What Does Boston College Look for in Admissions?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Young female student smiling at the camera.

What Does Boston College Look for in Admissions?

Applying to college can be daunting, especially when it comes to understanding what schools are looking for in their applicants. Boston College, a private Jesuit research university in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, is no exception. In this article, we’ll explore what Boston College looks for in applicants and what you can do to increase your chances of acceptance.

The Importance of Academic Achievements in Boston College Admissions

Boston College is a highly selective institution with an acceptance rate of around 27%, making it crucial for applicants to have a solid academic background. In particular, Boston College values well-rounded high school transcripts that showcase a range of challenging courses across different subjects.

While no specific GPA or standardized test score guarantees acceptance, Boston College looks for students who have maintained high academic rigor throughout their high school careers. Your SAT or ACT scores are critical, so prepare and perform your best on those exams.

In addition to academic achievements, Boston College also values extracurricular activities and community involvement. Admissions officers look for applicants with leadership skills, a commitment to service, and a passion for their interests outside the classroom.

Therefore, showcasing your involvement in clubs, sports teams, volunteer work, or other activities highlighting your strengths and character is essential.

Extracurricular Activities that Impress Boston College Admissions

Boston College is looking for students who are not only academically successful but also demonstrate passion and commitment outside the classroom. Extracurricular activities such as sports, music, theater, volunteering, and leadership positions can all help to strengthen your application.

However, it’s not just about how many activities you participate in but also the quality and significance of your involvement. Admissions officers want to see that you have taken on meaningful roles and positively impacted your community or school.

One way to demonstrate the quality of your involvement is by taking on leadership positions within your extracurricular activities. This shows that you have not only committed your time and energy but also taken on responsibility and shown initiative.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Participating in activities that align with your intended central or career path can also impress admissions officers, as it shows an evident passion and dedication to your chosen field.

It’s important to note that extracurricular activities should not be pursued solely to impress admissions officers. Instead, they should be followed because they genuinely interest and inspire you. Admissions officers can often tell when an activity is simply a resume booster versus a true passion.

So, choose activities you are passionate about and allow you to positively impact your community or school.

The Role of Essays and Personal Statements in Boston College Admissions

In addition to academic achievements and extracurricular activities, Boston College places a significant emphasis on its applicants’ personal qualities and character. Your essays and personal statement provide an opportunity to showcase your writing skills and highlight what makes you unique.

Boston College looks for applicants who demonstrate strong self-awareness, intellectual curiosity, and a dedication to serving others. Make sure to take the time to craft thoughtful and well-written essays that showcase these qualities.

It is important to note that Boston College also values diversity and inclusivity in its student body. Your essays and personal statement can also provide an opportunity to share your experiences and perspectives, contributing to a diverse community.

Boston College seeks to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, and your essays can demonstrate how you can contribute to this goal.

How Test Scores Affect Your Chances of Getting into Boston College

Standardized test scores, such as the SAT or ACT, are crucial in the Boston College admissions process. While there is no set minimum score requirement, strong scores can help to bolster your application and demonstrate your academic preparedness for college.

However, it’s important to note that Boston College takes a holistic approach to admissions, considering a wide range of factors beyond just test scores alone. So while high test scores can help, they are not everything.

Boston College considers other factors in its admissions process, including extracurricular activities, community involvement, essays, letters of recommendation, and demonstrated interest in the school. These factors can help paint a complete picture of who you are as a student and person, ultimately impacting your chances of acceptance.

Tips for Navigating the Boston College Admissions Process

With so many factors, navigating the Boston College admissions process can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you successfully navigate the application process:

  • Start early and give yourself plenty of time to complete your application.
  • Make sure to research Boston College and understand its values and mission thoroughly.
  • Connect with current students or alums to better understand what life at Boston College is like.
  • Stay organized and keep track of deadlines and application requirements.

Additionally, it is essential to highlight your unique qualities and experiences in your application. Boston College values diversity and seeks to create a community of individuals with different backgrounds and perspectives.

Therefore, showcase what makes you stand out and how you can contribute to the Boston College community. This can include your extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or any challenges you have overcome. Remember to be authentic and genuine in your application, as Boston College values honesty and integrity.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Boston College Application

When it comes to college applications, even the most minor mistakes can have a significant impact. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid when applying to Boston College:

Surprise female student reading a letter next to a table.

  • Missing application deadlines
  • Submitting incomplete or inaccurate application materials
  • Not taking the time to proofread your essays and personal statement
  • Not following the application instructions

Another common mistake to avoid is not highlighting your extracurricular activities and achievements. Boston College values well-rounded students who are involved in their communities and have a passion for learning. Show your leadership roles, volunteer work, and any awards or honors you have received.

Additionally, it’s essential to personalize your application to Boston College. This means researching the school and tailoring your essays and personal statement to reflect why you are a good fit for the institution. Avoid generic words and instead focus on specific aspects of Boston College that appeal to you, such as its Jesuit values or solid academic programs.

Diversity and Inclusivity: What Boston College Values in Applicants

Boston College is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive campus community and therefore values applicants who reflect a range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Whether through your personal statement or your involvement in multicultural organizations, highlighting your unique perspective can help strengthen your application.

One way that Boston College promotes diversity and inclusivity is through its various student organizations. These groups provide a space for students to connect with others who share similar backgrounds or interests and offer opportunities to learn about and engage with different cultures.

Additionally, Boston College offers several resources and support services for students from underrepresented backgrounds, including mentorship programs and scholarships.

