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New heights

BC applications defy predictions

Boston College received a record number of undergraduate applications for the 2002-03 school year. More than 21,000 candidates vied for the approximately 2,200 open spots in the Class of 2006, up from the previous record of 20,743, set two years ago by the class of 2004. Applications were up 11 percent over the 19,059 submitted last year.

Applications from AHANA students and aspiring nurses showed particularly strong increases. More than 4,700 AHANA students applied for undergraduate admission--an increase of 6 percent from the previous record, 4,400, set two years ago. Connell School of Nursing applications soared more than 40 percent over last year, to 327 from 230.

Meanwhile, early-action applications for next year's freshman class rose 17 percent, continuing a recent national trend. (Georgetown, Columbia, and George Washington universities, among others, reported similar increases.)

The high number of applications surprised the Admission Office, which had predicted--as had a number of other colleges and universities--a downturn in applications following September 11. It was expected that many students would elect to stay close to home for school, thereby shrinking the applicant pools of national institutions such as BC.

Indeed, Boston College did see a surge in interest among students from the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.

Applications from New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts--traditionally BC's biggest feeder states--rose 18, 14, and 12 percent, respectively. However, significant growth also occurred in applications from more distant states. Florida's applications were up 9 percent; Illinois's, 14 percent; and California's, 10 percent.

According to John Mahoney, Jr., director of undergraduate admission, students today seem to be "researching, visiting, and applying to schools and not abandoning their plans, even in the face of a recession or national emergencies."

Tim Heffernan

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