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is BU a hard school to get into?

bitesizeemmabitesizeemma Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
edited March 2012 in Boston University
just wondering. i always saw it as a top-notch school (which of course it is) that only admitted the best of the best but after coming to this forum it seems like you don't have to be perfect to get into BU, which is good for me haha. so what exactly are they looking for? academically and everything else?
Post edited by bitesizeemma on

Replies to: is BU a hard school to get into?

  • CNICNI Registered User Posts: 1,171 Senior Member
    No, not even close to being as competitive as "top notch schools." That doesn't mean it's a bad school, though.
  • MultitaskerMultitasker Registered User Posts: 1,400 Senior Member
    Top notch is relative..
    the name may be weighing more than what the school can really offer.
    just go to the school that fits you like a shoe, that's the secret.you make the school not viceversa
  • Speak_EasySpeak_Easy Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    CC isn't the best place to ask since many people here have this "holier-than-thou" mentality and dismiss schools that aren't "IVY LEAGUE!"

    BU isn't the best school on the face of the earth, but it's a definitely a good one and it's not like they'll accept just any kid. You still need good grades, scores, and essay. It's a mid-level school and one of the better ones in Boston. Since it's big, it also offers many programs and opportunities. It's location is definitely great because students have access to many resources and Boston is an awesome city.

    You didn't say anything about your stats, but assuming if you're a top student, BU isn't a bad choice for a mid-level school. I wouldn't be so bold as to rely on it as a safety, since few people can boast that they're a guaranteed in.
  • MultitaskerMultitasker Registered User Posts: 1,400 Senior Member
    Agree with you Speak-Easy. Our parents have a different idea of what a prestigious school is, based on their perception 25 yrs ago. Things changed and school programs are everchanging wich will make them more competitive in the near future. We can't just go to a school based on the name associated with it, but to suit our comfort zone.
    Who knows in 10 yrs if BU would be plaed at the same level of any #12 in the country, etc.
  • LergnomLergnom Registered User Posts: 7,926 Senior Member
    BU isn't that hard to get in because:

    1) It's a big school. To get over 4k kids in a class, you need to admit many. Do the math, based on about 38k applications.
    2) Some programs have lower standards. BU has CGS, which is similar to NYU's General Studies. These are 2 year programs for kids with lower high school achievement that then feed into the various colleges at BU (and NYU).
    3) BU is a safety for the Ivies and other prestige, particularly since it is truly in the heart of very desirable Boston where it is surrounded by other schools, including the most prestigious.
    4) There's a whole Boston / Middle Atlantic thing in which kids apply to NYU and BU with NYU their first choice.
  • bitesizeemmabitesizeemma Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
    i definitely don't see it as a safety school. my stats are pretty good, they're on this board somewhere. oh well. i just really hope i get in. but i do know my stats aren't like completely horrible to have absolutely no chance of getting in.
  • LergnomLergnom Registered User Posts: 7,926 Senior Member
    You have geography in your favor but gender goes against you. These years it's much better to be a boy applying to college.
  • bitesizeemmabitesizeemma Registered User Posts: 260 Junior Member
    why do you say that?
  • IirokotreeIirokotree Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    well, at a lot of colleges more and more females are actually applying so the admittance rate for females and that for males is quite different; sometimes even a 10% difference
  • DevilsruleDevilsrule Registered User Posts: 809 Member
    As many people have mentioned, the term "top-notch" is completely relative. On a site like CC, which is in no way representative of the general population of high schoolers or parents, it may seem like nothing more than a middle-of-the-road school. However, to really get a feel for how people see BU, you need to view it from a more broad and general perspective, one that takes into account all the other factors. Those who go into the whole process with the mindset of Ivy or bust aren't the people to base your opinions on.

    There are approximately 2,500 4-year universities in the United States, including public and private. This number doesn't even account for the over 1,500 2 year institutions, many of which are quite solid. BU is always ranked among the best universities in the Nation. It isn't at the caliber of the Ivy league and it doesn't try to be. However, among national universities, it truly is the definition of what a "top-notch" school is in the real world. Everywhere I go, when I mention that I go to BU, it always brings me pride and respect to mention the name. People always say, "Wow, great school!". The school offers great programs in many areas. Some are just average, but some truly are "top-notch". Our engineering, IR, and business programs are among the best.

    People like to use the term "top-notch" to describe nothing more than the spot a school occupies on a particular ranking. This is a foolish and hasty way of classifying and judging a school. Think about where you will stand relative to the majority of people in this country if you can say you hold a degree from BU. That should be your gauge of if you should personally consider the school to be "top-notch".

