right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Boston College - Does it matter if you're Catholic?

homerdoghomerdog 5052 replies93 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
I'm guessing everyone will pile on and say, no, of course not. But I'd like the real deal. Do non-Catholic kids have a disadvantage in admissions? If not, what should those kids show on their app to show they "fit"?

And do they fit? What percentage of students are practicing Catholics? The three kids we know going there were confirmed in fifth grade, but didn't really practice or go to church after that. Still, they could say they were Catholic.

Thoughts?
92 replies
· Reply · Share
«1345

Replies to: Boston College - Does it matter if you're Catholic?

  • houndmomhoundmom 314 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    I think as a competitive, national university Boston College wants to attract students from all faiths. The Jesuit philosophy is to educate broadly (lots of diverse requirements) and to promote community service and big world view.

    A decent percentage of the kids I know who attend BC or Georgetown (the other top Jesuit college) are not Catholic or Christian, for that matter.

    I did spend a lot of time in Catholic school and have a BA from a different Jesuit college. I graduated in the 80's and even back then, it was a welcoming place.
    · Reply · Share
  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1226 replies2 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Funny you ask this - my niece goes to a Catholic school and it seems that almost every year they have someone that gets a full tuition scholarship to BC. At my son's school, where there are some pretty good college acceptances, I've never heard of one. Not sure if financial need factors into those, but for a small Catholic school (well under 100 per grade) they seem to get alot of good offers from BC.
    · Reply · Share
  • homerdoghomerdog 5052 replies93 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @NJWrestlingmom I think BC gives very very few merit awards if any. If someone got full tuition, it was probably need based.

    I've seen other threads describing what life is like on campus for the non-Catholic kids but I'd like to know how Catholic it feels What percentage of the Catholic kids actually go to mass, etc? How many want to marry another Catholic? Will it feel limiting to a non-Catholic (agnostic) student when making friends? It's one thing to say that non-Catholics are accepted and many of them enjoy their time there but is that because those kids are ok with a good percentage of kids heading off to mass without them? Or because many of the kids aren't really practicing Catholics and just fit with the Jesuit type philosophy of the school? We know a lot of kids who are Catholic-light. Many of them even went to Catholic high school. I doubt they ever go to mass once they go to college.

    · Reply · Share
  • collegemom9collegemom9 795 replies30 threadsRegistered User Member
    Funny you ask this. I’ve commented on this before. We visited BC and I asked the panel of kids who take questions when you go to the info session. I asked “how do you feel that the non-Catholic kids fit in “? Or something along those lines. The response I got was more about how the kids who are not religious do just fine and no one tries to make you more religious than you are. The response was an honest one and I can’t fault the kid but clearly it didn’t occur to him that I was asking about being a different religion and not just about being a non practicing Catholic. As a Jew, I wasn’t worried about my son being persuaded to convert to Catholicism, I was worried about him feeling left out when everyone heads to the big Mass on Sunday nights. Things like that. In the end, my son still liked it and wanted to apply (but didn’t because he was accepted to his ED school) but I couldn’t have seen him there. There was quite a bit of talk about retreats and things like that. I welcome diversity but I think being one of the few Jews would have felt isolating. People here will disagree but it’s how I felt and stand by that feeling. It’s easy to say that non Catholic kids fit in just fine when you’re a Catholic. I’d like to hear from some of the Jewish kids and parents on this, personally. Obviously, I don’t know what religion you are and perhaps being a different religion than ours you might feel differently..
    · Reply · Share
  • homerdoghomerdog 5052 replies93 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @collegemom9 We don't take the kids to church. My husband grew up Catholic until he was maybe ten and then the family stopped practicing. My family never went to church. I would say that our kids are agnostic. Respectful of all religions. Curious about the historical parts of religion. Never say never but I don't see either of them joining any particular faith. Are definitely not comfortable with the social aspects of the Catholic doctrine.
    · Reply · Share
  • collegemom9collegemom9 795 replies30 threadsRegistered User Member
    @homerdog Your child might be fine then. I think as a Jewish family, my husband and I felt that my son could feel isolated especially after growing up in a town with a lot of other Jews (though we do have a very diverse population ). I feel like you’d need to tour to see what the vibe feels like. I’m happy that my son will be at a school that’s very diverse but also has a healthy Jewish population.
    · Reply · Share
  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5273 replies77 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 28
    Chestnut Hill Newton and Brookline are known for their large Jewish communities. BC has a large non Catholic and international cohort as well. No forced religion classes or “masses”. It’s a Jesuit university and the Catholic component that features service to others and common decency and love should be attractive to all denominations.

    One recent admitted student’s essay was about leaving the Catholic Church for another faith. Didn’t impact them at all and they felt completely part of the community their first year. Religion actually never came up among the kids or profs according to them.

