Imagine living in a brownstone apartment around the corner from Fenway Park. That would be Boston University. Did you know that its first campus was in Newbury, Vermont? Or that Martin Luther King, Jr. earned his doctorate from BU? The plaque I’m standing next to celebrates Mayflower Captain Myles Standish. Due to flooding, I had to go through Bennington and catch the Mass Turnpike to get to Boston. That gave me the opportunity to swing by Williams College.

Private college admissions counselors claim they can help students find the right fit. Well, that’s a crapshoot. I try to steer my students toward schools with beautiful campuses and high four-year graduation rates. (It’s hard to be unhappy in a pleasant setting.) Boston College has both. Its four-year graduation rate is 88 percent.
Driving by the charming Alumni Stadium, I saw a high school football camp being run on a practice field in hot and humid weather. Heisman winner and Pro Bowl quarterback Doug Flutie’s performance and miracle win against Miami led to a rise in applications for admission to Boston College, a phenomenon known to college counselors as the “Flutie Effect.” The Natick, Massachusetts product went on to play in the NFL, USFL, and CFL. The Flutie Effect caused applications to BC to surge 16 percent in 1984 and another 12 percent in 1985. Other colleges and universities, such as Gonzaga, George Mason, and Butler have reaped admissions benefits from NCAA basketball tournament success.