Boston University Awards 45 Boston Public High School Graduates $4.8 Million in Full-Tuition Scholarships

Contact: Richard Taffe, 617-353-4626 |

Boston, MA —Boston University’s longstanding commitment to the City of Boston and its school system was dramatically reinforced Thursday night as $4.8 million in full-tuition scholarships were awarded to 45 public high school graduates. They join the legacy of 1,451 Boston public school students who have benefited from the nation’s oldest and largest such scholarship program which has distributed $88 million since 1973.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino joined Boston University President Jon Westling to present the scholarships at ceremonies marking the 29th anniversary of the program established by then-President John Silber, now BU chancellor. The students, representing 11 of the city’s 18 public high schools and including four class valedictorians, spent the week on the BU campus in an intensive orientation program that included lectures, labs and getting dormitory assignments.

President Westling expressed his admiration for his predecessor, “whose idea it was to begin this program to recognize the good — indeed sometimes heroic — work of the Boston Public Schools, and to provide a major incentive to them and their students to aim for the highest levels of academic achievement.”

“Because Dr. Silber is a doer as well as a dreamer,” Westling said, “he saw to it that his idea became a reality. In consequence, BU is now proud to have what is, by a very considerable margin, the largest program of direct scholarship aid to an urban public school system offered by any private university in the country.”

As part of Boston University’s $2.4 billion annual economic impact in the state, the Boston High Scholars Program represents a continuing investment in the educational future of the City of Boston and its young people. BU also offers annual community scholarship programs for Boston City employees, Boston teachers, graduates of Bunker Hill and Roxbury Community Colleges, graduates of nearby Brookline and Chelsea high schools, graduates of local Archdiocesan schools, and children of Boston and Brookline firefighters killed in the line of duty.

“The 45 young men and women we honor here today have earned a full four-year scholarship to one of the finest universities in the country, and I mean it because I know what BU does day in and day out,” said Menino. “Based on the young men and women here today, Boston is in good hands — they’re the future of our city.”

Boston High Scholars are nominated by their school’s headmasters and chosen by a three-member committee of representatives from the Mayor’s office, the University’s Office of Admissions, and the Boston Public Schools. Meeting the requirements of at least a 3.0 high school grade point average, a top 10-percent ranking in their class and a combined SAT score of at least 1,100, this year’s 45 scholars have a combined GPA of 3.66.

Boston University, with an enrollment of nearly 28,000 in its 17 schools and colleges, is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. The University offers an exceptional grounding in the liberal arts, a broad range of programs in the arts, sciences, engineering, and professional areas, and state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research.