    I would be more concerned with the student being prepared to work as hard as you’ll need to for good grades. The were shocked at the academic focus of the students. It’s a really challenging academic environment and no joke.
    edited June 28
    · Reply · Share
  • NYC2018nycNYC2018nyc 178 replies10 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    We have a family friend who went to BC, and loved it. He is not Catholic, and said he never went to mass and it was a non issue. However, I do agree with @collegemom9 because it really FELT catholic when we visited. There are priests on campus! I think that might be fine for some, and off putting for others.
    · Reply · Share
  • collegemom9collegemom9 795 replies30 threadsRegistered User Member
    @privatebanker My husband grew up 1/2 a mile from BC so I’m well aware of the Jewish population “surrounding” the school. BC’s Jewish population is 2% which again felt isolating for us. The fact of the matter is that as a Catholic person it’s difficult for you to understand how a Jewish person could feel on that campus. And I understand that. You have to understand how lonely it can feel to someone who may not be that religion on that campus. It can be and is a factor for many.
    · Reply · Share
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22965 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Of course there are priests on campus - it's their campus and they run the place. There will also be masses on campus, there will be prayers before events (dinners, graduation, some club meetings, most sporting events). If those things bother you, don't go there.

    OP asked if there is a disadvantage in admissions. I think there is an advantage to kids from some catholic schools. Yes, there are some schools that are like feeder schools, whose GCs know how to get applications through the system.
    · Reply · Share
  • collegemom9collegemom9 795 replies30 threadsRegistered User Member
    @twoinanddone Please read OP’s second paragraph. They specifically asked about fit as well.
    · Reply · Share
  • HRSMomHRSMom 4605 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 28
    Neighbor is Jewish and just accepted...
    That said, my kid was not interested bc of the religious “vibe”.
    I do think kids who went to Jesuit prep schools have an advantage, though they need not be Catholic.
    edited June 28
    · Reply · Share
  • dtrain1027dtrain1027 153 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Boston College is a Jesuit school. The Jesuit message of “men and women for others” is not doctrinaire or even “religious” .For some students, it's more a question of comfort than religious worship. At BC, about 2/3 of the students are Catholic. The percentage is higher at ND, lower at Georgetown. About ¼ of the students went to Catholic high schools. Many, maybe most, of the Catholic students at BC don’t go to mass, so there is no reason to feel "left out". That said, some Jewish students believe they won't fit in at a school unless there are a critical mass of Jewish students. This is really a question of social/cultural fit, because the academics at BC are strong. Unconsciously, many prospective students wonder if there other students who share their values, habits, traditions and cultural touchstones. There is nothing wrong with people wanting to be around others like themselves, but it can be a limiting factor. For some Jewish or non-Catholic Asians, it can be uncomfortable to see crucifixes on the wall of a classroom and crosses on campus buildings. For others, it is not a factor. The messaging at BC is inclusive and there is no discrimination towards non Catholics in admissions or on campus. . BC has a Hillel chapter and other opportunities for Jewish students to join together. The BC "vibe" includes the school's Jesuit identity, but is more a product of the dominant student body demographic...bright, achievement oriented, sporty, affluent suburban types from the East Coast metro areas.
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    No, unless you go to certain Catholic prep schools that enjoy a relationship with BC or you’re a legacy. In fact, being another Catholic schoolkid unhooked is a bit of a disadvantage
    · Reply · Share
  • bbfan1927bbfan1927 154 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited June 28
    @dtrain1027
    >>For some Jewish or non-Catholic Asians, it can be uncomfortable to see crucifixes on the wall of a classroom and crosses on campus buildings.<<

    Dtrain, you raise a good point except for one detail, I personally have not seen any crucifixes on any campus buildings, in my academic classes or in my other travels on campus. So, if people are "uncomfortable" they should look inward to find out why that. As a side note, unlike the Catholic and Jesuit Colleges and Universities I visited (GT, ND, Nova, ect) Unless someone told, you, it not likely that anyone would conclude BC has a religious affiliation.
    edited June 28
    · Reply · Share
  • averageapp1852averageapp1852 33 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    jesuit education is some of the best education you can get. since BC is in boston there's a lot less of an emphasis on the whole christian thing than in southern baptist schools. the student body is very much a northern liberal crowd and there's lots of options for the (pretty minimal) religion requirement that aren't just "bible study." the school is amazing and I couldn't recommend it enough as someone from boston surrounded by BC grads. I have never heard a negative experience from anyone who attended and the big school spirit is really representative of boston sports culture.
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I do not find Catholicism noticeable at BC or Fordham. Unlike at ND, where you cannot ignore Touchdown Jesus.

    However the students from BC are predominantly Catholic. 70-75% of them self identify as Catholic and no idea how many others come from Catholic families or high schools. A kid from a Catholic prep school is highly likely to know a number of BC students because of inter lapping activities. It’s sort of like going to an OOS public school where you realize that you have more degrees of separation than the majority of the students in the school. There can be a familiarity curve that is steeper for non Catholic stufents. My one son, who did go to an out of state flagship school visited friends at BC, and did remark on how he knew a lot more kids there, not to mention residual connections than he did at the college he picked ( and he had no regrets about that choice).

    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34108 replies377 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you aren't comfortable with a small Jewish cohort, that's one thing. (Otoh, it can sometimes bring it's own closeness to others who share one's beliefs.)

    Living in New England and knowing plenty of local kids/adults who went to BC, they all loved it, some were Catholic, many not. The fact it's a Jesuit school rarely is mentioned in regular conversations.

    This is really about how important it is for you that there be more Jewish students. You can look at the on campus religious orgs, interfaith activities, including dinners, the nature of visiting lecturers, etc.

    So many campuses facilitate interfaith interaction nowadays. This is not a college that proseletyzes, not by a long stretch.
    · Reply · Share
  • collegemom9collegemom9 795 replies30 threadsRegistered User Member
    @lookingforward OP is not Jewish.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity