BU CGS Boston London Scam?

Hi everyone,

Last fall I applied for the Questrom School of Business and checked the box for CGS. Today I received my decision and found out that I was not admitted into my intended major but rather admitted to College of General Studies January Boston-London program. After doing some research and conversing with my fellow friends, they told me that this is a scam and that it is difficult to transfer to Questrom after two years. They advised me to rather go to a community college and transfer into a well known university for half the cost. Can anyone who has attended this program shed some insight? 

Thank you.

@laurrodes can speak to the CGS January London Programme specifically (she has a whole thread about it in this forum). It is not a scam. CGS itself is also not a scam.

How CGS works is you start out there and do your freshman and sophomore years there. Then at the end of your sophomore year, you apply to transfer into the BU college of your choice. Indeed, it is possible to not be accepted for transfer, but you’ll end up somewhere else at BU (ie: CAS) and graduate two years later with all your peers, with the same bachelor’s degree as everyone else. As far as anyone will be concerned, you will have a BU degree, period. Questrom is one of the hardest schools to get into at BU, period, but it is possible to transfer to Questrom from CGS.

It is indeed a matter of cost/benefit that you will need to calculate for yourself. You can attend a community college to get your gen eds and save some money, and then play the transfer odds, bearing in mind transfer acceptance rates are lower than normal acceptance rates at top schools. Or, you can do the BU CGS path and know you’ll end up with a BU degree. There are factors that need to be weighed, financially… is BU asking you to pay full freight for CGS? Or were you offered a financial aid package that makes sense? I had friends who were offered almost full rides to attend BU, but starting out in CGS–they took that b/c it was the best possible deal and they were guaranteed to graduate from BU in four years. However, if you were offered no aid, you may find better options elsewhere.

But it’s not a scam. Just want to clarify that. The “start one semester late in a foreign country” thing is something a lot of schools are starting to do in order to juggle on campus housing demand + protect their stats for rankings (January starts do not count towards rankings). Northeastern has a similar program.

It’s not a scam. If you’re in CGS you can transfer to any of the undergraduate colleges within BU, I know a lot of people in CGS who are planning to transfer into Questrom after they complete their two years in CGS

In a way it is similar to Northeastern’s NUIn program. It is an alternative entry path for freshmen who for whatever reason did not qualify for September admission in Boston. It is not a scam. The same thing was said about Northeastern’s program when it started a decade ago.

Your “fellow friends” are just jealous.

My concern is that I would not be able to graduate and that for the first 2 years students are severely limited in the number of credits and classes they can take. Once they transfer as juniors, they are expected to complete the requirements of the school (which included completing a 4th semester language class and all the pre-reqs). I know no one who double majored after doing CGS, and in fact I cannot remember one with a major and minor. I know many CGS students had to overload (5+ classes) as juniors and seniors or take summer school. And it is really really hard to complete a degree in 4 years. Is this true? Also is the flunk out rate 2/3? https://www.quora.com/Why-is-the-Boston-University-College-of-General-studies-looked-down-upon-if-half-the-entering-freshmen-are-CGS

A lot of the “facts” that the original poster on Quora state would fall into the newly coined term “fake news”.

It’s a risk if you don’t get really good grades. I know a couple of people personally who started out in CGS and ended up having to major in something other than their first choice because they goofed off their first year and did not have the GPA to transfer into COM or Questrom. (These people are in their mid 20s now and did graduate–in anthropology!) So, it’s possible, and not a scam, but not a guarantee either and it’s really on you to earn your transfer into your first choice major. What are Questrom’s requirements? Can you perform above that level? And does the London program make financial sense for you?

To move from CGS to any program requires a 2.0.


CGS may not be a good route if you are interested in ENG, Sargent or premed as that may not be doable in 4 years.

I think a 2.0 is a pretty low bar. You should definitely be able to pull that off if you are allowed admittance to BU. It is almost a done deal at that point.

I understand your hesitancy about this program but it does sound like the CGS allows for a pretty straight path to business school. Just make sure you keep your grades above a 2.0. If you can;t do that then you have bigger problems.

Thanks for all the response guys! I am also concerned that I will not be able to catch up with the rest of the people once I transfer into Questrom and end up graduating a year later. In addition, would I be able take the concentration classes aside from the core curriculum?

@prospectivestud I recommend getting in touch with BU Admissions to ask these specific questions. I am fairly certain there are workarounds for CGS students looking to go into specific schools, but you’ll be best served asking them directly. I do know friends of mine were able to take the “intro to” COM courses as sophomores, at the same time as everyone else, in addition to their CGS Core. I imagine there are similar situations/work-arounds for Questrom students.

My concern is that the students are only guaranteed to get onto CAS. My understanding is that even with a “good” GPA, if a program in say Questrom is full, one can not transfer in.

Hi! as @proudterrier mentioned I am a current BU CGS student who as in the london program last year! As everyone mentioned before it is absolutely not a scam. It is a great program and I would highly highly recommend it. Transferring into questrom after CGS is extremely easy. I have a ton of friends doing it. BU has been doing this program for awhile now, they know what they’re doing. Your academic advisor will tell you exactly what classes to take and when to take them to transfer into Questrom. The only factor is that you need to maintain a C average, which is very very easy. You don’t have to apply, just circle the school you wan’t to continue on into on a piece of paper

@flute1298 I am not sure where you heard that but I don’t think its true. I have never heard of that happening to someone

@laurrodes What is this bell curve I keep on reading and hearing about? Does the bell curve exist today? or has BU fixed this grade deflation problem? Thank you.

@prospectivestud honestly one of my biggest problems with this forum is how much everyone talks about grade deflation. I personally have not experienced it and do not know anyone else who has. There is no grade deflation in CGS whatsoever. Do not let that factor into your decision

The tuition for the CGS program is 33 k in my freshman year. After that my tuition raises to the general tuition of 67 k , should I expect a large raise in financial aid for this following year or are they going to stick me with my current aid of 23 k a year in the following years. Or I am only getting 23 k a year because I’m in CGS and if I were in an general program id be getting a much larger amount.

@prospectivestud There is no grade deflation problem to fix. If you are looking for an easy 3.9 GPA you should go to a state directional college.

@justthankful The tuition is 33K for the Spring 2017 semester. You then need to pay another 33K for the summer(6 weeks) in London.

@justthankful https://www.bu.edu/admissions/admitted/cgs-january-boston-london-program/boston-london-tuition/
an estimation

@prospectivestud @laurrodes Sorry for jumping around forums but for students accepted into this program the only financial aid that is listed is that of spring ( because of the gap semester) . I personally received 22 k in financial aid for the spring . I’m not sure how financial aid works for the summer London semester , but would I be able to receive an additional 22k for the summer semester because of BU’s scholarship/financial aid assurance.