Boston College Sees a Sharp Drop in Applications After Adding an Essay

Boston College Sees a Sharp Drop in Applications After Adding an Essay 1

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Boston College is one of a number of institutions that have purposefully thinned their applicant ranks. The quality of applicants did not go down, says John L. Mahoney, director of undergraduate admissions: "Probably what we've done is right-size our applicant pool."

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Boston College is one of a number of institutions that have purposefully thinned their applicant ranks. The quality of applicants did not go down, says John L. Mahoney, director of undergraduate admissions: "Probably what we've done is right-size our applicant pool."

Boston College saw a 26-percent decrease in applications this year, a drop officials largely attribute to a new essay requirement.

Last year the private Jesuit institution received a record 34,051 applications for 2,250 spots in its freshman class. This year approximately 25,000 students applied, and all of them had to do one thing their predecessors did not: write a supplemental essay, of up to 400 words, in response to one of four prompts.

Although some enrollment officials