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Introducing the Class of 2016

Most competitive year to date

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.

Most colleges and universities, BU included, offer admission to more students than there are seats in the class because students apply to multiple institutions. Electronic notifications went out Saturday directing students who had applied to a link where they can see an image of their acceptance or rejection letter. To date, some 35,000 have logged on to the link. 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.

Amy Sutherland, What Shamu Taught Me About Life Love and Marriage, Boston Globe, Boston University
Amy Sutherland

Amy Sutherland can be reached at alks@bu.edu.

53 Comments on Introducing the Class of 2016

  • Sara Lee on 03.28.2012 at 9:21 am

    The female to male ratio is getting out of hand. lol. We want more boys

    • AD on 03.28.2012 at 1:07 pm

      You just have to know where to look. Try Photonics.

    • HB on 03.28.2012 at 10:22 pm

      Well, it is the quality, not the quantity.

  • John on 03.28.2012 at 10:12 am

    Listen, let me preface this by saying that I am a BU alum. I am very proud of the school, love my professors…yada yada yada. BU needs to end this “We are Harvard” crusade. Is BU a good school yeah, is it Ivy League No! Not even close. BU is ranked 51 over overall not anywhere close to “elite”. We should be more concerned about other things. My biggest issue while I was there was the complex we have have. Generally speaking we are only better then Northeastern. Heck we arent even close to BC, until we are, how bout we put an end to these articles telling us how great we are and how great BU. Yes its a good school but articles like this are starting to get annoying.

    • Not John on 03.28.2012 at 10:24 am

      Then don’t read them…

    • R on 03.28.2012 at 10:34 am

      So as an alum, BU constantly improving itself upsets you? Weird. I’m also an alum, and I’m glad it’s always getting better, but maybe that’s just me…

      • Anonymous on 03.28.2012 at 11:24 am

        I can’t speak for John, but the idea that a disproportionate amount of resources have continually been set aside for BU’s “crusade” and its reputation to the outside — opposed to the quality of academics, classrooms (c’mon, CFA and CAS…) and student life on the inside — is something that does upset me. Not all improvement is good improvement.

      • John on 03.28.2012 at 11:36 am

        Obviously Im all for BU improving itself. Its the unjustified presumptuousness of it all. The cart is being put before the horse, thats all Im saying. BU isnt there yet, the only thing we publicly is a haven for sexual abuse scandals.

        • Ben on 03.29.2012 at 2:17 pm

          BU is a great school, why can’t it rise in the ranks and be recognized for its greatness? If BU was to not mention anything about this, it would be an injustice to the faculty, staff, and students who have worked so hard to make BU the great school that it is. It’s more of recognition that self-touting.

    • G on 03.28.2012 at 11:42 am

      Also an alum.

      Not sure where you get the impression BU is trying to be Harvard or has a complex in that regard. Harvard is Harvard. They’re one of the most storied universities in the world. Every school that is not a Princeton or an Oxford, etc. knows they are not in competition with Harvard and emulating them would be foolish. Comparing BU to BC is a joke, not because one is better than the other (there are very strong arguments for both of them), but because they are completely dissimilar schools. Also, I’m assuming you’re referencing US News & World Report rankings? Those are proven year in and year out to be complete BS.

      BU, as you mentioned, should be concerned with other things. And it most certainly is. Elite (yes, elite) level research in the sciences and engineering is happening and funding is only going up. Innovation and entrepreneurship are becoming part of the identity of the school. BU is focused on the right things right now: elevating the strengths of its core and working hard to foster programs that are critical to where the world is going.

      • John on 03.28.2012 at 12:20 pm


        Over the course of 4 years every teacher mentioned “the school down the river” when referencing their grading policy. US News and Report may be BS yes, but they are the flagship rankings for schools…fact not opinion. Not to mention every Human Resource Department in america follows it.

