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Boston University Admissions 233 Bay State Road, Boston MA 02215

boston university application essay prompts

First-Year Applicants

First-year applicant checklist.

As a first-year applicant, you must submit the following credentials. International applicants must also submit additional  credentials .

  • Common Application or QuestBridge Application

High School Transcript

Senior year grades.

  • Counselor Recommendation and School Report Form

Teacher Evaluation

  • Standardized Tests (Optional)
  • College of Fine Arts Requirements

Additional Details

Common application and questbridge application.

BU accepts the Common Application and QuestBridge Application .

QuestBridge Applicants : Please visit our QuestBridge webpage for details about the application process.

Selecting an Academic Program:

  • You must specify a BU school or college when applying.
  • Please refer to our list of majors to see which semesters of entry are available for each program.
  • If you do not have a specific school or subject area in mind, we suggest you apply to the College of Arts & Sciences and select “Undeclared” or the College of General Studies .

Essays : You must submit two essays in the space provided on the Common Application. This is an important part of your application because it gives you the chance to tell us your story as an applicant.

Admission to your selected program:

  • While you will be given consideration for the school or college to which you apply, it’s possible that you will be offered admission to the College of General Studies or another BU program for which you qualify. Please check the box to indicate whether you would like to be considered for this option on your application.
  • If you are applying to the College of Fine Arts, you will only be considered for the program to which you applied.
  • If you are interested in being considered for the Kilachand Honors College , check “Yes” to this question on your application and then complete the required essay. Your application will first be considered for admission to the school or college to which you have applied. If you are admitted to that program, you will then be considered for admission into the Kilachand Honors College.

Application Fee: Our application fee is $80 and can be paid via the Common Application.

For most BU programs, the recommended high school/secondary school curriculum is as follows:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3-4 years of mathematics (precalculus/calculus recommended)*
  • 3-4 years of laboratory science
  • 3-4 years of history and/or social science
  • 2-4 years of a world language

*Applicants to the College of Engineering are required to have a year of calculus. For students enrolled in IB courses, this requirement would be met with enrollment in HL or SL Math Analysis & Approaches or HL Math Applications & Interpretations.

* Applicants to the Questrom School of Business are required to have a year of calculus  or  a year of precalculus and a year of AP Statistics. For students enrolled in IB courses this requirement would be met with enrollment in HL or SL  Math  Analysis & Approaches or HL  Math  Applications & Interpretations.

  • Early Decision Applicants: Early Decision applicants should have their counselor submit first marking period grades, which may be first quarter or first trimester grades, as soon as they are available.
  • Regular Decision Applicants: If you are on a semester schedule, please have your counselor send your first marking period or first quarter grades if available. In addition, your counselor must submit first semester grades once they are available. If you are on a trimester schedule, please have your counselor submit your first trimester grades once they are available.

School Counselor Recommendation and School Report Form

Please ask your counselor to submit the School Report form and the School Counselor Recommendation form found on the Common Application.

Please ask a teacher to submit the Teacher Evaluation form found on the Common Application.

Standardized Tests

Boston University is test optional for first-year applicants applying through fall 2025 and spring 2026.

  • This policy applies to all undergraduate schools and colleges at Boston University as well as all scholarship programs.
  • International students will be required to submit the TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo English Test as the primary means for evaluating English-language proficiency.

Prospective students and applicants must decide for themselves whether or not to include standardized test scores with their application for admission to Boston University. When making this decision, we ask students to consider the totality of their academic record, their contributions both in and out of the classroom and to their communities, and whether they feel confident that the sum of these experiences fully reflect their academic ability and potential.

Students have the ability to indicate whether they would like us to consider their standardized test scores when they apply. Once you have submitted your application, this answer cannot be changed.

If you would like your standardized test scores considered:

Boston University accepts self-reported standardized test scores on your application. You may also submit your official test scores via the testing agency, or through the self-report form on the MyBU Applicant Portal.

