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Seeking senior year strategy advice/reality check for BC admission

vbsprintsvbsprints 17 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
My son just wrapped up his junior year of high school, and after hearing his grandfather rhapsodize about his alma mater, doing a preliminary round of research and campus visits this spring, he fell in love with BC. He's practical enough that he knows he needs to keep other schools on his list, but he's very strongly drawn to the school and wants to pursue applying even though his stats are not the best. I'm looking for some advice to pass on to him for his senior year to help him bolster his chances of being accepted, since they're quite low according to all of the sites I've checked so far, or a reality check that BC is just beyond him at this point, so I can try to let him down gently and steer him in other directions.

Background on his school:
They follow the Block system, so classes are taught across 4 quarters that roll up to 2 semesters, all full credit classes are a semester long and half credit classes are a quarter long.
Both AP and Honors classes are offered, but for senior year several classes are AP/academic or academic only and do not have an Honors option.
Music "extracurriculars" are offered as year-long for-credit classes, so chorus is a for-credit class.

Numbers:
9th grade - Honors History, all other classes academic, started French - GPA 3.30
10th grade - Honors History, all other classes academic, continued French - GPA 3.38
11th grade - All Honors for Math/Science/English/, attempted AP English, but dropped it and switched to Honors, which required dropping French as well to fit it into his schedule - GPA 3.43 (His grade in English suffered from all the switching around for the first half of the semester, but he pulled it up to a B in the second half for a C overall).

SAT Composite - 1200
Reading - 630
Math - 570
Essay - Range between 2 and 5 across two attempts - I'm not sure how we're supposed to summarize the essay scoring

He plans to study and attempt the SAT one more time, and also take the ACT

Extracurriculars:
Indoor and Outdoor Track all 4 years - Varsity starting spring of Junior year - he is good enough that Div III and some Div II schools are recruiting him, but he's not a star runner
Cross Country 3 years
Chorus all 4 years - one solo junior year

Planned for Senior Year:
AP Government
AP Computer Science
AP English Language
AP English Literature
Statistics
Calculus
Astronomy

Try out for school musical
Try out for select chorus / districts
Continue learning French as a self-study

Other factors:
White, male, middle class background.
He plans to major in Computer Science so will be applying to MCAS.
He is a multi-legacy - his grandfather, great-uncle, great-aunt, and second cousin all graduated from BC.

He is on the autism spectrum and has overcome huge hurdles to get this far. He could only read at a 1st grade level in 5th grade, but closed the gap through middle school. He has been adamant about not taking any accommodations for testing, though he probably should, as he struggles with time on the standardized testing because of his processing disorder. I'm struggling with how to advise him on this, since anywhere he applies, he should be able to meet the requirements in spite of his learning disabilities, but they do have an impact.

He is not currently planning to apply Early Decision or Early Action to give himself time to bring in additional grades, however, he won't have final grades for the first semester until mid/late January.

He is not likely to attempt to add any service oriented activities at this late stage of high school - he knows his limits and the heavy academic load plus year-long sport, plus year-long chorus are all he feels he can manage.

Any advice, even if it's a reality check that his hopes toward BC are unrealistic would be much appreciated. Thank you.


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Replies to: Seeking senior year strategy advice/reality check for BC admission

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some of my kids went to high schools where a lot of their classmates applied to BC. And BC returned the love with an above average return in admissions acceptances. Your son’s numbers are lower than any of those accepted that I know, and not within the parameters of acceptance on the Naviance charts.

    I suggest he retake the SAT or retry the ACT with the accommodations he deserves or he isn’t going to have much of a chance. There are many kids I know who got the accommodations, got into selective schools and have done fine, once in college. It’s foolish of him not to take that extra time.

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  • evergreen5evergreen5 1494 replies31 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I too would suggest he take the accommodations if available, give it his best shot.

    It is my understanding that only a parent alum confers legacy status for admission purposes at BC.

