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Move to ACC showcases Boston College to southerners


Boston College’s decision to shift its sports teams to the Atlantic Coast Conference two years ago has led to a spike in applications from the southern states that dominate the league.

Applications from high school students in the league’s six states to the south has risen 30 percent. Applications from South Carolina have doubled, increased nearly 50 percent in Virginia and climbed by one-third in North Carolina and Georgia, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

Robert Lay, BC’s dean for enrollment management, said the move to the ACC has changed BC’s image from a small school nestled in Boston to a university that can compete with the South’s athletic powerhouses.

“We’re in the hunt, as they say in the South,” Lay said.

BC made the switch from the Big East conference because it believed the conference was a better academic and athletic match.

Boston College is the northern outpost in the 12-team league, with Maryland its closest neighbor. The ACC’s other teams are Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

However the spike in applications has not meant a major increase in enrollment from southern students. About 30 percent of accepted applicants enroll in Boston College, but for accepted students from ACC states that yield is 21 percent.

“You don’t hear as many ‘Y’alls as we’d like,” said Jack Dunn, a Boston College spokesman. “At least not yet.”

Nadia Hoekstra, a Chapel Hill, N.C., native was introduced to BC in December 2004 when the Eagles beat her beloved North Carolina Tar Heels in a bowl game. When it came time to choose a college, she choose BC.

“I’m a huge basketball fan, so the ACC was definitely a major factor in my choosing BC,” she said. “At first, it was really all I knew. But the more I learned, the more I liked it.”

Information from: The Boston Globe,

–Associated Press

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