Please note: If you submit self-reported standardized test scores, an official score report from the testing agency will be required before enrolling at Boston University. If there are discrepancies between self-reported and official standardized test scores, your enrollment at Boston University may be rescinded.

When sending official scores, t he BU codes are:

BU superscores both the SAT and ACT.  To take advantage of superscoring, we recommend including all your test scores if you take more than one test or take a test multiple times. For both the SAT and ACT, BU uses the highest score of each section, regardless of test date, to best represent you as an applicant.

  • If you’ve taken the SAT more than once, you can select which results you want to send to us using  Score Choice . We only consider the highest SAT scores submitted.
  • For the ACT, we recalculate a new composite score using the highest score from each section, regardless of test date.

Portfolios, Auditions, and Interviews

If you are applying to the  College of Fine Arts , please see the different requirements for the program.

Please note that all materials and documents submitted as part of an application for admission become the property of Boston University and cannot be returned.

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Boston University Supplemental Essay 2023-24 Prompts and Advice

August 14, 2023

boston university bu supplemental essays

With almost 81,000 applications from those wishing to join the Class of 2027, 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 an 11% acceptance rate for entering 2023-24 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 1441. Through its one required essay prompt, the BU supplemental essay affords applicants an opportunity to showcase what makes them uniquely qualified for admission. Below are the Boston University supplemental prompt options for the 2023-24 admissions cycle along with tips about how to address them:

2023-2024 Boston University Supplemental Essays

Boston University is dedicated to our founding principles: “that higher education should be accessible to all and that research, scholarship, artistic creation, and professional practice should be conducted in the service of the wider community—local and international. These principles endure in the University’s insistence on the value of diversity in its tradition and standards of excellence and its dynamic engagement with the City of Boston and the world.”  With this mission in mind, please respond to one of the following two questions in 300 words or less:

1. Reflect on a social or community issue that deeply resonates with you. Why is it important to you, and how have you been involved in addressing or raising awareness about it?

2. What about being a student at BU most excites you? How do you hope to contribute to our campus community?

Note regarding word count: Although BU asks you to respond in less than 300 words, the Common App provides 350 words of space.

Prompt Option #1

Reflect on a social or community issue that deeply resonates with you. Why is it important to you, and how have you been involved in addressing or raising awareness about it?

To craft a strong response to this prompt, you’ll first need to choose an issue that is important to you on either a global, regional, or community scale. If you pick something general (and popular), like women’s rights or social media, consider choosing a specific angle that relates to you personally. For example, while tackling “social media” in general would be a daunting proposition, discussing a particular platform or the impact of technology on your interpersonal relationships could be far more specific and accessible.

Boston University Supplemental Essays (Continued)

To answer the second part of the prompt, you’ll need to discuss how you’ve engaged with the issue in real life. Have you attended rallies, protests, or fundraisers? Did you create or join an after-school club or volunteer opportunity? Have you shared your perspective at community or school board meetings? On a smaller scale, have you made an effort to converse with peers and/or adults about your chosen issue? If so, what was the outcome?

This prompt is not asking for a hypothetical answer. Therefore, crafting an effective response will necessitate that you have outwardly engaged with your issue of choice on some level . As such, if you have trouble brainstorming an issue that you have addressed or raised awareness about, you’ll likely want to respond to the second prompt option instead.

Prompt Option #2

What about being a student at BU most excites you? How do you hope to contribute to our campus community?

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.
  • BU’s ranking, prestige, or 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.
  • Lastly (and most importantly), mentioning Fenway Park.

How to write a winning “Why BU?” essay

First things first—consider why you’re excited to become a BU student. Is it the  academic programs , professors,  research opportunities ,  internship/externship programs ,  study abroad programs ,  student-run organizations , mission statement , etc.? Try focusing on 2-3 offerings that feel particularly significant rather than attempting to create a laundry list of everything you might possibly take advantage of. In addition, be sure to address how you will take advantage of the resources you decide to write about.

Secondly, you’ll need to discuss your prospective contribution to the BU campus. How will you be an active community member? Will your past/current endeavors carry over onto BU’s campus? How so? Will you bring special talents or passions?

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 your selected opportunities of interest 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.

Boston University Supplemental Essays – 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.

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Dave Bergman

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 Essays 2022-2023

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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

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! 

Self-reflection

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?

Boston University Supplemental Essays

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:

Boston University Supplemental Essays

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. 

boston university supplemental essays

Getting Started

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.

Make Connections

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 

Boston University Supplemental Essays

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? 

Boston University Supplemental 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

boston university supplemental essays

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. 

Holistic review

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. 

We’re here to help

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.

boston university supplemental essays

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Prompt's How-to Guide for BU's Supplemental Essays

Boston university's supplemental essay prompts, (including why bu), and how to nail them..

BU’s essay supplements are mercifully reasonable. Still, there’s still a lot hinging on them. So we have an in-depth guide that we wrote for you at Prompt , from our long experience helping applicants succeed.

And if you’re only going to take one piece of advice from us let it be this: get feedback. There are people who love you and know you well. They want to help you succeed. Ask them for feedback now. And if you like the idea of personalized guidance from people who’ve done this thousands of times, get started here .

BU application essay questions 2020-2021

Required: What about being a student at Boston University most excites you? (250 words)

Optional Additional Information: Please use this space if you have additional information, materials, or writing samples you would like us to consider.

  • Our tip: Only answer this if you have something compelling to say.

Calculate for all schools

Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, what are the boston university prompts.

I'm starting to prep for my BU application, and I'm curious: can anyone help me out and provide some info on the current prompts for Boston University applicants? Thanks in advance!

Hello! I'm glad to hear you're preparing for your Boston University application. While the prompts for the coming application cycle won't be released until August 1st, you can check out the ones for the most recent application cycle, as well as breakdowns of how to respond to each one, on CollegeVine's blog: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-write-the-boston-university-essays.

While this post can give you a general sense of what to expect, you don't want to start actually writing just yet, as the prompts can change year to year and you don't want your hard work to go to waste if they change. So, hang on until August 1st, when the prompts for your application cycle will officially be released.

Once you do have drafts going, consider either taking advantage of CollegeVine's Free Peer Essay Review Tool or submitting your essay for a paid review by an expert college admissions advisor. Sometimes, getting a second set of eyes on your essay is just the thing that takes it from good to great!

Good luck with your BU application!

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.

What are your chances of acceptance?

Calculate for all schools, your chance of acceptance.

 BU

Your chancing factors

Extracurriculars.

boston university application essay prompts

A Guide To the Admissions Process at Boston University

This article is a first-person account from Yesh Datar, a Boston University student and CollegeVine livestreamer. You can watch the full livestream for more info.

What’s Covered:

General tips, getting additional help, essay advice.

Writing your college application isn’t easy. It’s hard to look back at your whole high school experience and try to fit it all neatly into one concise resume, and it’s really hard to figure out how to approach the different required essays. The admissions process can feel unclear and mysterious, but you don’t have to be in the dark about the whole thing. In this article, you’ll learn some advice from a real Boston University student about how to approach your applications. 

When you apply to colleges, you’re most likely going to go through something called the Common App , which is a website that most colleges use. It allows you to submit applications very seamlessly through a consolidated network of universities. It contains a lot of information, including facts about your high school — who’s in the top 10%, what courses are offered, the average GPA, and so on.

There will be some personal data too. You’ll need to fill in information about your academic background. What courses did you take? How many of those were high level or advanced? What was your GPA in those courses? Did you take any standardized tests?

There’s also a section for activities, where you can list all the extracurriculars you participated in over the four years of high school. You’ll be able to rank them in order of importance to you. You can also write about the leadership positions you held and provide a description of how impactful your work was for the community. On top of all that, you need to write essays. The essay — called the Common App Personal Statement — will be a response to a broad prompt that asks you about a challenge you’ve overcome or to reflect on an important experience. 

After doing all this, you’ll need to submit some letters of recommendation and a few other things. Each of these elements matter to your overall application. They provide a comprehensive picture of who you are as a high school student, and colleges take it seriously. Once you’ve completed the Common App, you’ll be able to move on to the supplemental parts of a specific college’s application.

I applied to Boston University’s biomedical engineering program as well as other biomedical engineering programs and, in retrospect, I feel like I might have been too broad of an applicant. I didn’t have many engineering-focused extracurriculars. I was a band kid, I played ultimate Frisbee, and I volunteered for the Red Cross. I was an emergency medical technician (EMT) but I didn’t do anything that was related to engineering.

So, when I applied to very selective schools, I can now see clear reasons why they weren’t convinced I was interested in biomedical engineering. I don’t think that I had much of a spike in the subject, which would have helped my case.

I also wish I’d known that your SAT score isn’t everything. It’s just used as an academic threshold ; for the most selective schools, admissions works in different phases. The first phase is just a filter phase. The school will look at your SAT score and GPA to see if you meet their academic standards. When you move past that phase, they’ll start to look at your extracurriculars and essays and how specialized they are for your particular area of interest. 

All of that starts to matter a bit more than your standardized test score, so it’s important to work hard in those areas. I thought having a great SAT score was all I needed, but that was not the case.

I didn’t use a consultant or any kind of tutor to help me with my applications. I didn’t think that it was quite worth the cost; I didn’t want to put the financial burden on my parents. I also felt confident enough to navigate the admissions process by myself.

I made an Excel spreadsheet, and I had the deadlines for all my applications on that. Because I put in some of that work, I felt like I had a good handle on the whole thing. In hindsight, though, it would have been helpful to know which aspects of my application were most important. I wish that I’d had some guidance during my freshman year of high school so that I could have known what to focus on. 

Looking back, my essays were all over the place. I didn’t show a specific area of focus or specification, so I didn’t convince many colleges that I was truly interested in engineering. Having a consultant there to advise me on my essays and go through the bigger picture of my application would have helped me quite a bit.

My opinion on hiring a consultant has changed over time. When I was a high school junior, I thought I could do it all myself. Now, though, I think that it would have helped me. Before you go down the route of hiring an expensive advisor, though, you should check out a lot of this resource . Getting application help can become very pricey very fast. This site is free, however, and you should use it like you would use a private consultant. 

There are a variety of essays, so one tip won’t cover everything. But some good general advice is to be genuine. Everything you say should align with what you’ve done in the past, and you should write in your own authentic voice. 

People also like to hear stories. Show, don’t tell, right? You’ve probably heard that a lot before, but it’s valuable advice. To carry across ideas, don’t just state them outright. You should strive to tell a full narrative so that it’s more convincing to your admissions officer. Be sure to spend time brainstorming and drafting, too. Set aside time two months in advance, before the deadline, to write your essays. Have a couple of drafts going so you know that you’ve written down all of your best ideas. 

To be more specific to Boston University, the blog pages on our website are fantastic. I’d recommend checking those out; it’s always super important to do your research, after all. If you want to know how to write the Boston University essays, there are some good examples that should give you some inspiration:

  • How to Write the Boston University Essays 2022-2023
  • 3 Strong Boston University Essay Examples

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

boston university application essay prompts

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How to write boston university essays, updated for 2023-2024.

Boston University is dedicated to our founding principles: “that higher education should be accessible to all and that research, scholarship, artistic creation, and professional practice should be conducted in the service of the wider community—local and international. These principles endure in the University’s insistence on the value of diversity in its tradition and standards of excellence and its dynamic engagement with the City of Boston and the world.” With this mission in mind, please respond to one of the following two questions in 300 words or less: (Required)

1. Reflect on a social or community issue that deeply resonates with you. Why is it important to you, and how have you been involved in addressing or raising awareness about it?

2. What about being a student at BU most excites you? How do you hope to contribute to our campus community?*

Whether you choose to answer question 1 or question 2, your overarching goal should be to highlight the ways in which your values overlap with those of BU as they are explained in the first part of the prompt. This is your chance to show the admissions officers that you’re a good fit for their campus community, and, likewise, that their school is a good fit for you.

