Boston College (BC) 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide
Boston college 2020-2021 application essay question explanations.
The Requirements: 1 essay of 400 words Supplemental Essay Type(s): Oddball , Community, Why
The writing supplement topics for the 2020-21 application cycle (400 word limit):
*please select one topic, great art evokes a sense of wonder. it nourishes the mind and spirit. is there a particular song, poem, speech, or novel from which you have drawn insight or inspiration.
Boston College is looking for more than just a summary of your favorite book. Admissions wants to know about the art that is meaningful to you and how it aligns with your life and values. As with all supplemental essays, your goal should be to use this prompt as an opportunity to tell a personal story — in this case, about your relationship to a particular piece of art. Do you read “ Still I Rise ” by Maya Angelou before every debate competition to give yourself a refill of confidence and motivation? Did Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood completely change the way you look at crime and punishment? Does “Life is a Highway” by Rascall Flatts always put you in a great mood? You should be careful to avoid self-aggrandizing or pandering choices. Don’t write about Crime and Punishment unless you genuinely picked it up of your own accord, read it from start to finish, and loved every second of it. Think not just of the most recent books you’ve read and songs you’ve listened to, but also of the old classics you can’t help rereading ( Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ) or songs that never get old (“Wannabe” by the Spice Girls). When you give admissions insight into the art that makes you stop and think, gives you solace, or lifts your spirits, you can also reveal something new about your childhood, upbringing, or life experience.
When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. What is it about your background, your experiences, or your story, that will enrich Boston College’s community?
This question closely resembles prompt 1 on the Common Application , which means it’s as close as you’ll get to a “topic of your choice” option on the BC supplement. This could be the perfect prompt for those of you who already have a few concepts in mind (a runner up personal statement topic, perhaps). Where do you come from? What has shaped you as a person, and how has that made your perspective unique? What you focus on here can be cultural, familial, or even one sole experience that you feel has made a profound impact on the person you are today and will be on campus. What do you believe and how will your worldview bring something of value to the community at Boston College? Admissions is looking to add diverse perspectives to the melting pot that is their student body. Is there anything you can teach your classmates about your hometown, traditions, culture, cuisine, orientation, identity, race, or ethnicity that they might not already know? What distinguishes your story from those of others? It also can’t hurt to explore why your particular background or experience will be useful in an academic setting. How will it help inspire and/or inform others? If you can find a meeting place for all of those threads, this prompt may be for you.
Boston College strives to provide an undergraduate learning experience emphasizing the liberal arts, quality teaching, personal formation, and engagement of critical issues. If you had the opportunity to create your own college course, what enduring question or contemporary problem would you address and why?
Are you an engaged citizen of the world? Are you aware of what’s going on around you, and do you have the drive to effect change? How would you take other people on this journey with you? These are just some of the things BC is hinting at with this prompt. Maybe you want to the history of concussions in sports to address the role of sports culture in the modern healthcare system. Or history and literature to dive deeper into modern gender politics. Once you decide on the issue you want to address, make sure you structure your essay around the creation of a course and get creative. Think beyond “Social Media 101” and show admissions you have the ability to package your creation with style.
Jesuit education considers the liberal arts a pathway to intellectual growth and character formation. What beliefs and values inform your decisions and actions today, and how will Boston College assist you in becoming a person who thinks and acts for the common good?
Jesuits! Values! What is this, the Spanish Inquisition? Actually, it’s just a Why essay . This prompt is a great option for applicants who have really specific reasons for their interest in BC — philosophical, academic, and beyond! It asks you to connect your interest in the school with your own personal beliefs or values. Maybe religion is a part of it: You have already benefited from a Jesuit high school education and you want to continue; or maybe you come from another tradition and want to connect more directly with a framework that connects faith and intellect. On the other (secular) hand, you could see moving to Boston as an opportunity to grow. Whether you already know exactly how your values connect with a BC education or need help fleshing it out, research will help. Spend some time on the school website and dig to the nitty gritty of the programs, offices, and traditions that interest you. At the end of the day, your goal is to cram your essay with as many specific details as possible. In doing so, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to the school AND paint a vivid picture that allows your reader to imagine exactly who you’ll be on campus.
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08 May , 2021
Are You Making These Mistakes in Your Essay?
Most typical mistakes in a college essay
Starting a new chapter of your life by entering college is always frustrating. Especially, when you almost physically feel the load of responsibility. To earn a place in a college of your dream you need to work hard - and make a good self-representation for an admission committee. How? By sending them a flawless college essay. This is one of the most essential part of the file.
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How to Answer the Boston College Supplemental Essay
Bonus Material : PrepMaven’s Supplemental Essay Spreadsheet
Many top-tier universities and colleges in the U.S. now require applicants to submit at least one additional essay.
Boston College is one of these colleges–it requires students to submit one 400-word essay in addition to their personal statement.
What are the prompts for this essay? And how should you respond?
We’ve got the answers to these questions in this post. We also give readers access to a great resource: the top 50 most selective colleges in the U.S. and their supplemental essays for 2020-2021, in one easy-to-read spreadsheet.
Grab it below.
Download Supplemental Essay Spreadsheet
Here’s what we cover:
- Boston College’s Supplemental Essay Prompt for 2020-2021
Boston College Supplemental Essay Prompt #1
Boston college supplemental essay prompt #2, boston college supplemental essay prompt #3, boston college supplemental essay prompt #4.
- Bonus: PrepMaven’s Supplemental Essay Spreadsheet
Boston College’s Supplemental Essay for 2020-2021
Students applying to Boston College only have to write one 400-word supplemental essay. However, they do have to choose between four prompts .
We would like to get a better sense of you. Please respond to one of the following prompts. (400 word limit)
1. Great art evokes a sense of wonder. It nourishes the mind and spirit. Is there a particular song, poem, speech, or novel from which you have drawn insight or inspiration?
2. When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. What is it about your background, your experiences, or your story, that will enrich Boston College’s community?
3. Boston College strives to provide an undergraduate learning experience emphasizing the liberal arts, quality teaching, personal formation, and engagement of critical issues. If you had the opportunity to create your own college course, what enduring question or contemporary problem would you address and why?
4. Jesuit education considers the liberal arts a pathway to intellectual growth and character formation. What beliefs and values inform your decisions and actions today, and how will Boston College assist you in becoming a person who thinks and acts for the common good?
In the next section, we provide pointers for responding to each of these four prompts.
How to Respond to Each Boston College Supplemental Essay Prompt
- Great art evokes a sense of wonder. It nourishes the mind and spirit. Is there a particular song, poem, speech, or novel from which you have drawn insight or inspiration? (400 words)
We encourage students to select one specific work of art to discuss in this essay response. Think broadly here. Consider what comes to mind when you think of the following, for example:
- Your most-played Spotify playlists or songs
- The books on your bookshelf
- Syllabi from past English classes
- Speeches you’ve heard or studied
- Spoken word poetry
You might want to build a list of works at first and narrow down from there. If you have trouble narrowing your list down, jump ahead to the next set of questions. Ideally, the work of art you choose should give you a lot of room to discuss its impact on you.
Once you’ve identified the song, poem, speech, or novel you’d like to discuss, ask yourself the following questions.
- What are this piece of art’s main themes?
- Social issues
- Relationships, etc.
- What were the circumstances under which you encountered this work of art?
- What were your initial impressions?
- What are your current impressions? (Do they differ from your initial impressions?)
- What specific insights has this work of art generated?
- Does it inspire you? In what way?
- What does this work of art have to do with your beliefs, values, and/or perspectives of the world?
When crafting your response, students should identify the work of art from the outset and offer a brief description. Don’t be shy about plunging in, as you only have 400 words for your response. Here’s an example of what that might look like:
I first encountered Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” in my sophomore year English class, during a time when literature had not yet taken the priority it has today in my life.
It’s also vital to spend less time describing this work of art and more time describing how it has inspired or influenced you in the essay as a whole. The admissions readers will be more interested in the part of this response that concerns you after all!
Your essay should, for example, be rich with the following kind of statements.
“The Great Gatsby”’s interrogation of the American Dream has challenged me to redefine what “success” actually means to me; in fact, it has motivated me to more precisely articulate my academic and personal goals in terms of their relationship to my core values.
Feel free to connect the insights you’ve drawn to other aspects of your life, too, such as extracurricular activities, service projects, and independent research, but these should serve only as examples of actions this work of art has inspired.
A nice way to conclude your essay might be referencing this piece of art’s current role in your life, as in the following example:
I know I will always keep a copy of “The Great Gatsby ” on my bookshelf as a reminder of the importance of human relationships, honesty, and integrity.
- When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. What is it about your background, your experiences, or your story, that will enrich Boston College’s community? (400 words)
This prompt is very broad, which can be both beneficial and challenging for students. With this prompt, however, admissions officers are interested in diversity . They are also interested in diversity that will “enrich” the campus community, which means that this prompt is also interested in what you have to offer or contribute .
What do we mean by “diversity”? Diversity can refer to any of the following:
- Cultural background
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity
- Socioeconomic circumstances
- Religious traditions
We encourage students to learn more about the Boston College community and its values before responding to this prompt. You can do so by attending virtual information sessions, for example, or spending some time on the BC website.
Identifying school mission statements can also be helpful for picking a place to start here. Boston College’s mission encompasses service, the search for truth, academic excellence, and research.
You might want to use some of these keywords to think about the part of your specific story that might “enrich” the BC community. Here are some sample questions to ask:
- What experiences have I had in searching for truth?
- What have my encounters with service looked like?
- What is distinct or unique about my background?
As with all of these prompts, it’s more important to choose an experience or aspect of your background that will give you a lot to say about what you have to bring to this campus community.
What’s more, because of the broadness of this prompt, you can feel free to refer to a broader component of “your story,” as opposed to one specific experience, including heritage, identity, traditions, language, and beliefs.
When responding to this prompt, make sure to give ample room to the following:
- The part of your story that you want to highlight (and what this says about your own specific diversity)
- How this will enrich the Boston College community
It’s often easier for students to tackle the first bullet point here, and harder to address the second. That’s okay, as the first bullet point, according to the language of the prompt, is the most important.
But you don’t want to leave admissions officers guessing about that enrichment factor here. You’ll want at least a few sentences that speak to your own understanding of how you’ll enrich this community, as in this example:
Through these experiences, I have learned the social resonance of being bilingual, and how language really is the key to creating stronger communities. I am eager to bring this attention to the words that connect us to Boston College, which places a premium on diversity and community.
