The Ivy Coach Daily

October 11, 2018

Boston College Early Action Policy

BC Early Action, Early Action at BC, Boston College Early Action Admission
BC has changed its Early Action policy (photo credit: BCLicious).

Boston College has changed up its Early Action admissions policy for this year’s applicants. The school used to restrict its Early Action applicants from applying to schools with binding Early Decision policies. That restriction has been lifted. Indeed applicants who make binding, Early Decision I or Early Decision II commitments to attend a certain school can still apply Early Action to Boston College in the hope of earning a slot in the incoming class. As BC’s statement on its website now reads, “Early Action is a nonbinding program for candidates who view Boston College as one of their top choices. If admitted to Boston College through Early Action, these candidates have until May 1 to make their enrollment decision. Candidates applying to binding Early Decision I or Early Decision II programs may apply through Early Action to Boston College.”

BC Eases Up Early Action Restrictions

BC’s Early policy used to mirror the restrictive Early Action policy of Georgetown University. So many students who applied Early Action to Georgetown also applied Early Action to BC (in addition to schools like University of Notre Dame, University of Chicago, and any public university like University of Michigan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of California schools, and University of Virginia). And many Georgetown EA applicants will continue to apply Early to BC. But now BC has made it even easier to submit an Early application to the school and this move will likely lead to a surge in Early applications to the Jesuit university.

BC’s Message to Early Action Candidates

BC’s website also states the following with respect to its new Early Action policy: “Admission through Early Action to Boston College is more competitive than at Regular Decision. It is intended for candidates with a high degree of confidence in their academic performance through junior year and standardized test results prior to November 1. These candidates will also have a rigorous senior year curriculum…Candidates who have selected the Early Decision I option at another college are free to apply through Early Action to Boston College. However, such candidates have identified that college as their absolute first choice. They have entered into a binding agreement to enroll at that college, if admitted and therefore are not free to fully consider a possible acceptance from Boston College. Thus, we request that Early Decision I candidates consider not applying Early Action to Boston College. Candidates who have applied Early Action to Boston College are free to apply through an Early Decision II program, since deadlines for such programs fall after our November 1 deadline.”

Why BC’s Message to Early Action Candidates Rings False

As our regular readers might suspect, we raise a skeptical eyebrow at BC’s message to potential Early Action candidates. Early Action is not more competitive than Regular Decision. If Early Action were more competitive than Regular Decision, then why would the admission rate for schools like BC be so much stronger in the Early round as compared to the Regular round? Why would such a significant portion of seats in each incoming class be filled by Early candidates before Regular Decision candidates even submit their applications? The suggestion that the Early round is more competitive than the Regular round is just plain nonsense.

It’s also rather ridiculous that BC writes on its website that it is essentially discouraging students from applying Early Action to BC if they’ve submitted a binding Early Decision application to another school when BC is changing its policy so as to specifically allow these very students to apply. And why would they do this? Because they want more students to submit Early Action applications — regardless of what they may write on their website. The more students who apply, the lower the admit rate will fall, and the higher the school will be ranked by “US News & World Report.” This is a shining example of why college applicants shouldn’t believe everything admissions officers say or write. In this case, BC changed its policy to allow ED applicants to other schools to still apply Early Action to BC — only they write that they discourage the practice. And they also write that students should apply to BC Early Action if it’s one of their top choices — not just their top choice. So their message is entirely contradictory and, well, ridiculous. Get it together, BC!

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