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Campus Life

Now Arriving: The Class of 2019

New Terriers talk about not having a beard, meeting “crazy awesome” people—and falling off stools (“Listen to your father”)


Class attendance is an ongoing concern for BU professors, but if they’re lucky, they’ll get the incoming freshman who has a perfect school attendance record—all the way back to kindergarten.

That student is one of many accomplished newcomers to BU this fall. The Class of 2019 includes someone who cofounded and ran a company teaching elderly people how to use computers, another who has studied the breeding habits of Costa Rican sea turtles, an instructor teaching therapeutic horseback riding to children with disabilities, and a fundraiser for the National Humane Society, as well as the founder of a tennis camp for low-income children. And in the Oh, the Places You’ll Go! category, there are students who marched in Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee parade and performed at Carnegie Hall.

The numbers corroborate the anecdotal evidence that the incoming class is an impressive bunch. The roughly 3,600 students in the class were culled from 54,778 applicants, says Kelly Walter, an associate vice president and executive director of admissions.

Statistically, the class is almost a bulls-eye with last year’s incoming Class of 2018:

*Average GPA of 3.61 (versus last year’s 3.60, both of which were above the 3.09 average of two decades ago)

*Average SAT score of 1949 (versus 1946 last year)

*Average ACT score of 29 (the same as last year’s)

Almost 25 percent of the class hails from a foreign country (it was just under 24 percent last year), with the top feeder nations the same as last year—China, India, South Korea, Canada, and Taiwan. Among American students, the top home states are Massachusetts, New York, California, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Whites make up 38 percent of the class; they accounted for 42 percent of last year’s incoming class. African Americans comprise almost 6 percent of the class, virtually the same number as last year, while almost 12 percent are Latino (versus almost 10 percent last year) and 15 percent Asian American (16 percent last year).

Almost two thirds (63 percent) of the American members of the class will get financial aid, with 56 percent receiving University aid and 17 percent obtaining federal Pell grants (some students receive both BU and government aid), says Christine McGuire, associate vice president for enrollment and student affairs. International students are not eligible for need-based aid, and few receive merit aid from the University, she says.

“Despite a planned decrease in the overall number of students enrolling, the amount of Boston University financial aid spent on new students is comparable to last year,” McGuire says.

As with recent classes, this one reflects BU’s years-long effort to increase its selectivity as well as its international pull.

Bill Politis can be reached at bpolitis@bu.edu.

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Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

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