Class of 2012 Breaks BU Records
Largest applicant pool shows jump among minorities| From Commonwealth | By Vicky Waltz
An open house for prospective students.
Boston University continued its upward trend in high school applications this year, breaking last year's record of 33,894 by more than 4,000. The 37,964 high school students who applied to BU's Class of 2012 represent a 12.1 percent increase over last year.
The increase is evenly distributed across all schools and colleges, geographic areas, and ethnicities, according to Laurie Pohl, vice president for enrollment and student affairs. "BU is hot right now," she says.
The jump in minority applicants was particularly notable. African-American students submitted 2,018 applications, up 23 percent from last year, and 2,995 Hispanic and Latino students applied, an increase of 21.9 percent.
"We have put tremendous efforts into making good on BU's tradition of being an open and inclusive place," Pohl says. "We want our underrepresented minority students to find a welcoming and academically challenging community where they will have successful careers."
Pohl also notes that nationwide, the pool of eighteen-year-olds graduating from high school is bigger, and students are, on average, applying to more colleges. "High school guidance counselors encourage students to apply to four schools at a minimum," she says, "and most students apply to six, seven, or more." Pohl expects that within the next year or two, the number of applicants will top off and eventually decrease. "We're seeing the last generation of baby boomers' kids graduate," she says, "and pretty soon we'll experience an overall decline."
But in the African-American and Hispanic communities, the number of high school graduates — particularly first-generation graduates — is expected to increase. In anticipation of this trend, BU has been recruiting heavily in the last decade from states with large Hispanic populations, most notably California, Florida, and Texas.
"In this last year alone, we saw a 21 percent increase in applications from Florida," Pohl says. The state with the most applicants is New York, which saw a 13 percent increase in applications.
The University received 3,812 international applications this year — up 29 percent — from more than 100 foreign countries, the majority from China, India, and Korea. Domestically, students applied from all fifty states.
Other statistics for the Class of 2012 remain virtually unchanged from past years. Female applicants account for 59.5 percent of the total, a .3 percent increase from last year. Average SAT scores in critical reading and math, at 1250, are ten points lower. The average high school GPA (3.5) saw a .05 increase, and average class rank (top 18 percent) decreased by one percent.
Students were notified of their acceptance to BU by April 1, and they must accept by May 1. The University will admit about 4,200 freshmen to the Class of 2012.