BC vs. BU

Should I go to Boston College or Boston University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if BC or BU is the better college for you.

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Boston College vs. Boston University comparison
Boston College Boston University College 3 College 4
Boston College Boston University
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Location Chestnut Hill, MA Boston, MA
Setting Small City Large City
Students 14,720 34,657
Type Private 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $56,780 $54,720
Tuition (Out of State) $56,780 $54,720
Room & Board $14,826 $16,160
Avg Net Price $28,354 $29,479
Avg Grant Aid $44,700 $43,022
% Receiving Grant Aid 44% 49%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 27.2% 18.9%
Avg High School GPA 3.86 3.59
Admissions Standards Elite Elite
Applicant Competition High Very High
ACT Range 31/34 30/34
SAT Range 1340/1500 1340/1510
Application Deadline Jan 1, 2020 Jan 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 91% 85%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $90,900 $72,000
Making Student Loan Payments 90% 82%
Median Student Loan Debt $19,000 $27,000
Median Loan Payment $196 $279
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Comparable Facts

  • Boston University is larger than than BC based on total student enrollment (34,657 students vs. 14,720 students)

BC vs. BU Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, BC or BU?

  • Boston College is 3.8% more expensive to attend than BU for in-state tuition ($56,780.00 vs. $54,720.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 3.8% higher at BC than Boston University ($56,780.00 vs. $54,720.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Boston College than BU ($28,354 vs. $29,479)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Boston College are 9% lower than costs at Boston University ($14,826 vs. $16,160)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Boston University than Boston College (49% vs. 44%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Boston College students is 3.9% larger than aid received Boston University ($44,700 vs. $43,022)

BC vs. BU Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, BC or BU? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between BU or BC .

  • The average SAT score at Boston College (1380) is 77 points higher than at BU (1303)
  • Incoming BC students have a 3 point higher average ACT score (32) than students at BU (29)
  • BC has a higher acceptance rate (27.2%) than BU (18.9%)

BC vs. BU Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, BC or BU? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between BU and BC.

  • The graduation rate at BC is higher that Boston University (91% vs. 85%)
  • Graduates from Boston College earn on average $18,900 more per year than BU graduates after ten years. ($90,900 vs. $72,000)
  • Boston College students graduate with a $8,000 lower median federal student loan debt than BU graduates. ($19,000 vs. $27,000)
  • BC graduates are paying $83 less per month on federal student loans than BU graduates. ($196 vs. $279)
  • More BC graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former BU students, three years after graduation. (90% vs. 82%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/