Notice how this example specifically identifies what this applicant intends to offer BC. This is important! These lines also serve as a great conclusion.
- Boston College strives to provide an undergraduate learning experience emphasizing the liberal arts, quality teaching, personal formation, and engagement of critical issues. If you had the opportunity to create your own college course, what enduring question or contemporary problem would you address and why? (400 words)
This is a long, fancy way of asking students the following question: what do you think the most pressing issue in the world is, and why?
It’s also important to notice the buzzwords Boston College incorporates into this prompt: “liberal arts,” “quality,” “personal formation,” and “critical issues.” As you reflect on the pressing issue or question you’d like to discuss, keep these terms in mind. Ideally, the issue you choose should come from a place of deep honesty and also have to do with something that is critical and meaningful on multiple levels.
It seems like a tall order, but ask yourself the following questions as you brainstorm:
- What issue keeps you up at night?
- What question hasn’t yet been answered that you desperately want to answer?
- If you could solve one problem in the world with a snap of your fingers, what would it be?
- What stands in the way of the common good currently?
The prompt is broad enough that you can literally choose any question or problem you wish (“enduring” or “contemporary”), on any scale, to address.
Once you’ve selected your question or problem, think about the following:
- Why does this matter?
- On what scale(s) does this matter?
- How did you first encounter this question or problem? How do you currently engage with it?
- Why is it important for students to learn about this?
- What impact would examining this problem or issue have? On what levels?
- What does this say about you?
When writing your response, spend less time discussing the question or issue and more time describing its meaning. Your perceived meaning of this issue is, after all, what admissions officers are most interested in, as it says a lot about who you are as an individual in this world and your capacity for self-awareness.
Be sure to specifically identify this problem or question from the outset, for clarity’s sake. Here’s an example:
In my college course, I would address the following question: What does it actually mean to be a feminist in 2021?
If you’ve chosen something rather broad, be sure to describe what you would specifically focus on within that broader category, as in this example:
In my college course, I would address the following question: What does it actually mean to be a feminist in 2021? Specifically, I would encourage my students to consider how the definition of feminism has evolved since its inception and approach modern feminism through the lenses of race and media.
As you discuss the meaning of this question or issue, be sure you’re very clear about the following two things:
- why you are personally invested in this issue / question
- why it matters on a larger scale
You can address the first bullet point by incorporating personal anecdote, if you’d like. This is a great way to introduce the second bullet point, too! Here’s an example:
I was raised in a household that claimed it was staunchly feminist. I read books with female protagonists and was told that to be a girl was to have a special superpower. Yet over the years, I’ve come to scrutinize this term in a new fashion.
- Jesuit education considers the liberal arts a pathway to intellectual growth and character formation. What beliefs and values inform your decisions and actions today, and how will Boston College assist you in becoming a person who thinks and acts for the common good? (400 words)
This prompt contains many excellent keywords that indicate what college admissions officers are interested in here. Keep these in mind as you are drafting your response:
- Beliefs and values
- Common good
It is also a two-question prompt. Students should make sure that they respond adequately to both of these questions in their 400-word essay:
- What beliefs and values inform your decisions and actions today?
- Wow will Boston College assist you in becoming a person who thinks and acts for the common good?
Use the structure of these questions to your advantage! You can spend the first part of your essay discussing those beliefs and values and the second portion addressing how BC will assist you in thinking and acting for the “common good.”
To begin, we recommend brainstorming your core values and beliefs. You might already have done some of this work prior to crafting your personal statement. We’ve provided some examples of values and beliefs below.
It can also be helpful to anchor these values and beliefs in specific experiences and/or anecdotes. This will make it easier to tell a story and to focus on your core values and beliefs (as opposed to all of them!).
For example, your value for honesty might be deeply related to your desire to pursue a career in law. Or perhaps your belief in “unity over division” is related to your commitment to social justice.
If you’re having trouble coming up with values and beliefs, think about the second part of the question: “inform your decisions and actions.” What guides the decisions that you make in your life? What inspires action?
Here is an excerpt from a sample response demonstrating an applicant’s beliefs and values:
I have always believed in the power of compassion, yet only fully understood the potential of this value when I started volunteering at a local shelter for women in recovery…Through this experience, I have learned that compassion is what unites us all despite our differences, and this is what guides every decision-making process.
Students often struggle with the second portion of this prompt. While this is not specifically a “why Boston College” prompt, students should be specific about how they foresee BC will help them with their character formation, specifically the formation of values that have to do with the “common good.”
The key word here is “how.”
Once again, it can be helpful to learn more about Boston College’s mission and teaching philosophy. According to its website, for example, BC’s mission encompasses service, the search for truth, academic excellence, and research. Many of its courses encourage the act of self reflection and “asking of big questions.”
Think about how this mission and philosophy relates to the beliefs and values you’ve pinpointed.
Then think about the other components of BC that will help you become an even better person . In other words, what about BC is going to help you grow as a person with a set of values (and not just a scholar)?
Consider the following:
- Your prospective major and that department at BC
- Extracurricular activities, especially service
- Opportunities at BC that reflect your values and beliefs
Here is an excerpt from a sample response:
Boston College’s commitment to service aligns with my profound desire to apply my innate compassion to all kinds of communities: a vibrant student body, a strong biology department, and the broader volunteering community.
Download Our Supplemental Essay Spreadsheet
Applying to several top-tier colleges? We’ve compiled the supplemental essay prompts for the 50 most selective U.S. colleges and universities in one FREE easy-to-access spreadsheet!
Here’s what you’ll get:
- The supplemental essay prompt(s) the 50 most selective U.S. colleges / universities
- Word limits for each prompt
- Application deadlines for each (early and regular)
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How to Respond to the Boston College Supplemental Essay Prompts 2022/2023
Boston College is a Jesuit private research university located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Boston College is located a short distance from Downtown Boston which makes it an extremely desirable place to learn. Therefore, BC’s acceptance rate is around 26%, meaning y our application will really need to stand out! In order to apply, students must complete one of the five prompt options for the BC supplemental essays.
Here’s our guide for how to ace the Boston College supplemental essay questions!
Also see: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool
Before answering the BC supplemental essays
All Boston College applicants, should respond to one of the following five prompts except for those applying for the Human-Centered Engineering major. Those applying for the Human-Centered Engineering major will need to reply to ONLY the sixth Boston College essay question.
All of the Boston College supplemental essay questions have a 400 word limit. 400 words may sound like a lot but once you start writing you will realize that getting your personality on the page will take a few more words than 400. Do not stress! This just means you will have to be precise and direct with your answers. Do not drag on or use filler words! Just remember to be yourself in your response.
Don’t miss: How to respond to the Common App essay prompts
Essay option #1
“ Students at Boston College are encouraged to consider critical questions as they pursue lives of meaning and purpose. What is a question that matters to you and how do you hope Boston College will help you answer it?”
This question is essentially asking you to think of a question that matters to you. Before answering this supplemental essay question – brainstorm! This will get your ideas flowing and may make your response obvious.
If you have a set major, think of questions that you have about your major or future dream career. If you are undecided, you can brainstorm things you are extremely passionate about.
Once you have your question solidified, time to tie it back to Boston College! How will Boston College help you answer this question? Research Boston College for their clubs, extracurriculars and academic programs available.
It is crucial that you are as specific to Boston College as possible.
Questions to consider
- What is important to you?
- How can Boston College lead you to success?
- What burning questions about something you are interested in do you have?
Don’t miss: How to write an essay about yourself
Essay option #2
“In 2020, we faced a national reckoning on racial injustice in America – a reckoning that continues today. Discuss how this has affected you, what you have learned, or how you have been inspired to be a change agent around this important issue”
If you are passionate about equality and activism this prompt was made for you. It is so important that this prompt means something to you if you choose to reply to it; this essay should be taken very seriously.
To begin this essay you should reflect on the year 2020. What were you doing during this time? Be sure to hone in on how you fought against injustice during this time. Generally, just write about how this time affected you. Did you change? Did you grow and learn from these experiences?
Tips for responding to this prompt
- Avoid triggering responses such as detailing extreme violence.
- Do not write about anything incriminating to yourself.
- Be specific! Write about specific protests attended or organizations you supported.
- Remember even the smallest change you were a part of can have big impacts.
- Do not write about stereotypes. (unless you are discussing overcoming them)
- Exercise best judgment when using certain language.
Related: How to write a 500 word essay
Essay option #3
“At Boston College, we hope to draw on the Jesuit tradition of finding conversation partners to discuss issues and problems facing society. Who is your favorite conversation partner? What do you discuss with that person?”
I know once you read this prompt you immediately thought of someone. So who was it? Who do you talk to about anything?
Once you have identified your favorite conversation partner, write a brief few sentences about them. How do you know them? Are they related to you?
Now, you should reflect on past conversations you have had with this person. What do you usually talk about?
To stand out from other responses, do not simply list everything you and this person have ever talked about. Rather, find a common theme in your conversations. Maybe you always talk about music with them or maybe they act as your therapist when you are having relationship issues.
Be sure to reflect on this person and your conversations. What have you learned from them? Emphasize how crucial conversations are. Stress how finding that right person to have a conversation with is so important.
- Who do you have the best conversations with?
- What do you learn from your conversations with this person?
- How are conversations important for fixing problems in society?
Don’t miss: What to include on college applications
Essay option #4
“Socrates stated that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Discuss a time when reflection, prayer, or introspection led to clarity or understanding of an issue that is important to you.”
Boston College is a Jesuit institution. Therefore, their values heavily align with the Jesuit traditional values.
To answer this prompt, first identify a prayer, reflection or introspection. Do you pray every night? If so, what specifically do you pray for?
Once you have selected a specific prayer for a specific outcome, discuss how this led you to clarity. Meaning, how did it change your perspective or allowed you to reach a greater understanding?
If you are not a spiritual person, this prompt may not be the one for you! Luckily, Boston College lets you select one of five prompts – making sure you pick the one that best matches your personality and interests!
- What do you pray for?
- Are you a spiritual person?
- How has being spiritual allowed you to reach a greater understanding of life or yourself?
Also see: Top Christian scholarships
Essay option #5
“Each year at University Convocation, the incoming class engages in reflective dialogue around a common text. What book would you recommend for your class to read and explore together – and why?”
If you are a bookworm this is the prompt for you! This prompt is another opportunity to be creative in your response.
Before answering this prompt – brainstorm! What book has impacted your life to this day? You should try to choose a work of literature that has sparked something inside of you. Meaning, choose a book that has given you valuable insight or changed your outlook on life. I know the second you read this prompt you had a book in mind so don’t hesitate to write about it!
However, since this prompt is allowing for creative freedom try to choose a unique book. Refrain from choosing a novel such as Harry Potter since it is extremely popular and will probably be written about a lot by applicants. (Even though the Harry Potter series is one of my favorites.)
Although, if you are dying to choose an extremely popular book or a classic make sure to then write from a new and different perspective or take. Once you have selected a book, go into detail about how it has impacted your life. This should go without saying but choose a book you have read and are familiar with! Emphasize why it would be a good fit for your class to read. What will your fellow peers learn from this novel?
- What is your favorite book?
- How would Boston College benefit from reading this book?
- How has this book influenced your outlooks?
Don’t miss: Top 10 books to read before college
Essay option #6 (For human-centered engineering applicants only)
“One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College integrates technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. What societal problems are important to you and how will you use your HCE education to solve them?”
This essay prompt is essentially asking you to explain how you will use an engineering degree from Boston College to serve the “Common Good.”
To begin, research the Human-Centered Engineering program at Boston College. What programs and aspects of the program stick out to you?
After familiarizing yourself with their program, now brainstorm a societal problem facing us right now. Try to narrow it down to one issue.
Focus on an issue that has a personal impact. For example, maybe solar electricity is not used widely in your community and you would like to see that transition. By using your own experiences, you can make your response stronger and reveal pieces of your personality.
If you are struggling to pick a problem, the Human-Centered Engineering website has some examples you can choose from.
Throughout this essay, make sure to tie back to how the programs at Boston College can help you solve this main problem. Be sure to include specifics about the program that can only be found at Boston College.
- Why are you interested in engineering?
- What issues do you find most important?
- How can engineering aid these issues?
Also see: Top Massachusetts scholarships
What makes Boston College unique?
When applying to any school, it’s a good idea to learn about what makes them unique before you start writing your supplemental essays. Once you find the unique characteristics about a school, you can describe the ones that interest you the most and explain why you will find success at a school that offers these features. This demonstrates your interest in and commitment to the school as well as your potential to perform well if admitted. Here are a couple of unique characteristics about Boston College that can help you write your best essays possible.
Being located in the Boston area is a major factor in the experience of students at BC. Boston is a huge city which is home to a wide range of prestigious universities. So, you’ll be in a bustling city full of other people your age receiving great college educations. You can write about how you are prepared to take advantage of this resource by visiting museums, utilizing city libraries, applying for internships, and more.
The Disney Class
One of Boston College’s most famous courses is the Disney Class . This course, officially titled, Studies in Children’s Literature, goes in-depth on the stories behind major Disney films throughout the history of the company, including how they changed popular fairy tales to create marketable movies. Professor Bonnie Rudner teaches the class, and adamant Disney fans and critics will both find something interesting from the course and learn to contextualize these canonical movies in a whole new light.
Impressive philosophy department
Boston College is especially renowned for its philosophy department, known for pushing barriers and including extensive coursework in the field of continental philosophy. Several faculty members at the college have well-known around the world, including prominent Heidegger scholar William J Richardson .
Next steps after applying to Boston College
So that’s what you should know about the BC supplemental essays! Now that the hard part is over and your application is flawless and submitted – take a deep breath! Congratulations, you did it! The hard part is now over!
Continue to show demonstrated interest in Boston College so they know you are committed and prioritizing their school (even if you have a few other top choices.)
This can be done by:
- following their social media accounts
- reaching out to admissions officers
- scheduling an in-person or virtual tour
- reading up on what you want to get involved in on campus
Essentially, showing interest and staying connected will allow you to get that extra foot in the door and make your name known. Exploring your interest in Boston College will also help solidify if it is the best university for you.
As a student working on college applications, you’ve got a lot on your plate. There are many decisions to make along every step of the way – fortunately, we can help you through them. Check out our guides on how many schools to apply to and how to find safety, reach, and match schools .
If you’re wondering whether to send test scores to test-optional schools , we’ve got a guide for that as well. And once you start hearing back, we can help you create a college comparison spreadsheet to make your college choice. Finally, check out our free scholarship search tool to help fund your education and keep all of your college options open. Good luck!
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How to Write the Boston University Supplemental Essay: Examples + Guide 2022/2023
Want to geek out on stats and data and make more informed choices about college? Read Boston University’s Common Data Set , for an extensive, by-the-numbers look at its offerings, from enrollment and tuition statistics to student life and financial aid information.
Boston University’s supplemental essay prompt might be a little basic, but the university is anything but. To find out why and get some key phrases that you can use to make your essays amazing , read its strategic plan . Reading through this will give you the inside scoop on what Boston University values and what changes will shape the university in the future.
BUT, please don’t just copy and paste chunks of the plan into your essay because a) that’s plagiarism and it's basically an academic crime, and b) anyone could do that.
Think about this: What aspects of BU’s plan speak to you? Does it matter to you that the student-to-faculty ratio has dropped? Think about what this signals and whether that resonates with you (does more face-to-face time with professors appeal to you?). What about a new career planning center? This might be exciting if you’re planning on getting internships and taking advantage of help finding a job after college. Are you interested in global studies? Would you be excited to take classes at “one of the country’s largest schools of global and regional studies”? Keep reading to connect the dots.
What is the Boston University supplemental essay prompt?
Boston university supplemental essay prompt #1.
What about being a student at Boston University most excites you? (250 words)
How to Write the Supplemental Essay Prompt for Boston University
This prompt is a version of the “Why us?” essay. As such, we recommend checking out this complete guide on how to write the “Why us?” essay and paying close attention to the “Why Cornell” and “Why Penn” examples, which are our favorites.
Here’s the short version of how to write the “Why us?” essay:
Spend 1 hr+ researching 10+ reasons why Boston University might be a great fit for you (ideally 3-5 of the reasons will be unique to Boston U and connect back to you).
Make a copy of this chart to map out your college research.
Create an outline for your essays based on either Approach 1, 2 (recommended), or 3 in the full guide above.
Write a first draft!
As you write, try to avoid these common mistakes:
Six Common Mistakes Students Make on “Why Us?” Essays
Mistake #1 : Writing about the school's size, location, reputation, weather, or ranking.
Mistake #2 : Simply using emotional language to demonstrate fit.
Mistake #3 : Screwing up the mascot, stadium, team colors, or names of any important people or places on campus.
Mistake #4 : Parroting the brochures or website language.
Mistake #5 : Describing traditions the school is well-known for.
Mistake #6 : Thinking of this as only a "Why them" essay.
Here’s a great sample essay for the BU supplemental essay.
If plotted on a three-dimensional graph, BU stands as the intersection between science (X=1), humanities (Y=1), and a global education (Z=1). At point (1, 0, 0) you will find “CAS BI 206: Genetics,” while “CAS XL 342: Travel Writing and the Muslim World ” will likely be found closer to (0, 0.75, 0.50). Classes involving travel or fieldwork all lie along the plane Z=1. In our three-dimensional world, BU prepares the next generation of students to see beyond X and Y. As a budding geneticist and physician, I am often told that I will have to sacrifice fundamental pieces of who I am in order to pursue a career in science. But as a (1, 0.5, 0.25), as an avid researcher but also an activist, volunteer, and community advocate, I know that I have to find a college that allows me to grow in all directions. I know that BU is exactly that. And because an entire college experience can never be broken down into numbers alone, I hope to work in the lab with Dr. Ho, as her research builds off of the work I am currently involved in at Columbia University to study genomes for disease-causing mutations. Additionally, the International Affairs Association combines both my passions for Model UN and service through BarMUN and Global Civics. Fun and exploration, awareness and advocacy find a home at Boston University, and I hope that I will as well.
Tips + Analysis
Consider weaving in a key phrase from BU’s strategic plan: Even if you just skim the strategic plan (we know some can be super long), find a few key phrases. This is like the Cliff Notes studying version or preparing for your final on Shakespeare. Can you get an A without reading the whole play? The answer is yes (don’t tell your English teacher). This student uses the phrase “a global education,” which directly links to BU’s new initiative to become “one of the country’s largest schools of global and regional studies.” (Pro tip: Try not to do this more than once in the essay; it’ll feel like you’re just telling BU what it wants to hear.)
Consider referencing specific classes and professors: Knowing that Boston University has classes such as “CAS BI 206: Genetics” and “CAS XL 342: Travel Writing and the Muslim World” shows the reader that this student dove deep into the academic offerings available. Bonus: These classes are pretty uncommon, especially the second one. Try to avoid referencing generic classes that every college will have such as Intro to Physics. Connect the classes to your specific interests (the more narrow, the better) and demonstrate what kind of student you’ll be. By referencing two distinct classes, this student reinforces her interdisciplinary path and appeals to BU’s desire to become even more of a global university (see the strategic plan in the intro).
Brag, humbly: Instead of just stating that she hopes to “work in the lab with Dr. Ho” (a BU professor), this student connects her future plans at BU to college-level research she’s currently doing “at Columbia University to study genomes for disease-causing mutations.” This is what we call a subtle brag: Show off that you’re conducting college-level research as a high school student without sounding like a jerk or randomly dropping it in. Because it directly connects to this student’s values and future goals, it works. But if you haven’t done Ivy League-level research as a high school student, that’s okay. Almost no one has, and they still get accepted to great schools. Think about what you have accomplished so far and see if you can connect some of those experiences to your future plans. Tutored your cousin in math? Awesome. You can use that.
Connect your values to the college’s: Fun, exploration, awareness, and advocacy are all values that matter both to BU and to this student, connecting the specific classes, research opportunities, and institutional priorities to her own academic and non-academic interests. Take a look at your Values List and see how yours align with what excites you about BU.
From first looking at countries’ GDPs without knowing what they meant, to exploring Keynes and Marx and neo-classical theory, I love that Economics challenges me to think about conflicts in aspects like religion, culture, and ethics that have significant impact on our lives. At Boston University, I want to explore how these important issues can be analyzed through Economics. I am interested in both Behavioural Economics and Developmental Economics. Even though I have not studied them in school, books like The Undercover Economist and TED talks have made me curious about different branches in Economics. Boston University Professor Raymond Fisman’s research paper, “Experience of Communal Conflicts and Intergroup lending” explores the connection between religion-based communal violence and lending, a connection I find interesting as religion is one of the factors that has enabled the economic development of my father’s hometown in India. To explore more about how religion connects with economics, I researched and wrote a 4,000 word essay on the contribution of religious pilgrimage and tourism of Ujjain for my IB extended essay. Apart from Economics courses, Boston University’s community interests me because of things like India Club and Debate Club. India Club will help me to feel at home. And I really like debating, which has made me open to and aware of different beliefs and values and has connected me to people with different opinions. I’m also interested in the Boston University magazine, which helps generate conversation and connection among people.
Tips + Analysis:
Consider describing research you’ve already done (if you’ve done some). This student starts off with his interest in Economics. Then, he describes how he’s already furthered this interest. By reading “books like The Undercover Economist” and listening to TED talks, this student shows the reader what he’s done so far (although he could get a bit more specific here and list which TED talks were most memorable). These details give him the opportunity to connect professors, classes, and opportunities at BU to his interests in a specific way. He also mentions his IB Extended Essay, “a 4,000 word essay on the contribution of religious pilgrimage and tourism of Ujjain,” which shows he is capable of specific, high-level academic research and writing in his chosen field. If you’re an IB student, mentioning your essay topic in your supplemental prompts is a great way to demonstrate your academic readiness for college. If you’re not an IB student, think about other advanced work you’ve done and maybe find a way to work it in.
Consider showing how you’ll engage with BU outside the classroom: This prompt asks what excites you about BU, which implies that it’s expecting you to go beyond just academics. The more detailed, the better. Really imagine yourself on campus. Where will you live? What will you do on the weekend, in the evenings? Who will your friends be? How will you meet them? This student mentions his excitement to join the India Club and the Debate Club, painting a picture of how he’ll fit into the wider student community at BU and getting a chance to further highlight his culture.
Make personal connections: This student connects a BU professor’s research paper, “Experience of Communal Conflicts and Intergroup lending,” to the economic development of his father’s hometown in India, demonstrating that a) he’s read a college-level research paper and done a deep dive into BU’s Econ department, and b) this research has personal significance to him. Once you’ve found some good research about the college, remember to connect it back to your why (why are you interested in this subject, professor, paper, topic, etc.?). The more specific you are, the better your odds are of standing out.
Want advice on dozens of other supplemental essays? Click here.
Special thanks to Cathleen for her contributions to this post.
Cathleen is a USC alumna, writer, college admissions and essay consultant, and international speaker based in Los Angeles, California. She loves dancing and learning new languages even though she’s terrible at both :)
Top Values: Curiosity | Bravery | Close Relationships
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/ Blog / How to Write the Boston College Supplemental Essay 2023-24
How to Write the Boston College Supplemental Essay 2023-24
22nd october 2022.
Are you looking for help with your Boston University supplemental essays? Look no further, our team of experienced writers can assist you in crafting compelling and unique essays to supplement your application.
Boston College, ranked among the top 40 universities in the US, is an outstanding college choice, especially if you want to attend a Jesuit institution.
You must submit a Boston College supplemental essay as part of the admission process. So, what should you write about in your essay to improve your chances of admission?
In this guide, we thoroughly examine all Boston College essay prompts and offer our best recommendations and guidance.
We'll also look at real Boston College essay examples to get a sense of what a good Boston College essay looks like.
So let's get this party started!
What Is the Boston College Essay?
Boston College requires all first-year applicants to submit a separate essay as part of the Boston College Supplement, in addition to the Common Application essay prompts (which you can find in the Common App under the heading "Writing Supplement"). The Boston University Supplemental Essay is a challenging and comprehensive examination of your writing ability
You can choose from six different essay prompts with this writing supplement:
#1: Students at Boston College are encouraged to think critically as they pursue meaningful and purposeful lives. What is a question that is important to you, and how do you hope Boston College can assist you in answering it?
#2: In 2020, we face a national reckoning on racial injustice in America, which is still ongoing. Discuss how this has affected you, what you've learned, and how you've been inspired to be a change agent about this critical problem.
#3: We intend to draw on the Jesuit tradition of finding discussion partners to explore societal challenges and difficulties at Boston College. Who is your favorite person to talk to? What do you talk about with that person?
#4: According to Socrates, "the unexamined life is not worth living." Discuss a time when reflection, prayer, or introspection resulted in clarity or understanding of a personal situation.
#5: At University Convocation each year, the incoming class engages in a contemplative discourse centered on a common text. What book would you suggest for your class to read and discuss together, and why?
#6: [Only Human-Centered Engineering Applicants Accepted] A Jesuit education includes the purpose of preparing students to serve the Common Good.
At Boston College, Human-Centered Engineering merges technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic viewpoint to address societal challenges and possibilities.
What societal issues are important to you, and how will your HCE education help you solve them?”
Each essay challenge requires you to provide particular data as well as a unique, captivating story about who you are, how you got to be this way, and what you plan to accomplish with your studies at Boston College.
Regardless of the essay prompt, your Boston College essay must be no more than 400 words long, making it slightly less than a usual college application essay , which is 500-600 words long.
The good news is that you only need to respond to one of the above-mentioned prompts. But how can you pick the ideal essay topic for you? Continue reading as we go through all of the Boston College essays prompts one by one.
All Boston College Essay Prompts, Analyzed
If you're applying to Boston University, be sure to check out our comprehensive list of Boston University supplemental essay examples to help inspire your own unique and compelling responses.
To write an excellent Boston College essay, you must understand what each question requires and which one will work best for you based on your personality, experiences, and/or interests.
The Boston University Supplement essay is an opportunity to tell the Admissions Committee more. Talk about how your ideas have evolved, how you've addressed a significant challenge, and what you are passionate about.
We have included a detailed examination of all four Boston College essay prompts below.
Boston College Essay Prompt 1
“Students at Boston College are encouraged to think critically as they pursue meaningful and purposeful lives. What is a question that is important to you, and how do you hope Boston College can assist you in answering it?”
This first Boston College essay prompt appears to be a little perplexing at first: you are requested to present a question rather than an answer.
What Boston College wants you to do here is discuss academic subjects or social concerns that interest you and why Boston College is the place to investigate them.
This essay provides you with an excellent opportunity to delve into a certain idea or problem that you wish to learn more about in college.
The topic of your essay can be anything from an ancient philosophical theory to how mobile phones influence American culture.
In a nutshell, what intellectually excites, fascinates, or captivates you? And why is that?
Before you answer this question, think about what you're enthusiastic about. This could be an academic topic you want to study, a difficult challenge in your future job field, or a current social issue.
Should You Choose This Prompt?
Most applicants know what they want to study in college. So, if you're interested in a specific field, you can utilize this as a starting point. Narrow your topic so that you are discussing a single question.
For example, if you want to study psychology, you may base your essay on the subject, "How is our increased reliance on social media influencing our behaviors?"
You might also approach this prompt from a societal standpoint. Are there any modern societal issues that you would like to investigate further? Perhaps you're concerned about wealth disparities in the United States.
You could inquire how wealth disparity has changed over the last fifty years and what we could do to address it.
The sky is pretty much the limit with this topic. Here are some additional themes for which you could make questions:
• Climate change or environmental issues
• In a country/area, political/economic instability or other problems
• Discrimination, stigma, and other concerns of inequality
• Potential issues confronting technology, science, the arts, certain industries, and so on.
The important thing to remember here is that you do not need to answer your query! Instead, a large portion of your essay will be devoted to explaining why Boston College is the greatest place for you to find answers to your query.
This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you've done your homework: bring up relevant departments, faculty members, ongoing research projects, individual courses, and campus groups that will assist you with your aim. Demonstrate how Boston College will assist you in answering your question.
Tips for Answering This Prompt
• Explain why you are so passionate about your question. Do you have firsthand knowledge of the problem you're addressing? How did it make you feel (or do you still feel)? This is the area to demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and interest in the Big Questions.
• As much as possible, relate your query to Boston College. Boston College admissions officers want to know that your application is well-thought-out. You don't have an answer to your question, and you shouldn't have one, but you should have a good sense of why Boston College is the greatest place to find one.
Boston College Essay Prompt 2
Does boston university have supplemental essays are hard to write? We faced a national reckoning on racial injustice in America in 2020, which is still ongoing today.
Discuss how this has affected you, what you've learned, and how you've been inspired to be a change agent about this critical problem.”
This second Boston College essay challenge is highly precise and requires you to perform some deep introspection.
You have several possibilities, including discussing your personal experience with racial injustice or what you've witnessed in your community. Perhaps you or your loved ones have been personally touched.
Perhaps something happened in the community that compelled you to confront racial injustice on a far more personal level than you had anticipated.
Also, keep in mind that the question asks what you've learned and how you've been motivated to be a change agent—in other words, even if you haven't yet been able to act on your desire to confront racial injustice on a bigger scale, you should think about this topic.
Finally, Boston College wants you to think about yourself and how you relate to bigger conceptions of societal injustice. It's a tall order, and you must remain as personal, honest, and specific as possible.
Unfortunately, there are numerous ways to write about racial injustice in America right now.
Here are a couple of such examples:
• Your firsthand encounter with racial injustice
• A family member's encounter with racial injustice
• Describe specific instances of racial injustice in your town.
• The earliest (or most vivid) instance of racial injustice you witnessed
• Please be as descriptive as possible. Boston College wants to see you and how you deal with complex, systemic issues, not just your thoughts on racial injustice. Show your deepest self (or as much of it as you're comfortable sharing) with real examples.
• Connect your experience to your college experience. Boston College is concerned about racial justice. Their College Ministry page on racial justice provides access to numerous campus resources for combating racial injustice. Mention particular programs that you want to participate in while in college, and demonstrate why Boston College is the greatest place for you to learn about and fight racial injustice.
Boston College Essay Prompt 3
We intend to draw on the Jesuit tradition of finding discussion partners to explore societal challenges and difficulties at Boston College.
Who is your favorite person to talk to? What do you talk about with that person?
This question is another excellent opportunity to demonstrate to Boston College who you are and what you value.
They're also emphasizing that Boston College is a Jesuit institution that values academic progress, moral development, and commitment to positive social change.
In short, this isn't the place to discuss your father's Star Wars fan theories (no matter how cool they are).
Consider the person with whom you have meaningful chats. It might be your best friend, partner, or family member.
Perhaps you've formed a friendship with one of your teachers, and you get together to chat about changing the world one discussion at a time.
This prompt is divided into two parts: describe your discussion partner and what you discuss.
Make sure to present a clear image of your conversation partner—why they're your favorite person to chat to and what they bring to the table—but also make room for why you talk about it.
Finally, make a connection between your talks and your future academics at Boston College. Maybe you met a youth minister and still talk about social change regularly; connect this to comparable campus organizations and programs.
This question is an excellent opportunity for you to demonstrate to Boston College who you are, what you value, and how you interact with others.
Consider writing about someone with whom you regularly debate similar values, such as:
• Others' empathy/compassion
• Social problems
• Life's "major questions"
• Choose a suitable chat companion. Pen pals might be equally as influential as those we chat with! However, you should be certain that the person you're writing about is someone with whom you have a deep and meaningful interaction.
• Explain in detail your conversation topics and their significance. This is your opportunity to show your enthusiasm for service, big ideas, and community! Make careful to explain why you discuss these topics with your partner and why they are important to you.
Boston College Essay Prompt 4
"The unexamined life is not worth living," Socrates said. Discuss a time when reflection, prayer, or introspection resulted in clarity or understanding of a personal situation.
Boston College is a well-regarded Jesuit college, so it's not surprising that the school is interested in the ideals of its applicants.
The goal of this prompt is to assist Boston College to understand how your values align with and promote the Jesuit principles of ethics and community service.
This essay prompt is divided into two major questions:
• What are the most critical problems to you?
• How do you address major issues in your inner world?
If you enjoy introspection, this is a great prompt for you. Boston College, a prestigious Jesuit university, places a great focus on service, reflection, and morality. This is the ideal cue for demonstrating to them that you, too, do.
The following are some essay themes you could write about:
• Changing your views about a topic you care about
• Recognizing that your values have shifted
• Recognizing that your ideas no longer correspond to those of your family
• Your cognitive process following a significant event/life change
• Concentrate on a single issue. For example, you could discuss your conflicted sentiments about eating meat and factory farming, as well as the decisions you make about what you are and are not prepared to eat and why.
• Make sure the issue is important and matches with the principles of Boston College. In other words, this isn't the place to wax poetic about how you worried about changing your Wordle initial word. Show Boston College your most introspective thoughts. They'd like to see them!
Boston College Essay Prompt 5
“Every year at University Convocation, the entering class participates in a contemplative discourse centered on a common text.
What book would you suggest for your class to read and discuss together, and why?”
This is a question you may have seen from other institutions as well—Boston College wants you to talk about a book that you enjoy.
But this isn't about your favorite novel. Instead, they want to know which book they believe is so significant that it be read and discussed by the whole first-year class at BC.
That means you should choose a book for reasons other than how much joy it gives you. It must also be intellectually compelling. That is, choose a book that will make you think and, ideally, alter you as a person.
Perhaps you read a novel in sophomore English that had such an impact on you that it restructured your DNA.
Or maybe you discovered a book you'd never heard of before thanks to a podcast (or BookTok!) and it opened your eyes to a new way of seeing the world.
You have a lot of possibilities here; just make sure you choose something that is important to you and matches the principles of Boston College.
Don't forget to look over their previous University Convocation books to have a decent concept of what they're looking for.
This prompt requires you to do two things:
• Select a book for convocation.
• Explain why you chose it.
This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your superb book taste as well as your knowledge and grasp of Boston College's ideals.
Consider the following titles:
• You were introduced to a new culture, subculture, or nationality.
• Made you reconsider how you see the world
• Told a compelling story, whether fiction or nonfiction
• Select a relevant book. Remember, Boston College isn't interested in your favorite novel. They want you to discuss a book that has had such an impact on you that you want to share it with the entire new class.
• Explain why you chose it explicitly. Check that your text is consistent with the ideals of Boston College. Show that you understand what Boston College is looking for by proposing a book that is ideal for them!
Boston College Essay Prompt 6
“Is only for Human-Centered Engineering majors: A Jesuit education includes the purpose of preparing students to serve the Common Good.
To begin, you should only select this prompt if you are studying Human-Centered Engineering. If you are, continue reading! Otherwise, you're finished!
Human-Centered Engineering is a new curriculum at BC that blends engineering with liberal arts. This prompt asks you to demonstrate that you are an exceptional fit by:
• Choosing an acceptable problem size (or problems)
• Describe why they are significant to you.
• Stating how you intend to resolve them
• Demonstrating to Boston College the importance of the HCE program to your solution
Is there a problem? You can do it! This is your opportunity to demonstrate to Boston College that you can dream a little bigger and that your beliefs connect with theirs.
Because Boston College is a Jesuit institution that promotes community service, you should consider societal topics that are of particular interest to them.
For example, if you want to research racial inequality in housing developments or interstate highway construction, you should highlight Boston College's Racial Justice p rogram can help you in your future work.
Keep in mind that this is a highly specialized engineering school that necessitates a connection to the liberal arts and service. In your response, demonstrate that you care about all three!
If you're applying to the HCE program, you have no choice but to select this one! But it's a very cool question that allows you to tell Boston College why you're the perfect match for each other. Consider selecting a problem in which:
• Has a significant impact on your neighborhood or a group that you care about
• Has historically been underserved
• Is solvable and particular
• Choose a specific issue that is important to you. The key here is to describe a situation that you might potentially help solve. This means you should be as specific as possible. For example, "global hunger," while a serious issue, is too broad a topic; instead, look at food deserts in your community.
• Explain why the HCE software is the only one that can assist you with dressing This is your chance to demonstrate that you've done your research and understand the HCEprograme inside and out. That is, you should particularly highlight teachers, projects, and courses you believe will assist you in reaching your goal.
Boston College Essay Examples
Let's look at two actual Boston College essay examples produced by admitted students.
Because the Boston College essay prompts change regularly, these essays may not immediately correspond to one of the four prompts indicated above.
However, you will gain an understanding of what constitutes a good Boston College essay and what admissions officers are looking for.
Boston Cfracturedollege Essay Example 1
This first Boston College essay, which focuses on the applicant's unique ethnic background, might easily have been written for the second challenge listed above (the diversity essay prompt).
This sample essay has more than 550 words, although the current Boston College essay standards limit essays to 400 words.
The essay is as follows:
What makes this Boston College essay work is as follows:
• It has a strong hook. The applicant's multinational and multilingual family captures our attention right away. It piques your interest in learning more about why this applicant wished a happy birthday in three languages and how their life experiences impact their ideals.
• It is really specific and thorough. People's real names are given to us, from Uncle Guillermo to Anisa Saad. These detailed details immerse readers in the story while drawing attention to the applicant's life experiences and ideals.
Boston College Essay Example 2
This next actual Boston College essay example focuses on community service, a significant Jesuit principle that Boston College would be delighted to read about in your essay!
This essay, at just under 400 words, should give you a sense of how long your Boston College essay can be.
• It tells a detailed and engaging story. Many students have volunteered at schools or assisted younger children, but this Boston College essay allows readers to truly appreciate the applicant's experience. We learn about two youngsters, Thomas and Miguel, and how the experience of assisting them altered the applicant dramatically.
• It's quite focused. Nothing in this essay feels unnecessary or out of place. It employs a well-organized and simple framework. We also learn from little facts that the candidate successfully manages other obligations, such as varsity basketball. So this individual is not only caring but also a superb multitasker!
• It focuses on a core Jesuit value: service to others. If you intend to answer Prompt 4, this is an excellent article to consult for ideas. It's all about serving the greater good, and it emphasizes the applicant's willingness to continue serving the community.
4 Tips for Writing a Great Boston College Essay
Before we conclude, here are four basic pointers to help you create an excellent Boston College essay.
#1: Be Specific and Clear
Your Boston College essay should be concise and filled with specific, tangible details that convey a compelling story about you and your values.
Your essay will have a greater personal impact if you include crucial facts such as people's names, your reactions/emotions to events or actions, and so on.
Furthermore, ensure that your story is concentrated and does not deviate into less important, less fascinating, or less significant areas.
For example, if you're writing about how you enjoy volunteering at retirement homes, it's pointless to elaborate on other values you have or service projects you're interested in because it will detract from the main objective of your essay.
#2: Speak Honestly About Embracing Jesuit Values
Be genuine, like you would in any college essay. Exaggerations and lies are rather easy to spot by admissions committees, so don't bother attempting to make a particular situation in your life appear more significant than it was.
Be honest with yourself: what matters most to you? What information do you believe Boston College should have about you? What, in your opinion, defines who you are and what you want to do?
Remember that Boston College is a Jesuit institution that places high importance on certain characteristics like morality, honesty, and community service.
If you have strong enthusiasm for any Jesuit ideals and regularly practice them in your life, make sure you're talking about them to highlight how Boston College is an excellent fit for you.
#3: Don't Repeat What You Wrote for the Common App Essay
All applicants to Boston College must submit a separate personal statement in response to one of the Common App prompts.
Because many of the Common App requirements are similar to the Boston College essay prompts listed above, you must avoid repeating any major themes or topics in your two essays.
Each essay is intended to portray a distinct side of you, and if you merely repeat yourself, you will not be showing new and unique elements of your personality—which will not impress the Boston College admissions committee!
#4: Edit and Proofread Multiple Times
You should spend some time editing and proofreading your Boston College essay .
The ideal method is to compose a rough draft and then set it aside for a few days. Take out your essay after some time has gone by so you can review it with fresh eyes.
Make a note of everything extraneous, uncomfortable, or grammatically incorrect.
After you've done this a few times, have someone else read yoessayssay, such as a teacher, parent, or elder sibling.
Request comments on how you can enhance the flow, organization, and overall story.
Now you should have a fantastic Boston College essay ready to submit!
Boston University Supplemental Essays 2023 are additional essays that applicants to Boston University must submit to supplement their application. These essays provide the admissions committee with more information about the applicant's background, interests, and goals, and can help to differentiate the applicant from other applicants with similar academic backgrounds.
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Boston University Supplemental Essays 2022-2023
Do you need help writing your Boston University supplemental essays? Then this Boston University supplemental essay guide is for you.
First, we’ll look at each of the Boston University essay prompts to help you figure out how to write strong Boston University supplemental essays. Then, we’ll also describe how the Boston University supplemental essays fit into the overall Boston University admissions process.
But first, before we dive into how to write the Boston University essay, let’s learn more about Boston University.
Boston University (BU) is a private university located in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1839, Boston University has a total undergraduate enrollment of just over 18,000 students. Also, Boston University is ranked #41 in National Universities according to U.S. News. Lastly, the Boston University acceptance rate is 14% , making Boston University a highly competitive school.
If you’re wondering how to get into Boston University, we can help. The key to standing out in the Boston University admissions process is writing strong Boston University supplemental essays.
So, ready to learn more about the Boston University essay prompts for the Boston University supplemental essays? In this Boston University essay guide, we’ll explore a key component of the Boston University application – the Boston University supplemental essay.
Boston University Essay: Quick Facts
- Boston University Acceptance Rate: U.S. News ranks BU as a most selective school. The Boston University acceptance rate is 14%.
- 1 (~250 word) essay
- Additional information, materials, or writing samples (Optional)
- Boston University Application: Applicants must submit their Boston University application on the Common App website. Be sure that your Boston University supplemental essays are ready before you apply.
- Early Decision I: November 1
- Early Decision II: January 4
- Regular Decision: January 4
- Boston University Essay Tip: With only one required Boston University supplemental essay, we recommend answering the Boston University essay thoroughly and thoughtfully.
How many essays are required for Boston University?
There are two Boston University essays that are required for admission. The first required essay is the Common App essay, and the second required Boston University essay is their version of the “Why this College” essay. We’ll provide the prompt for this Boston University supplemental essay in the next section of this guide.
In addition to the two required Boston University essays, there is one optional Boston University supplemental essay listed on the Boston University application. This Boston University essay is optional, but it can be useful to provide further context for your application. We’ll list the prompt for this optional essay in the next section of this guide. Later, we’ll discuss what to include in this additional essay if you choose to submit it along with your Boston application.
What are the Boston University Essay Prompts?
You can find the prompts for the first Boston University essay on the Common App website . We will also include them later in this essay guide.
Below are the Boston University essay prompts for the required and optional Boston University supplemental essays:
We’ll examine the Boston University essay prompts in more detail later. First, let’s explore the Boston University essay: “Why this College” essay.
Boston University Essay: Why This College Essay
This Boston University supplemental is their version of the “Why this College” essay. The purpose of this Boston University supplemental is to highlight what excites you the most about Boston University. So, this means you’ll have to include specific details in your response. We’ll explain how to write this Boston University supplemental in more detail later in this guide.
Let’s take another look at this Boston University essay prompt:
Before you start writing this Boston University supplemental, you first need to identify what interests you the most about becoming a Boston University student. Perhaps you want to live and learn in one of the best college towns , major in the liberal arts , or study architecture at Boston Architectural College .
Whatever the case may be, you’ll want to use this Boston University essay to describe what excites you the most about Boston University. Also, bonus points if you can incorporate how attending Boston University will help you reach your goals in your Boston University supplemental.
You might wonder how doing research can help you write your Boston University supplemental essays. The Why School essay shouldn’t just be about you. It should also explain why, out of all the colleges and universities you could possibly attend, you’re a fit at this specific university.
Do your research
That means you’ll need to reference something specific about Boston University in your Boston University supplemental essays. To do this well, you’ll want to spend some time researching what interests you about Boston University.
So, grab your computer or cell phone. Your next tip for writing the Why Boston University essay is to do your research. If you don’t already know a lot about Boston University, don’t worry. Spend some time on the Boston University website to learn more. Check out the pages on admissions , student life , and the mission of Boston University.
As you research, look for things about BU that pique your interest. Then, incorporate those features into your BU essay. What is it about Boston University that has you excited about joining the campus community? When you picture yourself at Boston University, what are you doing? Who are you learning from? Finally, how are you involved on campus?
Many colleges and universities have a “Why this College” essay prompt. However, you shouldn’t recycle your “Why this College” essay response for the Boston University supplemental essay.
Remember, Boston University admissions officers are looking for applicants who want to attend Boston University. Moreover, they want to find students who would be a great addition to the campus community. So, you should use your response to this Boston University essay to show exactly that!
Additionally, self-reflection is a vital part of writing standout BU essays. Think about the story your application tells. What kind of person would you be on BU’s campus? Moreover, why should BU want you to join their community?
This self-reflection aspect is key to making your Boston University supplemental essays as strong as possible. In order to show who you are to the Boston University admissions office, you need to know who you are.
This is where self-reflection comes in. So, think about yourself—your personal background, identity, and interests. What do you want the admissions office to know about you? What makes you unique? Finally, what can you bring to the table that no one else can?
We’ll go over more tips for writing the Why School essay in the rest of this guide.
Boston University Essay: Additional Information
Next, let’s look at the second of the BU supplemental essay prompts:
This BU supplemental essay is truly optional. However, it does give you a great opportunity to share any more details with BU to help them understand your application.
If there are any discrepancies in your grades, transcript, GPA, test scores (if applicable), or disciplinary history, you’ll want to use this additional information essay to address them. This is also your opportunity to explain how a lower-than-average GPA or lack of extracurricular activities doesn’t accurately represent who you are as a student or future college student. So, if you have any concerns about your application, use the second of the BU essay prompts to assuage BU’s hesitations.
You could also use this additional information essay to submit a portfolio of writing. Additionally, you can use this space to highlight information that is not otherwise listed in your Boston University application. However, you should only do so if it will meaningfully enrich the rest of your candidate profile.
Finally, keep in mind the preferred format for the second BU supplemental essay. If you have something to include for this Boston University essay, make sure that you upload it as a PDF that does not exceed 2000 KB.
How do I write an essay for Boston University?
With two required Boston University supplemental essays and one optional essay as part of the Boston application, you might be wondering where to start . How you write an essay for Boston University depends on which of the Boston University supplemental essays you want to begin with. Next, we’ll break down how to write your Boston University supplemental essays.
First, let’s look at the Common App personal statement.
The Common App essay :
The Common Application personal statement essay is the first required essay that is a part of the Boston University application. Out of all the Boston University supplemental essays, the Common App essay is the longest essay at 650 words.
There are a total of seven essay prompts that you can choose from for your Common App personal statement.
Common App Essay Prompts 2022-2023
- Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If it sounds like you, then please share your story.
- The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
- Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
- Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
- Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
- Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
- Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
All of the Common App essay prompts are open-ended, which allows you to fill in the blanks by telling your story. It also lets you highlight what makes you a unique applicant.
Acing your Common App essay is especially important, as it will be sent to every college you apply to through the Common Application portal.
Choosing an essay prompt
If you are having a hard time choosing between the Common App essay prompts, you should start with a writing exercise. First, select 1-2 (no more than 3) essay prompts that interest you. Then, set a timer on your watch for 10 minutes and begin writing. Write down everything you can that comes to mind. Then, repeat the process for each essay prompt you selected.
When you are finished with this writing exercise, review what you have created. Compare what you’ve written for each of the essay prompts you selected. Were you able to write a lot about one specific topic? Additionally, can you connect your response to your overall application narrative ? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then that is the Common App essay prompt for you.
Above all, you’ll want to select the prompt that makes the most sense for you . So, don’t try to force it. Instead, choose the prompt that best allows you to highlight what makes you unique.
Now let’s turn our attention to Boston University’s Why School essay —the main supplemental essay requirement for the Boston University application.
The Why School essay:
As we previously stated, the Why School essay prompt is fairly common and used by many colleges and universities. However, while multiple schools may ask for the same essay, you still should not recycle your responses. It’s easy to tell the difference between a well-crafted essay and one that you copied and pasted from a different application.
The purpose of this essay is to show who you are and what interests you. Additionally, you’ll also want to describe how you will be a great fit for the Boston University campus in this essay. Writing a strong response to the Why School essay might sound hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Use the advice in this guide to help you build a strong Why School essay for BU.
Additional Information essay:
Out of all the Boston University supplemental essays, the additional information essay is optional. However, you should not skip this Boston University essay if you have something in your personal or academic history that you might want to explain.
Still, this BU essay is truly optional. If you don’t have anything to include, don’t use this space to repeat information contained elsewhere in your application. You won’t be penalized for not completing the second of the BU supplemental essays.
More tips for writing the Why Boston University essay
Need more tips for writing the Why Boston University supplemental? Let’s start from the beginning.
As we mentioned above, the purpose of the Boston University supplemental essay is to showcase who you are, what matters to you, what your goals are, and how Boston University will help you get there. Next, we’ll offer more tips to make your Boston University supplemental essay as strong as possible.
Before you start the writing process, it’s important to solidify your overall application narrative. Like a candidate profile, your application narrative should be one to two sentences that emphasize why you are a unique applicant. You can think of your application narrative, or candidate profile, as the theme of your application.
One way to identify the theme of your application is to focus on what you are passionate about. So, let’s look at how you can highlight your passions in your college applications.
Determine Your Passions
If someone were to ask you what you are passionate about, could you easily answer that question? No? Well, now is the perfect time to pinpoint your passions!
You might wonder how identifying your interests could help you write the Boston University supplemental essays. So, think back to the “Why School” essay prompt. The Boston University supplemental essay prompt asks you to write about two things: what excites you and how that connects to becoming a Boston University student.
Let’s focus on the first part of that prompt – what excites you? Perhaps you’re a whiz at analyzing data and you’ve been interning in a government office to prepare for majoring in economics in college. Or, maybe your personal background influenced you to volunteer with refugee organizations. Whatever the case may be, you’ll want to reflect on your interests and passions. That way, you can talk about them with ease in your Boston University supplemental essays.
Make A List
You’ve have reflected on your application narrative and identified your passions. Next, it’s time to make a list of what you have discovered about yourself. Write down 5-10 items that connect your interests and passions to your overall application narrative.
With only 250 words, you won’t be able to talk about everything on your list in your Boston University supplemental essay. But that’s okay! You’ll use what is on this list to eventually narrow down what you do plan to include in your Boston University supplemental essay.
Learn More About Boston University
As we’ve discussed, research is a key part of writing strong Boston University essays. However, this research doesn’t have to feel daunting.
You don’t have to know everything about Boston University to write an effective Boston University essay. Instead, set aside 30 minutes to an hour to look over the Boston University website. While you research, make a second list of what intrigues you the most about Boston University.
You’ll want to focus on specific details for this second list because you will need to reference them by name in your Boston University supplemental essays. Are there any particular courses, programs, or professors you can see yourself interacting with or learning from? Focus on the aspects of Boston University that make it a great fit for you. Then, write them down and use them in your BU essays.
Okay, so you’ve determined your passions, learned more about what Boston University has to offer, and have two lists to reference before you start your Boston University supplemental essays. Now what?
This is arguably the most important tip for writing the Why Boston University essay. When you put the two parts of the Boston University essay prompt together, your response needs to address what excites you and why Boston University is the only place to help you reach your goals.
To do this, you’ll need to make connections. So, think about how attending Boston University will help support you as you choose a major and pursue your passions. Then, reference the lists you’ve made and how you can connect the two in your essay.
If you’re thinking about skipping this step – don’t. Lots of students will only focus on themselves in this Boston University essay. Instead, make sure that you show who you are, what you are interested in, and how Boston University will help you cultivate those interests.
More Boston University essays to look out for
Besides the two required Boston University essays, there are more Boston University essays to keep an eye out for. For example, when prospective students are submitting their applications, they can chose to apply for merit-based Boston University scholarships . These include the Trustee Scholarship or Presidential Scholarship, both of which require an essay. So, make sure you include these essays in your BU application strategy.
Out of all the Boston University scholarships, the Trustee Scholarship is the most prestigious. Next, let’s explore some of the requirements and essays you’ll need to tackle if you choose to apply.
Trustee Scholarship requires applicants to:
- Submit the Common App and all required materials by December 1.
- Complete a 600-word essay response to one of two essay prompts.
When you submit your Boston University application by the priority deadline, you will also need to writer a long essay responding to one of two prompts. The two prompts from which you will choose are listed below.
Boston University Trustee Scholarship essay prompts:
- Nobel laureate and BU professor Elie Wiesel once said: “There is divine beauty in learning…To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. The books I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers, and disciples. I am the sum total of their experiences, their quests.” Is there a book, film, podcast, or life-experience that has made you feel more connected to your personal history/identity, and what is the most important thing you learned from it?
- Describe a time when you felt out of your comfort zone or marginalized in a situation. How did you respond to that moment and how has it informed your actions moving forward?
Need additional Boston University essay tips for these Boston University scholarships? Our Boston University Scholarship guide can help. In it, you’ll find additional Boston University essay tips to help you write your Boston University essays.
How to win Boston University Scholarships
Does Boston University care about essays?
Yes. The Boston University supplemental essays are an important part of your application because they give you the ability to tell your story to the Boston University admissions office.
Boston University admissions receives thousands of applications each year, which is why the Boston University acceptance rate is so competitive. So, to stand out in the Boston University application process, you’ll need to write compelling Boston University supplemental essays.
Writing strong responses to the Boston University supplemental essays will help you ace your “how to get into Boston University” strategy.
Now that we know more about the Boston University essays, let’s explore the connection between the Boston University supplemental essays and the admissions process.
Boston University Supplemental Essays & the Admissions Process
The Boston University supplemental essays are an important part of the admissions process. As we noted above, there are two required Boston University essays including the Common App essay. There is also one optional Boston University essay in the Boston University application.
You’ll want to use the Boston University supplemental essays to highlight why you are a perfect addition to the Boston University community. We’ll go over some final tips on writing the Boston University essay in the next section of this guide.
Aside from the required Boston University supplemental essays, there are other materials you’ll need to gather for your Boston University application. Your Boston University application requires you to include the following items :
Boston University Application Requirements
- Common App or QuestBridge Application
- High School Transcript
- Senior Year Grades
- Counselor Recommendation and School Report Form
- Teacher Evaluation
- Standardized Tests ( Test-Optional for Fall 2023/Spring 2024)
If you apply to the College of Fine Arts at Boston University, you’ll also need to include several additional application requirements. These include portfolios, auditions, and interviews with the College of Fine Arts admissions team.
Once you submit your Boston University application, the Boston University admissions office will begin the holistic review process. This means that they will take your entire application narrative into account by reviewing your academic achievements, background, and life experiences within the context of your environment.
It’ll take much more than just good SAT scores or a stellar GPA to get into Boston University. Because the Boston University acceptance rate is so competitive, you can expect the admissions process to be just as competitive. The key to standing out in the admissions process is making your Boston University supplemental essays shine.
Boston University is looking for students that are highly motivated and intellectually curious. They also want to recruit students who will positively contribute to the larger Boston University community. So, your Boston University supplemental essays are the perfect way for you to address how you match these requests.
To learn more about how to get into Boston University, visit the admissions overview page .
Top 3 Tips for Writing the Boston University Essay
1. start early.
The Boston University essays are a crucial part of your overall Boston application. This means you’ll want to spend as much time as possible getting the Boston University essays right. Make sure you start the writing process early, well in advance of the Boston University application deadline, so that you can craft the strongest Boston University supplemental essays imaginable.
2. Do your research
The purpose of the Boston University supplemental is to learn more about you and how committed you are to attending Boston University. So, you’ll want to have an answer for both parts of the Boston University essay prompt, which means you’ll need to do your research. Start by looking at the school’s website and jot down what excites you the most about becoming a BU student. Even if you don’t get to use everything on your list in your Boston University supplemental essays, that’s okay. The more research you do, the better your responses will be to the Boston University supplemental essays.
3. Be specific
This tip goes hand in hand with the one above. After you’ve done your research about what to highlight in your Boston University supplemental, you’ll want to include specific details in your Boston University essay to support your claims. You can mention courses, professors, programs or clubs/organizations at BU by name. You only have 250 words to get your point across, so make sure you are as specific as possible in your Boston University supplemental essays.
CollegeAdvisor resources on Boston University
Looking for more resources on how to get into Boston University or how to write the Boston University supplemental essays? We’ve got you covered.
To review Boston University admissions requirements, the Boston University application, the Boston University acceptance rate, and more, read our “How to Get into Boston University” guide .
How to Get Into Boston University (BU) Guide
As you prepare your own Boston University supplemental essays, we suggest reviewing past essay guides to get more ideas about how to write your college essays. Check out our 2021-2022 Boston University essay guide or 39 essay tips from admissions experts for more essay writing inspiration.
Boston University Supplemental Essays Guide: 2021-2022
Finally, to get ideas on how to answer the “Why School” essay, watch our Boston Schools panel.
Boston University & Boston College Panel
Boston University Supplemental Essays – Final Thoughts
As we mentioned above, including well-crafted Boston University supplemental essays in your Boston University application will help you stand out in the admissions process. Writing a thoughtful response to the Boston University supplemental prompt takes time, so be sure to start the process early. You’ll want to give yourself enough time to write, edit, and revise your Boston University essay before the application deadline. You can also let someone else read your Boston University supplemental essays to give you feedback and ideas on how to make them stronger.
We hope this guide gave you a better understanding of what to include in your Boston University supplemental essays. Remember, Boston University is looking for applicants that are smart, ambitious, innovative, and proactively seek out new experiences. Try to incorporate these values and make connections in your Boston University supplemental essays to show how BU will help you reach your goals as well as how you will be a great addition to the BU community.
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So, if you are still struggling to write your Boston University supplemental essays, we can help. Register with CollegeAdvisor.com today to get personalized guidance on your entire college application process, including the Boston University supplemental essays.
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Boston University Supplemental Essay (2022-23) Prompt and Tips
With almost 81,000 applications from those wishing to join the Class of 2026, Boston University has entered the realm of the most desirable private universities on the planet. It also continues to climb to new heights in terms of selectivity with just a 14% acceptance rate for entering 2022-23 freshmen. In contrast, just twenty years ago, BU accepted 70% of those who applied. This brings us to the topic of the Boston University supplemental essay.
(Want to learn more about How to Get Into BU? Visit our blog entitled: How to Get Into Boston University for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)
Boston University has become a school where you may need more than just strong grades and test scores to gain acceptance—the average SAT for those submitting applications last cycle was 1442. Through its one required essay prompt, the BU supplemental essay affords applicants an opportunity to showcase what makes them uniquely qualified for admission. Below is the Boston University supplemental prompt for the 2022-23 admissions cycle along with tips about how to address it:
2022-2023 Boston University Essay Question
Prompt 1: What about being a student at Boston University most excites you? (250 words)
This is your quintessential “Why Us?” essay which comes with the typical pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. We don’t want to label these as “mistakes” (there is nothing inherently wrong with them); they just don’t add any needle-moving value, which is, of course, the only goal here!
Common components of a vanilla “Why BU?” essay
- Generalities about why Boston is an ideal location for your college experience.
- Generalities about why Boston is an exciting/cosmopolitan/diverse/culture-filled city.
- Mentioning Fenway Park.
- BU is top-ranked, prestigious, and has a great reputation.
- Too many generic expressions of feeling (e.g. I know with all my being that BU is the school for me…).
- Recycled statements from your other “Why Us?” essays that come across as stale, impersonal, or worst of all–irrelevant/inaccurate.
How to write a winning “Why BU?” essay
- Firstly, be sure to address why Boston University is the perfect fit for you and why you are the perfect fit for BU.
- Also cite specific academic programs , professors, research opportunities , internship/externship programs , study abroad programs , student-run organization s, etc.
- How will you be an active, contributing member of the BU student body?
- Additionally, show evidence of how your past/current endeavors will carry over onto BU’s campus.
- What special talents and passions will you bring to BU?
- Lastly, how will you take advantage of BU’s immense resources both inside and outside of the classroom?
Big-picture thoughts on the Boston University supplemental essay
In any “Why Us?” composition, you need to show that you’ve done your homework on a given school. However, you don’t want it to read like a robotic list of items that you Googled five minutes before writing the essay (even if the timing of the Google search is roughly accurate). In addition to the pure research element, a lot of the time and skill required in creating a stellar BU essay will involve connecting the classes, professors, opportunities, etc. of interest that you have uncovered to your distinct values, talents, aims, proficiencies, and future goals.
Should I answer the optional BU question?
Please use this space if you have additional information, materials, or writing samples you would like us to consider.
When considering whether or not to utilize this inviting blank space, consider that the BU admissions office is deluged with applications and will only want to see highly-compelling and essential information included in this section. For more on how to decide whether or not to take advantage of any Additional Information section in an application visit our blog on the subject .
How important is the essay at BU?
The factors that Boston University weighs as being “very important” in evaluating a candidate are the rigor of your secondary school record, class rank, GPA, standardized test scores, and talent/ability. The essay is “important” and sits alongside letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and character/personal qualities.
Want Personalized Essay Assistance?
In conclusion, if you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your Boston University supplemental essay, we encourage you to get a quote today.
Dave has over a decade of professional experience that includes work as a teacher, high school administrator, college professor, and independent educational consultant. He is a co-author of the books The Enlightened College Applicant (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and Colleges Worth Your Money (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).
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Boston University Supplemental Essay Examples for
Article Contents 8 min read
Perusing some Boston University supplemental essay examples will be a great foundational step to writing your own college application essays for Boston University. Excellent essays are one option for making your college application stand out.
Why look at example essays at all? Even knowing how to start a college essay can be a tricky prospect; looking over sample essays is a great first step, because you will see how other people kicked their own essay off. Or, maybe you’ve been working on your essay for a long time, and even though you’ve studied expert college essay tips , you don’t know how to apply them to refine your essay.
In this article, we will look at the two required essays for a Boston University application, the common application essay – a personal statement – and the supplemental essay. Then, we’ll give you some tips and tricks to write any kind of essay generally and supply you with specific information you need to write your Boston University essays.
Note : If you want us to help you with your applications, interviews and/or standardized tests, book a free strategy call . If you are a university, business, or student organization representative and want to partner with us, visit our partnerships page .
The Boston University Supplemental Essays
Boston University requires students to complete two essays, a BU-specific essay and a Common Application personal statement.
Each of these essays fulfill a specific purpose in the Boston University application process, and you should take those purposes into consideration.
Boston University-specific Essay
Prompt: “What about being a Boston University student most excites you?”
Length: 250 words
This question, “Why Boston University?” is a common question asked by most universities and colleges of their prospective students. What they want to know here is why you fit perfectly with their school, and how you will mutually benefit each other.
First, you need to know about the school. What is so special about Boston University? Look up the programs they have but dive deep. A lot of schools teach math or have English lit courses. What does Boston University do that no other school is doing? Consider research that is being conducted or find out about any unique programs they have that excite you.
Of course, most of this you’ve already found out; it’s what inspired you to put Boston University on your list of top-choice schools, after all. All you need to do is pick your favorite reason – maybe two of them – and talk about them in the essay.
You can mention things like the beauty of the campus, but don’t focus on those aspects. You’re applying based on something deeper than the lovely buildings. The best subjects to talk about are academics and values.
Display not only why you would be excited to attend the school, but also why you will fit well with the school’s mission statement and their directives. This isn’t just about why you want to attend their institution. After all, they know their school is great – they love it. They want to check compatibility, like an academic dating app. Give them every reason to swipe right.
Prompt: “Please use this space if you have additional information, materials, or writing samples you would like us to consider.”
Length: None specified; aim for about a page or 600 words.
A personal statement is meant to introduce yourself and answer the question of who you are as a unique applicant. Therefore, you need to think about something you can say about yourself that is unique and shows off your perspectives, experiences, and accomplishments to any member of the admissions committee who is reading your statement.
What sorts of things might you include? You should think beyond your resume. Your transcript has your “stats,” so give them something extra. Give your reader insight into how you think. For example, you might take something you’ve done – a particular laboratory class, for instance – and speak to how you changed your thought processes, or what you learned about lab work. Your CV says you did the lab and got this-or-that grade, but if you talk about how this experience changed you, you give a far greater understanding of yourself to the committee.
With those samples in mind, you should have a pretty good idea of how to go about creating your own, perfect essay.
Some general tips and advice on how to write a college essay won’t hurt, so read on for a little extra information.
Let’s start off with format. The format you’re going to follow is a standard essay writing format, with an introduction paragraph, a body, and a conclusion.
Your college essay introduction should be a paragraph that sets up the rest of the essay, or story, that you’re relating to the admissions committee. Think of this as a way to set up expectations, but also to grab attention. You want to “hook” your reader in with a great opener. Do this with enough panache that they would want to read the whole essay whether they were on the admissions committee or not.
The other main thing your opening paragraph does is tell your reader what they have to look forward to. Maybe you’re going to emphasize a particular mentor, a skill you’ve developed, or academic performance and growth, but whatever your focus is, set that up in the opener.
That brings us neatly to the body of the essay. This is where your college essay topic is unpacked, expanded on, and explored. You should cover two or three main points – don’t overstuff this section. Whatever you set up in the opener becomes the bulk of your material. Do showcase at least two major elements of yourself here – give the impression of being well-rounded and having many qualities, even though you’re only touching on a couple of them.
Finally, conclude your essay by fulfilling the expectations of the opening paragraph. Your goal here is to conclude in such a way that the admissions committee wants to hear more, which means they will invite you to the next step in the admissions process, and then you just have to worry about how to prepare for a college interview .
Working on your Common App essay or personal statement too? Check out this video for tips:
Take note of how the BU-specific essay referenced Boston University’s GCIL initiative and the Hub. Those are unique learning opportunities at BU. The writer also shows why those particular aspects of BU are important to them, demonstrating why they would “gel” with the school.
Both essays focus on the uniqueness of the writer, so any admissions committee members will want to see more from this person, increasing their chances of an invitation.
Boston University gives no firm word count limits but be sure to check before applying; that might change from year to year. Read carefully over your prompts and instructions before working on your essays.
That is a wealth of information, both in examples and advice, which will serve you well in your essay-writing and application-filling days ahead. If you need more, go in search of other college essay examples to further boost your confidence and technique.
Remember to refine your essay, giving it all the care and attention it deserves – which is a lot. Your application depends on all aspects allowing you to shine through. Give yourself the best personal introduction you can.
We recommend that you dedicate time every week for three to four weeks to work on your essays; you don’t have to work full-time on them, but you do need to give yourself the time to brainstorm, write, review, edit, and polish your work.
The first is about 250 words, but the second is unspecified. Be careful not to go overboard. A page is plenty, and we recommend that you try to keep your work to no more than 600 words. There is no need to pad your essays; just answer the prompts.
Common App, or Common Application, is a centralized service used by post-secondary institutions all over the world. It allows students to create one application and send it in to multiple colleges or universities.
In complete congruity with its name, the Common App is widely used. A list of which schools use Common App is a long list: literally hundreds.
There are several factors to consider here. Different schools might weigh these two documents differently, so check with the school. Some schools have cutoffs, which means that a poor grade average on your transcript might eliminate you from having your essays read at all.
The best way to approach your application is to assume that all aspects are extremely important. Why chance anything? Why do less than your best?
Yes. Boston University accepts applicants from out of the state and out of the country. In fact, in a recent year, Boston University’s international students made up 24% of the student body.
The acceptance rate was 14% in a recent year.
The Common App allows for this, yes; you can change your essays after submission.
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Common Application Boston College Writing Supplement Standardized Testing High School Transcript Supporting Materials Application Fee Optional Credentials for the Arts English Proficiency Special Notice Regarding Application Deadlines Early Decision I Deadline: November 1
Boston College 2022-23 Application Essay Question Explanations The Requirements: 1 essay of 400 words Supplemental Essay Type (s): Oddball, Community, Why The writing supplement topics for the 2022-23 application cycle (400 word limit): *Please select one topic
Boston College Supplemental Essay Prompts All applicants, except those applying for the Human-Centered Engineering (HCE) major, should respond to one of prompts #1-5 listed below. Students applying to the HCE major must respond to prompt #6 only. (400 words)
Boston College 2020-2021 Application Essay Question Explanations The Requirements: 1 essay of 400 words Supplemental Essay Type (s): Oddball, Community, Why The writing supplement topics for the 2020-21 application cycle (400 word limit): *Please select one topic Great art evokes a sense of wonder. It nourishes the mind and spirit.
College Essay Boston College's 16% acceptance rate for the Class of 2026 is half of what it was just five years ago. Today, enrolled students earned a mid-50% SAT of 1430-1510. Additionally, you need an all-around stellar academic resume to get serious consideration at this highly-selective Jesuit university.
Boston College Supplemental Essay Format and Requirements All essay prompts have a 400-word limit. Do not exceed this limit. Triple-check that you are in the right word count, along with your spelling and grammar. All applicants choose one prompt to write, selecting from prompts 1-5. There is an exception, however.
Boston College Supplemental Essays Requirements: 1 (400-word) essay Boston College Application:Boston College admissions accepts the Common Application, which includes both your personal statement as well as your Boston College essay. Boston College is also part of Questbridge.
For the Boston College supplemental essay, you have a great opportunity to demonstrate how BC's key values—personal growth/development and service to others—reflect your own ideals, and how they've shown up in your life, through your experiences, talents, and lessons learned.
Life at Boston College Our Jesuit, Catholic tradition Apply We make the process as smooth as possible and ensure that your completed application receives careful, thoughtful, and deliberate attention from our admission committee. Undergraduate requirements International students Transfer students Homeschooled students Veteran & ROTC students
We can name dozens of reasons why getting assistance in writing an essay for college admission is better than spending countless hours in front of your PC doing research and reading different tips and recommendations. First, it saves your time. Essay help allows you not to worry about the deadline and devote your time to whatever desired.
Students applying to Boston College only have to write one 400-word supplemental essay. However, they do have to choose between four prompts. We would like to get a better sense of you. Please respond to one of the following prompts. (400 word limit) 1. Great art evokes a sense of wonder.
College essay is a chance to tell your story to a complete stranger. Why some colleges demand it to be included in the application? First of all, amount of people wanting to to be admitted is several times bigger than amount of places. Scores, grades, academic achievements, extracurricular activities are important.
Boston College Supplemental Essay Prompts. All applicants, except those applying for the Human-Centered Engineering (HCE) major, should respond to one of prompts #1-4 listed below. Students applying to the HCE major must respond to prompt #5 only. (400 words) Option 1 (all applicants): Great art evokes a sense of wonder.
College Admissions How to Respond to the Boston College Supplemental Essay Prompts 2022/2023 Top Easy Scholarships Due Soon $10,000 "No Essay" Scholarship Deadline: June 30, 2023 Apply $2,000 Nitro College Scholarship - No Essay Deadline: November 30, 2022 Apply $2,000 "No Essay" College Scholarship Deadline: November 30, 2022 Apply
Boston University's supplemental essay prompt might be a little basic, but the university is anything but. To find out why and get some key phrases that you can use to make your essays amazing, read its strategic plan.
Boston College requires all first-year applicants to submit a separate essay as part of the Boston College Supplement, in addition to the Common Application essay prompts (which you can find in the Common App under the heading "Writing Supplement"). You can choose from six different essay prompts with this writing supplement:
There are two Boston University essays that are required for admission. The first required essay is the Common App essay, and the second required Boston University essay is their version of the "Why this College" essay. We'll provide the prompt for this Boston University supplemental essay in the next section of this guide.
Boston College saw a 26-percent decrease in applications this year, a drop officials largely attribute to a new essay requirement. Last year the private Jesuit institution received a record 34,051 applications for 2,250 spots in its freshman class. This year approximately 25,000 students applied, and all of them had to do one thing their predecessors did not: write a supplemental essay, of up ...
Application Strategies, College Essay. With almost 81,000 applications from those wishing to join the Class of 2026, Boston University has entered the realm of the most desirable private universities on the planet. It also continues to climb to new heights in terms of selectivity with just a 14% acceptance rate for entering 2022-23 freshmen.
Boston University Supplemental Essay Examples for. 2023. Updated: Feb 16, 2023. Perusing some Boston University supplemental essay examples will be a great foundational step to writing your own college application essays for Boston University. Excellent essays are one option for making your college application stand out.