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Who Will Make Up the Class of 2018?

Competitive admissions trend continues


By January of this year, a record-breaking 54,161 applicants had applied to join BU’s Class of 2018. Less than four months later, only 34 percent were admitted, the lowest percentage in BU’s history. Like the Class of 2017, this year’s accepted students come from the top 9 percent of their high school class and have an A- average.

“Our goal is to enroll 3,700 freshmen,” says Kelly Walter, an associate vice president and executive director of admissions. “By every measure, the Class of 2018 is quite impressive, and this has been an extraordinarily competitive year for admission to Boston University.”

Academics isn’t the only area where these students excel—one earned an Emmy nomination for an original musical composition, another formed a Texas junior roller derby league, and a third created a robot that helps transport injured skiers down mountains. On the Class of 2018 Facebook page, members have already begun chatting about how to get involved with the First Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP) and intramural sports.

What these achievements and interests show, says Walter, is that academics isn’t the only thing that matters to the accepted students. “They’re not just bright—they’re talented and inquisitive and will make a tremendous impact on the BU community. What their achievements say to me is the Class of 2018 wants to make a difference in the world in which we live.”

While BU’s overall admissions rate was just over one-third of students, it was much tighter in certain schools and colleges, such as the School of Management, which admitted only 20 percent of applicants. The single most competitive program for admission was Kilachand Honors College. It had more than 9,200 applicants, and only 9 percent of them were accepted. Kilachand students enroll in one of BU’s undergraduate schools, but take a quarter of their credits through the college.

Applicants came from all 50 states (plus Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands) and 156 countries around the world. Applications from international students increased nearly 18 percent—to 11,471—from last year. Of that number, 19.5 percent were accepted.

The largest group of accepted international students comes from China. Walter has worked hard to build relationships with some of China’s top public high schools for the past five years, since they began opening their doors to a handful of US college admissions officials.

She says that while the admissions team often uses social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to communicate with prospective freshmen, students in China are unable to access these social media networks. To counter that, admissions staff has taken advantage of BU’s growing presence on Weibo, the web-based communication tool used in China, to encourage students to attend upcoming receptions in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong and to answer questions about academic and student life at BU.

All students have until May 1 to make their decision.

Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

27 Comments on Who Will Make Up the Class of 2018?

  • Paul on 04.10.2014 at 7:21 am

    Releasing the acceptance rate before you know how many kids accept their spot is silly. The admissions rate could be 50% if you have to take everyone off the waitlist. BU not reporting Sat scores this year? Not a good sign.

    • Jill on 04.10.2014 at 9:01 am

      Why so skeptical?

    • Taylor on 04.10.2014 at 9:05 am

      acceptance rates have to do with how many people are ACCEPTED, not how many ENROLL. Different vocab.


    • Paul Johnson on 04.10.2014 at 9:49 am

      It would have been nice if they put the average SAT/ACT scores in the article. Average SAT was 2025 and average ACT was 30 – which is pretty solid.


      Also – it does seem a bit early to say what the acceptance rate is before they know if they’ll use the waitlist…. but I would rather see the initial numbers than wait a couple more months. Based on prior years, it probably won’t affect the acceptance rate by more than a couple percentage points. As BU’s profile has improved a lot in the past few years (especially with joining the AAU and improvements in the US N&WR rankings) they may not even go to the waitlist -TBD

    • Dan on 04.10.2014 at 7:30 pm

      Given a limited understanding of this process…

      BU accepted 0.34 of 54,161 students. That’s roughly 18k students. They want a class size of roughly 3.7k. They are banking on approx. 1 in every 5 students they accepted to enroll in the Class of 2018.

      As BU’s prestige continues to grow, (ideally at a rate greater than the increasing number of applicants) they are going to be able to accept a smaller and smaller percentage of students to fill the 3.7k class size. That’s because instead of only 1 out of every 5 students actually wanting to attend, we may end up with a number like 1 out of every 3 students who were accepted trying to attend BU. For example, if that was the case this year with 54K applicants, the acceptance rate would have been closer to 21%.

      Anyway, just a little fun with numbers.

  • Shihyun Kim on 04.10.2014 at 1:12 pm

    I’m one of the 19.5% of the international students but cant afford BU! what a shame it was my dream school :( please give more scholarships to international students!!

    • anonymous on 04.10.2014 at 3:28 pm

      I agree! I’m an international student currently at BU, and financially, it has been very hard on me and my family.