        • ENG Undergrad class of 2013 on 03.28.2012 at 3:17 pm

          When did you graduate, the 80s? No one compares themselves to the “school down the river” anymore. I have had several Harvard professors teach me over the years here at BU, and many of my professors are involved in specially funded research such that the government and NASA consult with THEM before anyone else when making decisions. Hate to burst your bubble, but we are on the same level as both schools across the river these days, the only difference is that we have so much more to offer and we are much more social, which is a very important trait when entering the workforce. I am proud to say I am from BU because I dont have to say my “daddy and grandaddy” both went there, and that I can actually hold a conversation in a social situation. We have just as much to offer as those Ivy Leagues across the river. The only reason US News and others are obsessed with it is because they always have been, it’s nothing new.

          • anonymous on 04.09.2012 at 10:56 pm

            As a BU student and intimate friend of various Ivy Leaguers, I think it is quite foolish to say that Ivy students are not socially functional. In fact, Ivy Leaguers tend to be interested in intellectual and thorough conversations that many BU students might find lame and uninteresting. I hate to burst your little bubble, but brilliant people can also socialize quite well. The only difference between the schools is that quite frankly, they have better professors than we do.

      • Danny on 04.10.2012 at 5:43 pm

        Two Words. GRADE DEFLATION. It is there, it cannot be denied and it’s only due to us trying to compare with Harvard and MIT.

    • Undergrad on 03.28.2012 at 12:15 pm

      With all due respect, what on earth are you talking about? BU has some of the best departments in the country, and definitely some of the best faculty you can find. Maybe it’s because you have already graduated, but these past few years I’ve noticed visible improvements at BU, and increased respect for the school.

      As for ratings, they don’t mean much at all. For example, QS World University rankings puts BU at #70, while BC is rated at #349. It just matters what metrics the rating agencies decide to measure. Ratings are not the end-all be-all for assessing a university.

    • Misguided John on 03.28.2012 at 12:59 pm

      John, the article doesn’t say BU is trying to be ‘Ivy League.’ Lowering the acceptance rate is key to attaining a higher stature and place in the rankings. The more difficult a school is to get into and the smaller the incoming class size, the more alluring it becomes for applicants and increases the percentage of students who can properly use “than” vs “then” in a sentence.

      • Undergrad on 03.28.2012 at 2:06 pm

        i compeletly agree with Misguided John

    • Anon on 03.29.2012 at 2:34 pm

      You’re an idiot if you believe the rankings.

    • Fahad on 08.31.2012 at 1:42 pm


      BU was offered to be an IVY League and BU turned down the offer. IVY league is just a brand. Its all in people’s head. However, if you were going on a job interview, BU is considered to be on the level of IVY League.

  • Current BU student on 03.28.2012 at 11:07 am

    I hate how they always fawn over the kids who’ve had the opportunity and fortune to be able to do things like intern with the FBI, start their own non-profit, and perform at the Kennedy Center. What about the students who had to work multiple jobs to help support their family? Or students who had no jobs because they had to take care of a relative with a disability? They have just as much potential. It seems like BU is making it more impossible to accept the latter kinds of students, which is really sad and unfair. I can only imagine how difficult it will be for my sister to get accepted to colleges when she applies next year with none of those major “accomplishments” under her belt!

    • Current BU Student on 03.28.2012 at 11:39 am

      That’s what essays are for. Got me in..

      • jh on 03.28.2012 at 2:02 pm

        You don’t have to have these major accomplishments. You should have great grades & be involved in something other than school. If that means you write about having worked to help your family then that, too, can be helpful.

  • YaletoJail on 03.28.2012 at 11:36 am

    BU needs to eliminate CGS, COM, SMG, SHS, and Sargent (all the vocational schools) before it can call itself elite. Traditional university educations (the kind you get at an ivy league school) have nothing to do with learning a trade.

    • DC on 03.28.2012 at 12:26 pm

      Remove SMG? Elite schools do not have a business dept?

    • Sargent on 03.28.2012 at 1:18 pm

      If you are going to consider COM, SMG, and Sargent Vocational schools, you must also consider SHA, SED, CFA, and ENG. They all learn specific trades. CGS is not a vocational school by any stretch of the imagination.

      And just as a fun fact, Sargent contains BU’s topped ranked programs. Might not be the best decision to eliminate that one.

    • C on 03.28.2012 at 1:21 pm

      are you serious? we have one of the top COM programs in the country. Sargent has a premier PT and OT programs…and do you even go here? do you know what SHS stands for? it stands for student health services….

      • jh on 03.28.2012 at 2:00 pm

        Good point. I was wondering if there was a new school I didn’t know about when this guy said SHS. Haha …. Why don’t we get rid of the medical school too? Silly comment.

        • YaletoJail on 03.28.2012 at 3:50 pm

          Go ahead and blather on about rankings all you want, they don’t matter. Think about how it’s actually possible to graduate from some of the vocational schools without taking a single course in math, lab science, or language. The role of a traditional university education isn’t to teach people entry level job skills, and I can tell you that a number of CAS students and faculty don’t really consider people who major in advertising or something to be educated — because they aren’t.

          • Kevin on 03.28.2012 at 9:19 pm

            Think about how it’s possible to graduate with a liberal arts degree and never get a job.

            I rather enjoyed receiving multiple job offers after “learning a trade”. By the way, I also took math classes, multiple lab science classes, multiple archeology classes, a religion class, and two different language classes at BU.

          • S on 03.29.2012 at 12:10 am

            What are you talking about? All students, regardless of major have to take courses from math and science, including a lab, in their first two years of undergrad. So it’s not possible to graduate without taking those classes. There may be a small population of elitist students who are majoring in engineering or something that like to hate on arts or COM students, but that only reflects badly on the eng students, not the COM kids. No major is useless, and these days, employers value practical skills and communication skills over any other. Kids who graduate in COM in something like advertising are truly ready to start their professional careers and are usually more prepared than those from other schools wanting to work in advertising because of the resources available by BU. You can’t get more educated than that.

    • A on 03.29.2012 at 9:22 am

      Guys, I think we have a troll on our hands.

  • Mike on 03.28.2012 at 12:56 pm

    If you don’t understand how great BU is, you have not taken advantage of all its resources.

    You chide the school for being obsessed with rankings, but you are just as much focused on them.

    • Current Undergrad on 03.28.2012 at 3:54 pm

      I completely agree! I didn’t even know what to expect when I came to BU, but I learn more about BU everyday. There are so many programs to take advantage of, and these are some of the qualities that are also stressed to prospective students when they come to visit.

  • jh on 03.28.2012 at 1:57 pm

    I can see getting rid of CGS….but there is nothing wrong with vocational schools. In fact, I would say universities are better with them. Would you rather it be focused purely on liberal arts ? What exactly does one do with a liberal arts degree ? CLA ( now CAS) was dubbed the College if Lost Ambitions for a reason. The people I know who went to COM, SAR, SMG, are all doing well in their fields. The friends who went for liberal arts are secretaries or doing some other job they weren’t dreaming of while at BU.

    • jh on 03.28.2012 at 2:05 pm

      *of, not if

    • S on 03.28.2012 at 2:33 pm

      Because everyone knows there’s no place for someone who majors in Arabic in this insular world of ours.

  • Johny OOHLALA on 03.28.2012 at 3:43 pm

    The important part when looking at these percentage figures is to compare these with the gender and race shares in the population of the United States. That is when you’ll see the biggest discrepancies!

  • YaletoJail on 03.28.2012 at 4:01 pm

    You can keep your pro-corporate education echo chamber going but it won’t change the fact that in ten or twenty years, people who did nothing as undergraduates but learn a trade will come to see that they have no real education; that they are lacking even basic intellectual traits like the ability to think and speak in another language. Learning means nothing unless it can be translated into the human experience, and if you look at the majors offered at schools like Princeton or Brown, you’ll see exactly how people who choose a nonsense major like hotel administration or marketing are wasting their time.

