Boston University

Boston University


Boston University is in the heart of Boston, and is ranked #32 of Global Universities by U.S. News & World Report. Since its founding in 1839, BU has been committed to diversity and inclusion. BU was the first university in the nation to award a Ph.D. to a woman and a medical degree to a Native American, and is the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who received his Ph.D. in theology from BU in 1955. Today, BU students come from all 50 U.S. states, more than 100 countries, and a myriad of ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds. More than 250 programs of study are offered, and students study with award-winning faculty including Fulbright Scholars, MacArthur Fellows, or Nobel Prize winners. The student to faculty ratio is 10:1, and the average class size is 27. Students benefit from extensive global research and internship opportunities and a network of more than 300,000 alumni in 189 countries.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Pre-College Prep & Outreach COACH (College Opportunity and Career Help)

This Boston University program supports juniors and seniors in Boston Public Schools as they form post-secondary plans. BU students work in high school classrooms, providing information on college applications, college access, and financial aid.

Pre-College Summer Experience Summer Pathways

Summer Pathways is a program for female high school students who demonstrate promise in the fields of science and engineering. The Summer Pathways program seeks students from Boston Public Schools who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a summer enrichment program. Summer Pathways students learn about the wide range of academic and career opportunities in science and engineering. Learn more about Summer Pathways

Scholarship & Financial Aid National Hispanic Recognition Program

The National Hispanic Recognition Program offers academic recognition to Hispanic students who have received high achieving scores on the PSAT/NMSQT taken during their junior year in high school, and who have a 3.0 GPA or higher. The program sends a list of recognized students to subscribing colleges. National Hispanic Recognition Program finalists with exceptional academic records who are admissible to BU will be considered for a four-year, $20,000 Presidentail Scholarship.

Scholarship & Financial Aid Trustee and Presidential Scholarships

The Presidential Scholarship is a $20,000 tuition scholarship awarded to the best and brightest freshmen from around the globe. The Trustee Scholarship is BU’s most prestigious merit-based award, recognizing students with extraordinary academic and leadership abilities and covers full tuition and student fees. Applications must be received by December 1 to be considered for both scholarships. High school seniors who have been chosen as National Merit finalists may be eligible for the $20,000 Presidential Scholarship.

Student Life & Support First Gen Connect

First Generation Connect serves as a resource for students to ensure a smooth and successful transition from high school to college life and beyond. First Generation Connect hosts events at the start of each semester to welcome new and continuing students to campus. Throughout the academic year, First Generation Connect sponsors workshops and social events for students who are the first in their families to go to college. Learn more about First Gen Connect

Student Life & Support The Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground

The Howard Thurman Center builds a sense of community for students through cultural, social, and academic networks on campus. Along with dynamic programming throughout the year, the Center holds a mandatory workshop for all first year students during University Orientation to educate all students about the teachings Dr. Howard Thurman (mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) on discovering our shared humanity.

Student Diversity

  • 16,075
  • 40/60
  • 19%
    First-generation college students
  • <1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 14%
  • 4%
    Black or African American
  • 11%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 41%
  • 4%
    Two or more races
  • 4%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 22%

Student Success

  • 93%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 87%
    Six-year graduation
  • 84%
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 99%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 75%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 1,798
    Full-time faculty
  • 257
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 10:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Business Administration/Management, Communications, International Relations, Pre-Medical Studies, Psychology, Biomedical Engineering

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    450+ Clubs, including the African Students Organization, Alianza Latina, Asian Student Union, Brazilian Association, Chinese Students and Scholars Association, India Club, Japanese Student Association, Korean Student Association, Russian American Cultural Club, Thai Student Association, and more.


Cost of Attendance

  • $50,980
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • $1,102
    Required Fees
  • $15,270
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $180,922,199
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $39,725
    Average aid package
  • $27,000
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 18%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 36%
    Students with financial need
  • 100%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 100%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 23%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 60,815
    # of applicants
  • 25%
  • 3.80
    Average HS GPA
  • 32
    ACT Composite
  • 670—750
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 690—770
    SAT Math
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Writing
  • n/a
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 1/2
    Regular application closing date
  • $80
    Application Fee
  • $80
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • yes
    Early decision plan
  • ED 1: 11/1, ED 2: 1/2
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date