      • Anonymous on 04.10.2014 at 4:13 pm

        International students are largely recruited because they are full pay. Only a handful of colleges offer need-based financial aid to internationals.

    • Anonymous on 04.11.2014 at 11:23 am

      Not international students have a hard time with scholarships as well. But I think it is fair to give need-based financial aid only to domestic students as they will more likely stay in the U.S. and help *our* economy grow. Giving a lot of aid to international students = shipping money out of the country. Not trying to be a nationalist here. But other countries do the same thing.

      • Anonymous on 05.02.2014 at 8:59 am

        BU is a private university. Public universities offer reduced tuition or in-state students for this reason and they are funded by government/state funds. But, BU’s goal is to educate students and should provide merit scholarships without nationality restrictions, and without considering the final destination of the students.

  • Anne Marie on 04.10.2014 at 1:50 pm

    I am so happy and proud to report that my daughter is one of the class members. We are so excited and are looking forward to this wonderful opportunity she has. Thanks BU!!!!

  • All hail Facebook, the gatekeeper to our online lives on 04.10.2014 at 4:35 pm

    It’s a shame BU has simply handed off most the online social interactions between students to Facebook, forcing people to use it even if they do not like it, and making BU IT powerless to resolve access issues if Facebook thinks a person does not belong to BU despite having a BU e-mail address.

  • Peter on 04.10.2014 at 5:39 pm

    Men are making up only forty percent of the incoming undergrad population.

    Isn’t it time for equality?

    • Anonymous on 04.11.2014 at 11:24 am

      And women make 70c for every dollar men make. EQUALITY!

      • Peter on 04.11.2014 at 12:51 pm

        For the same education, career choice, time and effort invested, and continuity of work, women make the same pay as men.

        What we are doing here is denying equal opportunity for men.

        • lmao what on 04.12.2014 at 2:04 am

          you have to be joking. or you’re trolling. either way, please educate yourself you poor, distressed fool

          • Peter on 04.16.2014 at 11:07 am

            not an argument.

        • Yeah okay on 06.13.2014 at 4:51 pm

          Doesn’t feel so hot, does it?

    • are you joking on 04.11.2014 at 2:14 pm

      equality is letting in the students who are qualified and meet the requirements that BU is looking for in a student. the 10% of girls that got in deserved the spots more than the 10% of guys that didn’t. it is ridiculous to imply that we should dumb down our school just because guys feel intimidated by having more girls around. I am thrilled that BU admitted based on abilities, not by the fact that a guy was gonna get his feelings hurt because a girl beat him

      • Exactly on 04.11.2014 at 6:49 pm


      • Anonymous on 04.11.2014 at 8:46 pm

        I think you can make a case for affirmative action for males. Just like there is inherent value in having people of all cultures at BU there is also inherent value of having a fairly representative gender distribution.

        • Anonymous on 04.11.2014 at 8:47 pm

          Schools recognize that point too and try to keep the ratio of males at least higher than 40 percent.

        • Peter on 04.16.2014 at 11:10 am


  • Zinne on 04.15.2014 at 10:22 am

    I find BU’s Net Price Calculator to be deceptive. Based on our family income (we have EFC of $7800) and other info, the NPC estimated my daughter’s aid at $42,000 in need-based grants. But, after she got a merit-based President’s Scholarship offer ($20k/year), the total additional need-based grant was $13k. In addition to loans, we’ll have to come up with $23k per year–way more than the NPC estimated. I would sure like to see some “truth in advertising”.

    • Julia on 04.19.2014 at 3:35 pm

      At least 13K was given as a grant. BU was my dream school and I got no financial aid from BU. I don’t understand how they expect me to pay almost 60K per year.

  • Cathy on 04.24.2014 at 9:27 pm

    I’m sooo excited for BU next year. I really was lucky and blessed that i got a good amount of financial aid to go to my dream school. Those two years of hard work and God, especially, helped me achieve my dream. I’m coming BU!! Just 4 more months and I’m there!

  • Dee on 04.30.2016 at 7:40 pm

    Going to China to get students? I’m not against diversity. I was recently looking at BU for my son but I refuse to be interested in schools that brag about strong recruiting efforts to China. There are millions of American students from all ethnicities trying to get into the school. You gladly take application fees to create a revenue stream fully knowing that you won’t accept American students. Students and parents should wise up. If you go to BU you will finance expensive trips to China when that money should be used on your student’s education. BU we are done looking at you.

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