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09/07/2019

What are my chances at Boston University?

QUESTION
What are my chances at Boston University?
Hi! I was wondering what my chances are of getting into BU well here at my stats:
3.9 GPA
4 IB Classes
7 IGCSE (Cambrige) Classes (When i went to school in India)
i did bad on my ACT and got a 21 🙁

Extra Curriculars:
Key Club Officer
Invisible Children
Basketball
Soccer
Senior Class Vice Pres.
South Asia Culture Program
Gujurati Asc. of San Diego
TLC
I went abroad to study
Indian Traditional Dancing

that pretty much sums it up… so if you guys can give me your opinion that would be great!

thanks much!

ANSWER
I just graduated from Boston University, and I’m sorry but I must concede to you that I do not honestly feel you will be admitted with that ACT score. When I applied to BU 4 years ago, the lowest test score they would except would be around a 28 or 29. Anyone who scored lower (around 25), would be put into a school called the “College of General Studies” (CGS). This “school” acts as a community college within the larger university, where all the rich kids who didn’t make the cut-off scores or higher are placed–and they all pay FULL tuition. That’s right. CGS kids are given no financial aid of any kind! After two years of taking basic or remedial courses at CGS, students are allowed to study their major of choice in the larger university for the next two years. Students in the general university often taunt the CGS kids because we know they’re essentially “the dumb, rich kids whose daddies shell out $47,000 a year”.
Now, I’m not sure how wealthy you are, but I honestly don’t think you’ll even be admitted to CGS with that ACT score. From your other stats, it sounds like you are quite capable of scoring much higher, and I would definitely re-take the ACT or either attempt the SAT.
Schools usually use two major factors when determing a student’s admission into the university, and his or her eligibility for scholarships. They are called your “hard factors” and your “soft factors”. Hard factors include things like GPA, test scores, class rank, high school program rigor and/or course schedule rigor, AP classes etc. Your “soft factors” however, consist of things like the essay, recommendations, volunteer work, community service, dedication to a particular sport or fine art, and minority status. I feel most schools (especially BU) utilize the hard factors an applicant presents them as mainly a basis for admission, and the soft factors are then considered when deciding whether to give that particular student a scholarship (although hard factors may also come into play here).
Personally, I feel the “soft factor” facet to your application is much stronger than the hard factors, but they’re still not strong enough. You relay that you’re in several clubs and sport activities, but what about community service you’ve done? Do you ever volunteer? What have you done to give back to the community? How is what you’ve done in high school going to distinguish you from the thousands of other applicants BU receives, and how do you feel you will contribute something unique to the university? Also, how do you think your essays and recommendations will be? They need to immaculate in order to help the low ACT score. My recommendations to BU came from my teachers who were Ivy League graduates. I had my school essay reviewed over 5 times, by different people (including my literature teachers). So keep that in mind.
As I’ve told you, the hard factors to your application seem a bit weaker, but I think–with hard work–you can bring that ACT score up to at least a 25 or 26 (if you can explain the low score; i.e. language difficulty etc, then I would definitely write an addendum about this and send it with your application).

I don’t mean to intimidate you or scare you (that’s not my intention at all).I just wanted to give you a realistic wake-up call to how competitive admission to BU has become. While it’s no Harvard, BU is still a tier 1 school. If you can bring that ACT score up, and do some volunteer work or community service to show that you value giving back to the community, then I honestly think you’ll be a VERY competitive applicant to Boston University.

If you have any further questions, know that I’d be happy to help.

Break a leg!