Boston University

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#31, overall score 67/100

Fun Fact:

In addition to many typical amenities, BU’s Fitness and Recreation Center also has a lazy river.

Why should Jewish students attend BU? Boston University is home to the largest population of Jewish undergraduates at a private institution in North America. There are a multitude of religious, cultural, social, spiritual, Jewish learning, Israel, interfaith, multicultural, social justice, and wellness ways to access students’ Jewish identities and passions. Hillel International, The Boston Jewish Federation, CJP, and Boston University are committed partners in ensuring vibrant and vivacious Jewish life are instilled across campus. We possess an abundance of staff, student leader, and funding resources to help students learn, travel, act, perform, care, pray, study, observe and more during their most vital and developmental years as students. We couldn’t be more excited about helping students find their Jewish journeys! - Ethan Sobel, assistant director, Boston University Hillel


  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Region: New England
  • Campus type: Big city
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 17,944
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 5,000
  • Jewish population share: 28%
  • Student origin: 20% in-state / 80% out-of-state
  • Student newspaper: The Daily Free Press
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Terriers
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Ozone Pilots / Lady Ozone Pilots

What Students Say:

“BU is in an amazing city with lots of opportunities and has a lot of options for students to get involved in extracurricular activities.”

COST & AID Score: 0/15

  • Score: 0/15
  • Tuition: $52,082
  • Room & board costs: $15,270
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $32,177
  • Average loan debt: $40,089

ACADEMICS Score: 16.67/20

ISRAEL Score: 16/20

SAFETY Score: 5.33/11

  • Score: 5.33/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 1
  • Campus crime rate: 4.16/1,000 students (medium low)
  • City crime rate: 28.57/1,000 people (medium low)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 29/34

  • Score: 29/34
  • Hillel: BU Hillel
  • Chabad: Chabad House of Greater Boston
  • OU-JLIC: Yes
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: AEPhi, SDT
  • Jewish a capella group: Kol Echad
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan?: Yes
  • Active Hillel clubs: 10
  • Hillel Friday night services: 3
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 100
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 28 (9 Orthodox, 8 Conservative, 11 Reform)
  • Eruv: Yes
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Howard Stern
  • Where do Jewish students come from?: All over the country – high focus areas from New York, New Jersey, California, Chicago, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Miami and Israel.
  • Kosher food details: Boston University provides a state-of-the-art kosher dining facility, located in the Hillel building, and accessible to any BU student on any type of meal plan and paying patrons. Lunch and dinner are served Monday-Saturday.

What Students Say:

“The Jewish community is very tight-knit and can stand to grow a bit more.”… “We try to be inclusive of all sects of Judaism and try to make everyone feel at home.”…”The Jewish community has given me many special friends and a second family that I can count on whenever I need them.”

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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