Option 1 Explanation:

If you choose Option 1, you should view it as an opportunity to both brag about one of your extracurricular accomplishments or passion project, and shed some light on what you value as a citizen of your local, national and international community.

Note that there are two parts to this prompt:

  • Why the issue is important to you
  • How you’ve been involved and addressing/raising awareness of it

Make sure to address both parts.

Work backwards as you brainstorm your essay. Start by thinking of ways you have addressed or raised awareness about a social or community issue. Have you raised money for a cause, held an event educating community members or your peers, distributed informational pamphlets, founded a club, hosted an event, or volunteered for an organization or institution? Be sure to write about something that you have actively accomplished—avoid writing about an issue that you care about but haven’t addressed.

Discussing the way(s) you have addressed the issue you care about is an excellent opportunity to provide more detail about an activity on your Common App Activities List. If you can, substantiate your accomplishment with quantitative numbers—“raised X amount of dollars,” “donated X pounds of canned food,” etc.

Then, write about why this issue is important to you. Much like your personal statement, you want to write an essay only you can write, so avoid writing something generic about an issue most people care about . Resist the temptation to focus on an overly political or partisan subject, especially one that’s discussed nationally. If you feel like you can offer a nuanced, interesting answer, go for it, but don’t be afraid to write about a more local issue. It doesn’t have to have national importance—the prompt asks why the issue is important to you as an individual. Describing a personal connection to the issue can be a good way of illustrating why it is important to you; perhaps it’s affecting your city, state or a friend or a family member.

If nothing unique comes to mind, opt for the second prompt.

Keep in mind that BU emphasizes accessibility, service of the local and international community, diversity, and excellence. When you write why the issue is important to you, be sure to tie your discussion back to one (or more) of the BU values to emphasize that you hold values in common with the school.

For most of my childhood, the only computer I had was a boxy, early 2000s PC my mom used once a week to browse Facebook. I didn’t realize that my technological skills were far behind my classmates’ until middle school, when we were expected to know how to Google reliable sources, use Word, and run different software programs.

With effort and dedication, I slowly developed the digital skills to match my peers’ throughout middle and high school. Now, I am passionate about increasing access to technology and closing the gap in digital literacy for students like me.

Comparing my own experience with that of my fellow students helped me to recognize the need to level the playing field. I founded a school club, Students for Digital Access, which aims to donate laptops to underprivileged students. I partnered with my library to host a technology drive, encouraging community members to donate their old laptops and tablets, and then worked with the local tech store to refurbish and donate the laptops to members of my school community. I successfully provided forty-seven laptops to students in need. This initiative enabled students to engage in online learning and explore digital resources, and underscored the significance of community collaboration in driving positive change.

Advocacy has been central to my efforts. Collaborating with other student organizations, I have organized a panel discussion on the impact of the digital divide and potential solutions. I also wrote an article for my local paper, highlighting the intersection of technology access, education, and social equity.

Ultimately, by cultivating digital literacy, I contribute to a more inclusive and interconnected community. I especially resonate with BU’s value of service, as I work towards a future where every individual has equal opportunities to harness the power of technology for personal and communal advancement.

Option 2 Explanation:

Again, note that there are two parts to this prompt:

  • What excites you about being a student at BU
  • How you hope to contribute to the campus community.

A strong answer to this question will connect the two together.

Root your answer to the first part in opportunities/qualities that are unique to BU and BU alone. For instance, there are many colleges in Boston, so avoid writing about opportunities specific to Boston and write about opportunities specific to BU. Offer detailed examples when writing about majors, programs, clubs, exact locations, living environments, etc. You can find a lot of this on BU’s website—they even publish a full list of clubs that you can explore. In addition, searching for interesting lectures by BU professors or BU professors researching areas you’re passionate about is another strong way to show this interest. In general, don’t overstuff an answer with this content, but three to four references work well in most cases.