    • graduating senior on 03.29.2012 at 9:22 am

      I find it very difficult to agree with your argument given the fact that I will be graduating in May with an advertising degree AND a minor (and fluency) in Spanish. Not only this, but I also took the LSAT and recieved a score in the top percentile. I truly do not believe either oof these things would have been possible without my BU education. Clearly, I was able to recieve the skills necessary to “intellectually” succeed although I will argue that there is not one path to or measure of “intellectual success.” Additionally, it is very elitist to call marketing and hotel administration “nonsense majors.” These are majors who are looking to succeed in these fields and to be quite honest, will due to their backgrounds. I don’t know about you, but most people who check into nice hotels or consult a marketing firm for their company would appreciate working with someone who has a strong background in these respective fields.

      • Nick on 03.29.2012 at 11:34 am

        You have an Advertising degree and took the LSAT????? I dont see the correlation between advertising and obtaining a JD. Thats like an accountant going to Medical School. #payingoffloansfortherestofyourlife.

        • Funny on 04.02.2013 at 6:38 am

          Advertisement law, silly

      • YaletoJail on 03.29.2012 at 2:21 pm

        Performing well on a standardized test doesn’t mean you have an education, it just means you performed well on a standardized test. The same goes for career majors: being ambitious doesn’t mean that you are thoughtful or well-educated, it just means you have a burning desire to make money. There’s more value in any CAS humanities course than there is in four years worth of education at SMG or COM(Hint: I don’t mean monetary value).

        • PT student on 04.27.2012 at 4:21 pm

          COM, SMG, SAR, and all other vocation schools at BU are required to take CAS humanities and divisional science classes. Most of them are also required to take language classes too. They don’t just solely focus on business or advertising. They are well rounded like the other majors at BU, but with a more specific focus.

          Get your facts straight before you try acting like you know everything.

  • whatttt? on 03.28.2012 at 5:08 pm

    “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.”

    How can the university offer admission to 45% of 43,979 (approx 20,000) students when there are only 3,900 spots? Am I reading this wrong?

    • RP on 03.28.2012 at 7:31 pm

      should the acceptance rate be 11% not 45%

    • because! on 03.28.2012 at 7:37 pm

      Because not everyone accepts the offer!!! Please tell me you go to BC.

    • Joe on 03.28.2012 at 7:43 pm

      Offers of admission are made to that percentage, and then only about 20% [assumed by the admissions people, at least…it changes year to year and can be kind of random] of those offers are actually taken by the students.

    • a on 03.28.2012 at 8:04 pm

      Because most people who receive admission do not accept, they have to base acceptance on a very tricky probability. Think about how many schools you applied to, got into, and did not go to. Admissions has a target of 3,900 spots (in this case), but they need to figure out how to accept enough to fill that without too many more accepting. Pretty difficult, I would say.

    • Tim on 03.28.2012 at 11:41 pm

      Is this a serious question? It would be extremely ironic, considering all the comments above, if it was a serious question and if you are actually a BU student..

    • S on 03.29.2012 at 12:17 am

      They aren’t expecting all 20k to enroll.

    • Howard Chen on 03.29.2012 at 3:13 am

      not all admitted students attend..

    • movingtarget on 06.17.2012 at 1:01 am

      The reason the acceptence rate is so high is simple. bU always has been and always will be a backup school for kids that want to go to the ivies. They accept 50% knowing that most of those will get get into an ivy or equivalent. That is why “the rankings” are bogus, since they take acceptence rate into high consideration. BC doesn’t have that problem because most kids that get into BC have BC as their #1 choice. BC draws from an entirely different crowd.

      • Jay on 04.02.2013 at 1:56 pm

        Not true. Most kids accepted to BC choose to go elsewhere. Their enrollment rate is about 23% for accepted students. BC is a back up school for Notre Dame, Georgetown and the Ivies.

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