    On one last note, BU isn't an easy school to get into. The large number of students admitted is typically offset by the huge number of students who apply. The overall percentage isn't higher than any other comparable school. People on this site tend to be very smart and intelligent. Many of them are toward the top of their class. Don't let their perspectives skew yours.
  • MultitaskerMultitasker Registered User Posts: 1,400 Senior Member
    Gosh, well said Devilsrule!
    Dont let yourself be lured into those top notch school, is all in the rankings paid by the schools to places like US News.
    A good college is one that turns your life for the better, and where professors are stimulating.
    A school like BU offers both great education in a great city and also has sports to enetertain you. top notch to me
  • GroovyGeekGroovyGeek Registered User Posts: 889 Member
    Well, I have a different definition of "top notch" --- a school that has taken the time to figure out what it stands for, how it is different from other similar institutions, how the school answers the question they ask of their applicants (why BU?), what their educational philosophy is, and what are the attitudes of other kids that attend the school.

    By all of the above standards, BU is "merely" solid but not top-notch. Neither on their web site, nor during the info sessions, was there any attempt made to make the case for how BU is academically different than any other school. Everything the school says about itself answers to prospective applicants the "how" question, not the "why". Take this board as a further example. 99% of the traffic is about how to get into BU, not what happens once you get in. I don't see a presence of a few passionate vocal current students who make YOU want to be like them and attend BU.

    I am not trying to knock BU here --- VERY few schools are like that, and they are not always the ones that are highest ranked on that infamous ranking list. But they do exist, and they truly set themselves apart. Do you need to go to one of those schools to get great education? No! Will your success in life be greater if you go to one of those school? By no means! Is BU going to provide an education that allows you to do great things? Judge for yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Boston_University_people

    P.S. Here is one of the excellent examples of a school that has taken the time to verbalize their philosophy: http://www.college.columbia.edu/aboutcc/mission/ This may seem like a lot of hot air, but anybody who has tried to write something like this knows how incredibly hard it is to do well, without resorting to generalities.
  • LergnomLergnom Registered User Posts: 7,926 Senior Member
    First, the current ratio of women to men applying is 60:40 and that's true at most schools. Reasons include: young men are in the military more, drop out more, are in jail or prison more.

    Second, I don't want to argue with GroovyG but I went to Yale and that thing by Columbia is indeed a load of self-reinforcing bull. You want to believe you're the best, that you're getting the best education with the best professors and the best students and that builds brand loyalty. You see people bragging about how their research facilities because that glory reflects on them.

    The best professor I ever had at Yale is head of the BU English department.

    BU can't articulate a simple statement given its size and the breadth of its offerings. I also went to Michigan, a more prestigious school but one that by extensive observation I consider to be equivalent to BU - better in some departments, worse in others, no meaningful difference in the capabilities of the students or the engagement of the professors.

    I would say the biggest stumbling block for BU is its self-image and that is affected by several factors:

    1. It's across the river from Harvard and MIT. It's a few miles from Tufts, a smaller school that markets itself using a niche strategy based on a few strengths. It's down the road from BC, which markets itself by becoming the only real Division 1 athletic power in NE.
    2. It's history. Too complicated to get into, but while John Silber dramatically improved BU he also failed to create that sense of school purpose which GroovyG hits on. That's not entirely true but it is the perception; Silber (and to an extent BU) stands for actually doing work, actually being measured on that work and for real performance. While people ask here about gpa's at BU - which have not gone down - isn't it a more terrible statement that the average GPA at Yale is probably now over 3.6? What possible incentive is there to learn, to work?
    3. BU has a small endowment. As Silber points out, BU is a major research university with hundreds of millions in grants - while BC, by contrast, gets in the low tens of millions - but BU lacks the money to build to attract more. Yale can buy an entire new campus for research. Columbia can too. They have money.
  • MultitaskerMultitasker Registered User Posts: 1,400 Senior Member
    very interesting, Lergnom
    I do agree with you, I am always skeptic about the quality of education at the Ivies, I believe BU can offer more personalized teaching that the cold environment provided by those prestigious schools.
  • azsummerazsummer Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    Lergnom:"4) There's a whole Boston / Middle Atlantic thing in which kids apply to NYU and BU with NYU their first choice."

    BINGO! You win! LOl *smile* I did the same....
This discussion has been closed.