Think of this as an “ask not what BU can do for you, ask what you can do for BU” question. Be sure to tie in your answer to the first question to your unique skills and perspective (that should be visible on other parts of the application) when discussing how you’ll contribute to the campus community.

Be thorough – Essays are evaluated both for their content and for their grammar, so make sure that you take the time to read your essay out loud, meticulously proofread it at least twice, and even have a trusted, experienced adult (like an English teacher) review your essay before you click submit. Don’t lose points because of basic grammar mistakes .

Be thoughtful and original – Think deeply about each topic you write about. Avoid writing platitudes. Strive to find ideas that feel new and don’t fall into typical high school tropes. Show off your personality and what makes you unique!

Be mature – Aim to be self-aware with everything you write, and avoid coming across as overconfident, entitled, or too pessimistic.

From first looking at countries’ GDPs without knowing what they meant to exploring neo-classical theory, the study of economics has harnessed my intellectual curiosity. Exploring the discipline has challenged me to think about conflicts in religion, culture, and ethics that have significant impact on our day-to-day lives: a research interest I would love to continue studying as an Economics major and Religion minor at BU.

My independent engagement with books like The Undercover Economist and Richard Thaler’s Misbehaving have piqued my curiosity about Behavioral and Development economics. I would be eager to work with Boston University Professor Raymond Fisman, whose research explores the connection between religion-based communities and lending. My own interest in this connection resulted from researching the contribution of religious pilgrimage and tourism in Mecca for my IB Extended Essay over the past year. Additionally, minoring in religion at BU will enable me to understand the values and foundations of economic and organizational practices around the world.

After serving as chief editor of my school’s student newspaper for two years, I aspire to join magazines like BU’s International Relations Review and the Daily Free Press. I view storytelling as a powerful tool for fostering empathy and understanding, and I would love to use my writing to promote dialogue on challenging issues like religion and economic inequality. BU’s founding principle that research and scholarship should be conducted in service of the wider community resonates with my own belief that education can breed tolerance; a goal I hope to work towards through my studies and involvement at BU.

Additional Information (optional): Please use this space if you have additional information, materials, or writing samples you would like us to consider.

Explanation:

This section is 100% optional, but it can be a good place to share a short piece of writing you’re especially proud of or briefly write more thoroughly about an area you feel like you didn’t have enough space to discuss in the rest of the application (maybe your passion project, or a specific work experience, etc.) The key here is to keep it succinct and only write about something that’s very important to you or unique.

boston university application essay prompts

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COMMENTS

  1. Boston University Freshmen Applicant Information

    Essays: You must submit two essays in the space provided on the Common Application. This is an important part of your application because it gives you the chance to tell us your story as an applicant. ... Located In the Heart of Boston. Boston University Admissions 233 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215. Domestic. 617-353-2300; [email protected] ...

  2. Boston University (BU) 2023-24 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    Boston University (BU) 2023-24 Application Essay Question Explanations. The Requirements: 1 essay of 300 words Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why Boston University is dedicated to our founding principles: "that higher education should be accessible to all and that research, scholarship, artistic creation, and professional practice should be conducted in the service of the wider community ...

  3. Boston University

    Select-A-Prompt Short Response. Required. 600 Words. Please write an essay of 600 words or less in response to one of the following two topics: Option 1. 1: Nobel laureate and BU professor Elie Wiesel once said: "There is divine beauty in learning...

  4. Boston University Supplemental Essay 2023-24 Prompts and Advice

    Below are the Boston University supplemental prompt options for the 2023-24 admissions cycle along with tips about how to address them: 2023-2024 Boston University Supplemental Essays. Boston University is dedicated to our founding principles: "that higher education should be accessible to all and that research, scholarship, artistic creation ...

  5. How to Write the Boston University Essays 2023-2024

    Boston University Supplemental Essay Prompts All Applicants, Required Prompt 1: Boston University is dedicated to our founding principles: "that higher education should be accessible to all and that research, scholarship, artistic creation, and professional practice should be conducted in the service of the wider community—local and ...

