BU Academy in Boston

<p>Does anyone have any knowledge of or experience with this school? Besides general information, I'm interested in finding out whether they accept many (or any) 10th grade applicants, and how hard it is to get in. I seem to remember that they still had spaces available, according to the SSAT website, during this past summer.</p>

<p>I'm sorry to say that I don't know anything about BU Academy, but I didn't want your query to go unanswered.</p>

<p>I took a look at their website and it looks like a very interesting place. I particularly liked the obvious emphasis on developing the life of the mind, and their matriculation stats were certainly impressive. I just couldn't tell you anything about whether the school is as billed...it seems worth a closer look, though. Perhaps a campus visit is in order.</p>

<p>Thanks, smile dog. I did receive PMs from a couple of people with direct experience, and this was very helpful. I appreciate your concern about the lack of apparent response! </p>

<p>It does look very interesting, and might be right for my son. If we do end up relocating to Boston, we will definitely visit.</p>

<p>Thanks again!</p>

<p>And if you do visit, it would be great if you could post something here about your impressions! It would be helpful to all to get some information on these boards about the lesser-known schools.</p>

<p>Last year when we visited BU Academy with my daughter, she was turned off by a speech given by a math teacher, and then flipped through a lit mag and asked to leave. To her it was a science school and not very much suited to her arts interests. That said, this summer she met a girl at theatre camp who goes there and loves theatre. My daughter's piano teacher recommended the school, telling us that when she visited with her son it seemed like all the kids were very happy. The students don't have foreign languages (other than Latin and Greek), and take college classes in their junior and senior years. Hope that helps.</p>

<p>BUA is an unusual place - and decidely not like most NE prep schools. It is very academically demanding - everyone takes calculus, and quite a few take it well before senior year. The only languages offered are Greek and Latin, with the understanding that students will take one for at least two years. However, the entire language department of BU is available, once kids are ready.
Kids start taking college courses no late than junior year.
This past year, I believe about 2 to 4 tenth graders joined the school. I don't know how many applied.
Admissions is quite selective - however, because it is a very different sort of place, admissions numbers are probably a bit less dire than for some other schools - kids tend to apply only if they really want to go to BUA, not if they are just looking for a good private school.</p>

<p>I just checked this thread again - thanks for the information, nemom.</p>

<p>BUA does really have a great math and science. Not many other schools have kids from all four grades in calculus, and juniors/seniors doing research in university labs with professors! But it is also quite strong in the liberal arts side of things. The reading lists for English/History are quite impressive, and the faculty very good. Talks at the weekly all school meeting show the balance - the first one this year was a CS Lewis scholar, speaking on "Abolution of Man" which was the summer reading book. The second was a nuclear arms inspector.
Art/music/theatre are not great strengths, largely because of the small size of the school, although once kids are juniors they can go to the university for these areas.</p>

<p>Also, kind of interesting mix of small and big school elements. BUA has about 35 kids per grade. First two years students are primarily taking courses at the Academy, and class sizes therefore tend to be pretty small. Last two years, they begin taking classes at Boston University, and classes can again be small, but could also be in a lecture course with 300 other students.</p>

<p>Caliber of BUA faculty is also very high, and all the course work is demanding.</p>

<p>A somewhat similar school is Commonwealth. Also located in Boston. Also small (about 30-35 students per grade). Also top notch faculty and very demanding academically. Not affiliated with any University, so kids take all their classes all four years at Commonwealth. Also, I would say Commonwealth is more oriented towards arts/music/english, while BUA is more a math and science place.</p>

<p>Thank you; this information is extremely helpful. BUA sounds ideal for my son, if we do end up in Boston. I have one more question, though. It is very clear that if my son remains in his current, very small, public HS, he will end up going to college a year early. During MS he accumulated a year's worth of HS credits, and as early as junior year he will have no more courses to take in some subjects. I am absolutely against this idea, and this is one reason that I want him to go to an independent HS where they can keep him challenged through senior year. But the BUA kids are going to classes with college students - how does this work out?</p>

<p>But the BUA kids are going to classes with college students - how does this work out?
By the time BUA students take BU classes, they are so accustomed to being on the campus, using the BU libraries,etc. it is an easy transition. They are so ready. My son and BUA classmates were probably calmer and better oriented than the BU freshman. I was concerned about DS having to do group projects, but that was a non issue, always found lab partners and such. Although he looked young, most students didn't realize he was a HS student.
The BUA students registration was handled thru BUA and I believe at the time DS was there, they registered before BU freshman.
BUA was homebase even senior year when son took all his courses at BU. Managed to meet BUA classmates for lunch, was still active in BUA clubs, etc.
Thanks to the experience at BU, helped him figure out what he wanted in a college since he had experienced large lectures, recitation sections, TA's, research labs, etc.
For the right kid. the school is a gem.</p>

<p>They also start off,for the most part, all in a special BUA bio section as 11th graders. BUA keeps, or so I am told, close tabs on them, and, at least some BU professors are used to having BUA kids in their classes. BUA also can offer more challenge generally so kids don't run out of options as easily. Math at BUA includes two solid years of calculus, for example.</p>

<p>It sounds wonderful. I'm sure my son would thrive there. I hope it works out.</p>

<p>Thank you for all the information.</p>

<p>Does BUA take any boarders?</p>

<p>Does BUA take any boarders?</p>

<p>No, however kids commute impressive distances to attend.</p>

<p>Also, as far as the academic transition to the University, the kids we spoke to seemed to feel that in general the University courses were significantly EASIER than their courses at the Academy.:)</p>

<p>BUA does not take boarders, nor does it plan to. Kids commute for an hour in quite a few cases, often using commuter rail.
For those interested, there is an open house this weekend.
(Sunday, Oct 14 1-3)</p>

<p>second spring, nemom, thanks for answering my question about boarding!</p>

<p>BUA is an interesting place. Although it's highly selective, it has a very different atmosphere from a selective NE boarding school/prep school. I guess if I had to sum up the cultural difference in one horrifyingly sweeping, reductive statement :) , I'd say that BUA has a geeky culture, whereas most selective NE schools have a preppy culture. (I say this as a geek myself.) At BUA, subcultures abound. That doesn't mean it's completely free of normal high school behavior: I've been told by kids that the geekiness at BUA can be just as cliquish as the preppiness at other NE schools. But hey, as I said, that's high school.</p>

<p>BUA also feels different from a prep school just because it's such a new institution--less than ten years old. It seems to me to draw less old Boston blueblood than a lot of top-ranked college prep schools, which also changes the feel of the place a little bit. It strikes me as a place where a university professor would send his kids. </p>

<p>BUA is the place where our center tries to send kids who got in to top prep schools because they were very smart but then went and disliked boarding. I think it has a certain status among Boston-area schools as a prep school alternative. The adcom I spoke to while I was there told me she had left Deerfield (where she worked in admissions) in part because she was tired of seeing high school students raised by their peers. I am not anti-boarding school myself, but I think that her comment reflects a certain healthy commitment on the part of BUA to view high school kids as high school kids. I know of one situation in particular where they tried hard to work with a severely depressed student in a way that struck me as compassionate and responsible. So my impression of the place is generally positive. I don't have kids, but if I did, I'd consider sending them.</p>

<p>Also, NYMomof2, my experience has been that it is quite/fairly selective but that it definitely takes 10th grade transfers.</p>