Boston University Admissions

SAT Scores, Acceptance Rate, Financial Aid, and More

Marsh Plaza at Boston University
Marsh Plaza at Boston University ( more photos). Photo Credit: Katie Doyle

Boston University is highly selective with an acceptance rate of only 29 percent. Successful applicants almost always have grades and standardized test scores that are well above average (typically 1200 or higher on the SAT, 26 or better ACT composite, and unweighted grades in the B+ range or better). In addition to filling out the Common Application, students must also submit scores from the SAT or ACT, high school transcripts, a personal essay, and teacher/guidance counselor letters of recommendation.

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Admissions Data (2016)

Test Scores: 25th / 75th Percentile

  • SAT Critical Reading: 590 / 680
  • SAT Math: 630 / 740
  • SAT Writing: - / -
  • ACT Composite: 28 / 32
  • ACT English: 28 / 34
  • ACT Math: 27 / 32
  • ACT Writing: - / -

Boston University Description

Located in the Kenmore-Fenway area of Boston, just west of Back Bay, Boston University is the fourth largest private university in the country. BU's location puts it within easy reach of other Boston universities such as MITHarvard, and Northeastern. Explore the campus with this Boston University photo tour.

On many national rankings, Boston University places among the top 50 universities in the U.S., and despite the school's large size, academics are supported by a healthy 12 to 1 student/faculty ratio. Student housing at BU is an eclectic mix that ranges from contemporary high rises to Victorian townhouses.

In athletics, the Division I Boston University Terriers compete in the America East Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, and Hockey East Conferences.

Enrollment (2016):

  • Total Enrollment: 32,695 (17,944 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 39% Male / 61% Female
  • 93% Full-time

Costs (2016 - 17)

  • Tuition and Fees: $50,240
  • Books: $1,000 (why so much?)
  • Room and Board: $14,870
  • Other Expenses: $1,950
  • Total Cost: $68,060

Boston University Financial Aid (2015 - 16)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 54%
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 47%
    • Loans: 40%
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $34,255
    • Loans: $9,652

Academic Programs:

  • Most Popular Majors: Biomedical Engineering, Biology, Business Administration, Communication Studies, Economics, Health Sciences, International Relations, Journalism, Political Science, Psychology, Radio & Television
  • What major is right for you? Sign up to take the free "My Careers and Majors Quiz" at Cappex.

Graduation and Retention Rates:

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 93%
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 81%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 87%

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs:

  • Men's Sports: Lacrosse, Rowing, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Basketball, Ice Hockey
  • Women's Sports: Rowing, Field, Hockey, Golf, Tennis, Basketball, Track and Field, Ice Hockey, Soccer, Softball

Data Source:

National Center for Educational Statistics

Boston University and the Common Application

Boston University uses the Common Application. These articles can help guide you: