Boston University admitted just 36 percent of its record-breaking pool of 51,197 regular decision applicants for the Class of 2017, a significant decrease from the Class of 2016 acceptance rate, officials said.
BU spokesman Colin Riley said BU received 20 percent more applicants this year than last year. The average accepted student had a grade point average of 3.7 on a 4.0 scale and a combined SAT score of 2016.
“Professionals look at the applicants in a holistic way and accept them so that they recognize what these wonderful individuals are going to bring with them and contribute to their education and the education of others here if they do enroll,” he said. “They are able to look and have an expectation that these students are going to make a very positive contribution.”
Last year’s applicants also averaged a 3.7 GPA, but had an average combined SAT score of just 2005, he said.
The acceptance rate for the Class of 2017 was about 9 percent lower than that for the Class of 2016, which was 45 percent.
Riley said BU officials are aiming to decrease class sizes because they are aware of changes in the population.
“This [change] is just a recognition of what the target size for providing the quality of a Boston University education is designed to do,” he said.
Riley said the acceptance rate was designed to fill a freshman class of 3,800 students from a pool of approximately 18,430 accepted students, leading to a yield rate of about 20.6 percent.
The large number of accepted students versus enrolled students is indicative of the applicant pool’s strength, Riley said.
“It’s a reflection of the caliber of student who applies to Boston University,” he said. “We have outstanding students. Ultimately they have a lot of options. These are terrific students. We’re flattered that Boston University is the type of school they could see themselves attending for the next four years.”
Riley also said incoming students and current students should expect to see the same type and amount of financial aid as last year, despite a 3.7-percent tuition hike.
Samantha Mastrogiacomo, a senior at Notre Dame Academy in Hingham, said she screamed in excitement when she received notification of her acceptance.
“I love the community, and it’s such a great opportunity and for someone like me who wants to be a doctor,” she said. “I know that it would be the perfect school … I know coming out of it I would have job offers and everything.”
However, she said she is uncertain if she will attend BU.
“I’m not sure if I’m definitely going to go because of the money situation but it’s definitely one of my top choices,” she said. “My family wasn’t expecting that much financial aid because we didn’t get it from any of our schools.”
Kieran Hurley, a senior at Brooklyn Technical High School from Staten Island, N.Y,. said he visited BU in August and liked its atmosphere and location.
“It’s not one of those closed campuses — it’s pretty open,” he said. “I wanted to live in the city no matter where I go and BU’s right in the heart of Boston so that was another big thing.”
Hurley said while BU was not his number one choice, he received a substantial financial aid package and might attend regardless of what other schools to which he receives admission.
“Even if I got into Brown [University], my top choice, and the money wasn’t right I’d definitely go [to BU] right away,” he said. “I still have a couple siblings my parents have to take care of and there are a few things I’d have to worry about, so money is probably one of the more important things.”
Miranda Tanouye, a senior at Fort Dorchester High School from Summerville, S.C., said she heard about BU from her sister, who is currently a BU undergraduate.
“I went to go visit her and when I went there, I stayed with her in a dorm and everything and I shadowed one of her friends to go see the Engineering department,” Tanouye said. “I fell in love with Boston as soon as I got there and thought it would be amazing to go to school there.”