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Introducing the Class of 2016

Most competitive year to date

| From BU Today | By Amy Sutherland

Students interested in BU and their parents tour the Charles River Campus. Photo by Cydney Scott

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain admission to BU, as the students accepted to the Class of 2016 make clear. This year, a record-breaking 43,979 students applied for 3,900 spots, and the University offered admission to only 45.5 percent, the lowest percentage in BU’s history. (Last year’s admission rate was 49 percent.)

“It’s been an extraordinarily competitive year,” says Kelly Walter, an assistant vice president and executive director of admissions. “This class is obviously quite impressive.”

In many ways the Class of 2016 looks much like the Class of 2015. In both, students finished in the top 9 percent of their high school class and had a GPA of 3.7. However, this year’s accepted freshmen have slightly higher SAT scores—an average of 2005—than last year’s, which averaged 1993.

Walter says that what makes this group stand out is the applicants’ wide-ranging accomplishments. One student has performed at the Kennedy Center, another volunteered at a school for autistic children in China while yet another interned at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Several students have started their own nonprofits.

“These students are not only accomplished academically,” Walter says, “but they’ve made significant contributions to the world at large.”

Those admitted to the Class of 2016 are 5 percent African American, 10 percent Hispanic, 20 percent Asian. That last figure is down slightly from last year despite the fact that the majority of BU’s foreign students come from China, followed by Korea and India. In total, foreign students account for 11 percent of the admitted students, and they hail from 103 countries.

Accepted applicants come from all 50 states, with the highest number coming from New York, followed by California and Massachusetts. California, Walter notes, is one of the few states that has experienced an increase in 18-year-olds. In Massachusetts, and to a lesser extent in New York, that demographic is shrinking.

One thing that hasn’t changed about this year’s class is the ratio of women to men: 62 percent are women and 38 percent men, continuing a trend that dates back to at least 1981. It is a trend many universities and colleges are experiencing, Walter says, although it may be more pronounced at BU.

Students who have been accepted have until May 1 to notify the University of their decision. The Office of Admissions will host 28 Open House programs on campus throughout April as well as off-campus receptions around the country and overseas.

More information about the Class of 2016 can be found here.

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