It’s important to note that Boston College’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity extends beyond just the admissions process. The university strives to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, faculty, and staff.

This includes ongoing efforts to address issues of bias and discrimination, as well as initiatives to promote cultural competency and understanding. By choosing to attend Boston College, students become part of a community that values diversity and works to create a more just and equitable world.

Community Service and Volunteer Work: A Key Factor in the Admissions

Boston College strongly emphasizes service and social justice and therefore values applicants who have made meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer work or service projects. If you are passionate about community service, highlight that on your application.

Volunteer work benefits the community and helps students develop essential leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. Boston College recognizes the value of these skills and looks for applicants who have demonstrated them through their service work.

Additionally, the university offers numerous opportunities for students to continue their service work on campus and in the surrounding community through various clubs and organizations.

How to Stand Out Among Other Applicants for Boston College

With many qualified applicants vying for limited spots, standing out in the Boston College admissions process requires more than good grades and test scores. Here are a few ways to make your application stand out:

View of a woman smiling at the camera.

  • Create a unique and memorable personal statement.
  • Highlight your leadership skills and ability to make a positive impact.
  • Showcase your creativity and passion through your extracurricular activities and essays.
  • Get involved in community service and social justice initiatives.

Another way to stand out among other applicants for Boston College is to demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and academic potential. This can be achieved by taking challenging courses, participating in academic competitions, and pursuing research opportunities.

In addition, demonstrating a strong interest in Boston College and its values can also make your application stand out. This can be done by attending information sessions and campus tours, contacting current students and alums, and incorporating Boston College’s mission and values into your application materials.

Demystifying the Holistic Review Process at Boston College

Boston College takes a holistic approach to admissions, meaning they look at the whole person, not just one set of qualifications. Admissions officers consider various factors, including academic achievements, extracurricular activities, essays, personal qualities, and more.

By taking this comprehensive approach to admissions, Boston College can create a diverse and vibrant community of students who are not only academically prepared but also bring a range of talents and perspectives to campus.

One unique aspect of Boston College’s holistic review process is its consideration of demonstrated interest. This means that they consider how interested a student is in attending their school, as shown through actions such as campus visits, attending information sessions, and contacting admissions officers with questions.

Understanding the Different Application Options at Boston College

Boston College offers several application options: Early Decision, Early Action, and Regular Decision. Each option has its own set of deadlines and requirements, so carefully consider which choice is right for you.

a female student in front of her laptop

Early Decision is a binding application option, meaning that if accepted, you must attend Boston College. Early Action and Regular Decision are non-binding options, giving you more flexibility and time to decide which college to attend.

It’s important to note that applying Early Decision can increase your chances of acceptance, as it shows a solid commitment to attending Boston College. However, it’s also essential to consider the financial implications of Early Decision, as it may limit your ability to compare financial aid packages from other colleges.

Additionally, if you are not accepted through Early Decision, you cannot apply to Boston College through Early Action or Regular Decision.

How to Write a Compelling Supplemental Essay

Boston College requires applicants to submit a supplemental essay in addition to the Common Application essay. The supplemental essay is a chance for you to showcase your writing skills and demonstrate your fit with Boston College. Here are a few tips for writing a compelling supplemental essay:

  • Research the specific prompt carefully and make sure to answer the question asked.
  • Showcase your knowledge of and passion for Boston College.
  • Give concrete examples of how you have demonstrated the qualities and traits that Boston College values.

It is important to note that the supplemental essay is not just an opportunity to rehash information from your Common Application essay. Instead, use this essay to provide new insights into your personality, interests, and experiences.

Consider discussing a specific challenge you have faced and how you overcame it or a unique perspective you bring. Remember, the goal is to stand out from the thousands of other applicants and show why you are an excellent fit for Boston College.

The Role of Recommendations in Your Application

Recommendations from teachers, counselors, or other mentors can help to bolster your application and provide additional insights into your character and abilities. Boston College requires two letters of recommendation, so choose recommenders who know you well and can speak to your strengths.

It’s important to note that the quality of your recommendations can significantly impact your application. Admissions officers at Boston College are looking for detailed and specific requests that provide examples of your accomplishments and character traits.

Therefore, giving your recommenders enough time to write thoughtful and personalized letters on your behalf is crucial.

Financial Aid and Scholarships at Boston College: What You Need to Know

For many students, finances are critical in deciding where to attend college. Fortunately, Boston College offers a range of financial aid and scholarship options for eligible students.

financial aid as one of the factors to consider when choosing a college

To be considered for financial aid, students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile. Boston College also offers several merit-based and need-based scholarship options, so research your options and apply by the deadlines.

It’s important to note that financial aid and scholarships are not just available for incoming first-year students. Current Boston College students can also apply for financial assistance and scholarships yearly. In fact, it’s recommended that students reapply for financial aid each year to ensure they receive the maximum amount possible.


Applying to Boston College may seem like a daunting task, but by understanding what the school values in its applicants and taking the time to write a thoughtful and well-crafted application, you can increase your chances of being accepted. Remember to showcase your academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, personal qualities, and commitment to social justice and service.

It is also important to note that Boston College values diversity and seeks to create an inclusive and welcoming community. As such, applicants from underrepresented backgrounds are encouraged to apply and share their unique perspectives and experiences.

Additionally, Boston College offers a range of resources and support services to help students succeed academically, personally, and professionally. From tutoring and career counseling to mental health services and student organizations, there are many opportunities for students to get involved and thrive at Boston College.


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