As the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day headlines. But it’s also important to look ahead. Last weekend, BU Admissions sent out letters of acceptance to high school seniors across the country and across the globe inviting them to join the Class of 2024. By this past January, 61,006 applicants had applied to BU. Only 18.5 percent were admitted. Admissions aims to enroll 3,100 students this fall.
“The BU Class of 2024 is incredibly accomplished, both in and outside of the classroom,” says Kelly Walter (Wheelock’81), dean of admissions and associate vice president for enrollment. “Their academic records are stellar, but they are far more than a GPA or a test score. These students represent the future of BU.”
With all classes for the remainder of the semester being taught remotely and most University staff working from home, the campus looks vastly different than during a normal spring. This means that interested high school students and their parents won’t be able to make the traditional trek to campus, where they would normally visit dorms and classes and meet with professors and current students. To compensate, Walter’s Admissions team has sprung into action, working with colleagues in the undergraduate schools and colleges to set up virtual online and social media events for parents and students. “We still want them to be able to make a well-informed decision about BU, and be able to engage with staff, faculty, and students,” Walter says.
Plans are still in the works, but they include online daily chats, where admitted students can use Instagram or Facebook Live to ask questions of current BU students. The potential Class of 2024-ers can drop in (via Zoom) to remote classes or watch video messages from the deans. The College of Arts & Sciences is planning a discussion for students who are interested in pre-health professions, Walter says, while the Kilachand Honors College has in the works about a dozen live presentations focused on curriculum, advising, student support, the importance of a living-learning community, and the college’s senior year keystone project.
The Admissions website already offers a virtual experience, which includes tours of the school and college buildings, dorms, even FitRec. BU Housing’s new website was launched last month and has video and floor plans of the rooms.
“The fact is, this admissions cycle has been turned upside down by the coronavirus,” Walter says. “Over the next month, as students are trying to make the all-important decision about which college to attend, we are here to answer any questions. It’s all about looking forward.”
Keep reading for more tidbits about these potential Terriers:
1. They have book smarts…
On average, the admitted students rank in the top 7 percent of their high school class, with an average GPA of A-. The middle range of their SAT scores is 1420 to 1540 and for the ACT, it’s between 32 and 35. The numbers are similar to previous years, Walter says.
2. But they’re well-rounded in other ways, too
It’s hard to not feel, well…ordinary…after reading some of their bios: one student placed third in the first season of MasterChef Junior, another developed and patented two products to help pediatric cancer survivors, and a third developed an algorithm to identify and fight cyberbullying.
3. They come from diverse backgrounds
Walter expects the final makeup of the class will be 24 percent international students, while 18 percent will be underrepresented students. Those admitted come from all 50 states and 102 countries.
4. Social media is how they’re meeting, for now
Facebook private groups have long been the way that interested students connect. The private Class of 2024 Facebook page already has more than 3,100 members, where they have been introducing themselves and asking questions about programs and colleges.