admitted students are 42 points higher than last year. In addition, students accepted to Sargent had the highest GPA and high school rank of any college in the university.”

The professions are gaining in popularity, Walter notes, as jobs are becoming more plentiful in industries like health care and business. “There are always trends and patterns in enrollment based on what is happening in society,” she says. During the height of the financial crisis five years ago, fewer students were interested in SMG. “People were skittish about studying business.”

Boston University’s admission rates are now on a par with peer institutions like New York University and Boston College, Walter says, and the University is even more selective than institutions like George Washington University and American University.

“We’re very proud of where we are today and what we’ve accomplished,” Walter says.