    What aspects of BC is he drawn to? There are several less-selective Jesuit and other Catholic schools he should take a look at, to perhaps add to his list.
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  • vbsprintsvbsprints 17 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you - I'll see if I can get him to budge on the accommodations, since he qualifies for the extra time and a quiet space. He was drawn to the Jesuit holistic approach to education, the breadth and depth of options the school offers, the beauty of the campus, and a general sense of the place being "right" for him based on unquantifiable factors from his research, conversations with family, and a campus visit. Other Jesuit schools that he is a better match for include DePaul, St. Joseph's, and Fairfield, so I can nudge him gently in that direction as he pulls his application list together for the autumn and winter.
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  • AlwaysLearnAlwaysLearn 311 replies15 threadsRegistered User Member
    Yes, I was also going to suggest/mention that you may want to visit St. Joe's and Fairfield, as well as University of Scranton maybe, to see if he may like those. Nothing wrong with striving for BC and applying as a reach, but I think you are wise to set realistic expectations with him and not pull all your eggs in one basket. Best of luck to him!
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Fairfield is a tough go too, IMO. St Joes in Philly, yes.

    The test scores are a big impediment, IMO.
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 14739 replies985 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The BC website specifies that the legacy bump is only given if a parent is an alum, not grandparents or other relatives.
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 14739 replies985 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @vbsprints DePaul is Catholic but not Jesuit. Loyola is the Chicago Jesuit school.
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  • wisteria100wisteria100 4204 replies47 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Loyola Maryland could be a nice option for your S.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2262 replies30 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 19
    Fairfield is a tough go too, IMO. St Joes in Philly, yes.

    The test scores are a big impediment, IMO.

    Both Fairfield and St. Joes are test optional. TO schools may be good options for OP. DePaul is also TO, but Catholic, not Jesuit, as noted above.
    edited June 19
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 26760 replies174 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    second/third the suggestions about obtaining accommodations for testing. GPA will be a challenge, as ~85% of all matriculants were in the top decile of their HS class.

    That being said, BC does do a holistic review.

    Good luck.
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  • vbsprintsvbsprints 17 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I do have St. Joseph's on the list as well, especially since they have a fantastic autism support program, however, we live in PA and are not very far from St. Joe's and that's a big negative for my son - he would like to get out of PA.
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  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 3965 replies55 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Do not allow him to take AP English Lit, it's a recipe for a C since he struggled in English before. Plus it's redundant. Protect the GPA.

    I would prepare him for a rejection from BC. With ED coming this year, admit rates will shrink.

    He's solid for Fairfield. He could try ED and test optional at Holy Cross if he likes it there.

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  • NYC2018nycNYC2018nyc 180 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    What about Fordham? It's easier to get into than BC.

    Also, I agree two AP English classes are too much!
    Best of luck!
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 26760 replies174 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    if he likes Jesuit schools and wants to get out of dodge, look to the left coast: U-San Diego (lotsa girls, so they give guys a little break), Gonzaga, Santa Clara (peachy).
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  • jcd716jcd716 137 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My son was accepted to BC last year but could not attend because he did not receive any financial aid. I also went to BC 30 years ago. BC has only one scholarship program that goes to 25 or so students total. Not sure if finances also plays into the decision. St. Joseph’s and Loyola Maryland were the most generous with Fairfield a close second. My son just completed his freshman year at Fairfield and I think your son may really like it. It has become more competitive the past few years but they are also test optional.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Are finances an issue?

    Last I dealt with Fairfield, not that much in the way of merit money. Fordham gives more for higher numbers, in my experience. Also both Fairfield and Fordham more selective than expected
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  • jcd716jcd716 137 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited June 20
    Wow heard the opposite. Fairfield was generous with my son but his gpa was 3.7 and he didn’t get the top scholarship amount. Agree that both have gotten more competitive in the past few years.
    edited June 20
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  • collegemom9collegemom9 795 replies30 threadsRegistered User Member
    I think he should apply if that’s what he wants to do but he needs to know his chances are very, very slim:(
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    About 400 students got offered an average of about $14k at Fairfield.

    My kids got under that amount. One with very high test scores. The other with high grades and no test scores
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2262 replies30 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    About 400 students got offered an average of about $14k at Fairfield

    What is the source of this @cptofthehouse?
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