Should I be disappointed about attending Boston University?

I know this may sound petty and do not mean for this to come across wrong in any way especially in a time of crisis like today but this is something that has been weighing on me. I have decided to attend Boston University next year (no clue when due to COVID-19) in their College of Engineering. I was awarded a very nice financial aid package and am incredibly excited to attend but part of me still wishes I did better. I poured my heart and soul just to scrape a 1400 on the SAT. Part of me thinks that all my effort was not worth it when I could have put in less effort and achieved a similar result. I had dreams of Cornell, MIT, Tufts, and Duke but my test scores were simply just not there. Boston University is not very well known where I am from and people seem very surprised and even a little disappointed when I tell them that is where I am attending. This makes me think that getting into BU is not an accomplishment. Does BU have a good reputation? How much of a disadvantage will it be for me not attending a top 20 school? I understand that college is what you make of it but the cutthroat, elitist environment around me has gotten me thinking. I am hoping to grow out of this mindset and understand that my concern is small an stupid!

What makes you think that you could have gotten in to BU with a SAT below 1400?

It’s not like they just admit anybody.

BU rejects more than 4 out of 5 applicants and most would be as or more qualified than you.

You really should be considering yourself fortunate that you got in to BU.

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There isn’t much point in wondering if BU doesn’t have as good a rep as a Top 20 because you aren’t going to those schools. It’s a good school, be proud of yourself.

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BU is a great school! If my son was interested in a large urban school I would personally prefer it for him over, say NYU (or any NYC school-just a personal preference). It has a very good reputation. Graduating with an engineering degree from BU should put you in just as good a position to get an engineering related job as from anywhere else. Graduating with an engineering degree is impressive in itself.

A 1400 is a great score. Only in a warped place focused on the top percent of the top 1% would that be seen as anything else. I don’t know what percentile that is but I’m thinking it is in the 96-98th percentile range. If that isn’t good enough for someone, they are not someone who you want to try to please anyway.

One great thing about BU is that it has tons of internship opportunities due to its location. You should be able to graduate with great work experience and that’s a huge plus.

I know so many kids who want to go there and who didn’t get in. Some got into top honors programs in the country but not BU. It’s certainly a great accomplishment. No, it isn’t Ivy League but an Ivy League education is not necessarily better and won’t necessarily give you more connections for getting good jobs in the future. You should be able to get into great grad programs if you choose if you do well at BU.

Also, as a teacher I reject the idea that your effort was wasted. You built intellectual muscle that it takes to succeed in college that you would not have had you not tried as hard and you also learned things in the process. That’s not a waste! However, it might be true that you also learned that in life you might want to work smarter and not harder when you can. That said, quite a lot of students find they have to study very hard in engineering programs so if you already have those habits developed, that’s a good thing.

Ignore those who are making you feel less than great about this accomplishment. My neighbor’s daughter wanted BU and it was her first choice. Her GPA and stats were great and she was rejected. She would tell you that you are very lucky and that she’s jealous of you!!

I also predict BU will go up in the rankings in coming years and think it is underrated, just by the way.

Have fun in college!

And I have to just add that I am so sad to see students and parents who feel as you do about so many schools. The thrill of being happy about a great college acceptance (and really, any college acceptance) is stolen away by the idea that we can rank schools objectively. If you like BU, BU is a great school and sound great for you if that’s the case! in life you are always going to see others doing all sorts of things and the sooner you stop paying attention to what others have (better house? better vacation? better looking? Thinner? Richer? whatever) the better. Doing that is a bad habit. Focus on your own life and what makes you happy and ignore rankings and other people’s opinions or you won’t know what you like in life. Best wishes!

Thank you so much for your replies. They have really highlighted my tainted perception of “college prestige elitism” and my poor snobby attitude. Reading these replies have made me realize what I have taken for granted and made me proud of what I achieved. I just need to not worry about what others think or do things just to please others. Again thank you!

I’m so glad. BU really is a great school! My son doesn’t want to be in a city and wants a college with a big, grassy campus and BU interested even him because of all its many strengths.

The fact that you like it is huge! I hope you have a great experience there. :smile:

also, College Niche rates very, very few colleges as A+ but rated BU as A+. Students who go there are rating it higher than many other schools get rated. If you go read the comments there from students you might feel excited about this great opportunity you have. They stand out as happy with the school, which I think is very telling.

A few comments:

–Take a moment and consider how many people across the world would do almost anything to get a chance to attend a 4 year college in the US. Appreciate the chance you have to attend BU and realize your dream of becoming an engineer.

–BU is a fine school in a great city. Enjoy.

–FWIW your 1400 SAT puts you below the 25th percentile for BU. Its a good thing you worked hard to get the score you did.

@Fortyuks I really empathize with your struggle and shared your feelings (however, it was my feelings and not my DS - he was content in the fact that the acceptance rate was ~ 18% and was very selective). My concern was the lack of campus, size of the institution, “grade deflation”, smaller relative engineering students, and concern that faculty would not be invested in DS success. However, I dug deep into the school, and we had a chance to speak with some faculty. The engineering seems super strong and innovative. Plus BU would afford my DS to be exposed to people of different interest, not just a much of "STEMY kids."Boston is an amazing college town, and technology forward-thinking community. I spent my educatioal time in Boston, and moved back west for my career/family. After being at different places in the country, Boston was the most impressive, and I think by having Harvard/MIT/Tufts/BU/BC/Olin…it raises the bar. Industry knows this too, and you will have a strong theorectical foundation after studying there. You will be highly recruitable with much opportunity. Furthermore, they have a great 4 year graduation rate! Plus they have an incredible study abroad program, and lots of great internship opportunities. Be proud to be a BU student- enjoy the diversity - the city - and your education. Go Terriers!

I just went through the college admissions process with my oldest kid and, like you, he felt disappointed that he did not get accepted at the most elite schools he applied to, even with a near perfect high school record in AP and honor’s classes. BU was one of his choices. As others have said, it is a very good - and competitive - school in a great city for college students. I watched the BU videos for admitted students and was impressed with the programs and faculty. My son got more merit aid from Northeastern so he chose that, but as others have said I hope you will come to appreciate that BU is a very good school with a lot to offer and that you will feel proud to go there.