  6. Boston University 2020-21 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    Learn how to approach the 2020-2021 Boston University Supplemental Essay Prompts and get started on drafting a top-notch college admissions essay. ... Thank your lucky stars you chose to apply to Boston University! This application supplement is a gift: two of the most straightforward prompts you could ask for, and only one of them is required ...

  7. Boston University Essay

    Boston University Acceptance Rate: 14% - U.S News ranks Boston University as a more selective school. Boston University Essay Requirements: Common App essay; 1 (~ 300 word) supplemental essay; Boston University Application: Students can apply via the Common Application or the QuestBridge Application.A full list of Boston University application requirements can be found on BU's website.

  8. 3 Expert Tips for the Boston University Supplement Essays

    This prompt is only for students who are applying to the Accelerated Program in Liberal Arts and Medicine. This Boston University Supplement Essay prompt is a pretty standard example of a health professional admissions essay, but the long word count is tricky.

  9. How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Boston University Supplemental Essay

    Boston University has two supplemental essay prompts to choose from. If you are applying to multiple schools, these may be shorter questions than you are used to. However, the prompt's simplicity makes it especially important to come up with a thoughtful, fresh answer. We will walk you through both prompts and provide questions to begin ...

  10. How to Write the Boston University Supplemental Essays 2018-2019

    The Boston University Essay Prompts. Prompt 1: Please use this space if you have additional information, materials, or writing samples you would like us to consider. (2000 KB PDF file) Prompt 2: What about being a student at Boston University most excites you? (250 words) Prompt 3: For Accelerated Program in Liberal Arts and Medicine applicants:

  11. 3 Strong Boston University Essay Examples

    Boston University is a top research university in the heart of the city. With a fairly low acceptance rate, admissions is pretty selective, and writing strong essays is essential to standing out. BU requires one essay for all applicants, and has an additional information prompt that is optional.

  12. Boston University Supplemental Essays Guide: 2021-2022

    Good luck! This 2021-2022 essay guide on Boston University was written by Juliana Furigay, Columbia '23. If you need help crafting your BU supplemental essays, visit app.collegeadvisor.com to create your free account or schedule a no-cost advising consultation by calling (844) 719-4984.

  13. Boston University Supplemental Essays

    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: Boston University Essay Prompt #1 - the "Why School" Essay. Word Count.

  14. Boston University Supplemental Essay Examples

    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

  15. Prompt's How-to Guide for BU's Supplemental Essays

    Boston University's supplemental essay prompts, (including Why BU), and how to nail them. BU's essay supplements are mercifully reasonable. Still, there's still a lot hinging on them. So we have an in-depth guide that we wrote for you at Prompt, from our long experience helping applicants succeed. And if you're only going to take one ...

  16. What are the Boston University prompts?

    So, hang on until August 1st, when the prompts for your application cycle will officially be released. Once you do have drafts going, consider either taking advantage of CollegeVine's Free Peer Essay Review Tool or submitting your essay for a paid review by an expert college admissions advisor.

  17. How to Get Into Boston University: Requirements and Strategies

    Part 4: 2023-2024 Boston University supplemental essays. Strong college essays can provide the final push to persuade the Boston University admissions committee that your child deserves to attend. On the other hand, poorly-written essays may be the final straw that sends your child's application to the reject or waitlist pile.

  18. A Guide To the Admissions Process at Boston University

    It's just used as an academic threshold; for the most selective schools, admissions works in different phases. The first phase is just a filter phase. The school will look at your SAT score and GPA to see if you meet their academic standards. When you move past that phase, they'll start to look at your extracurriculars and essays and how ...

  19. Boston University 2018-19 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    Boston University 2018-19 Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide. Regular Decision: Thank your lucky stars you chose to apply to Boston University! This application supplement is a gift: two of the most straightforward prompts you could ask for, and only one of them is required. But beware, a simple supplement is no reason to ignore a school or save ...

  20. How to Write Boston University Essays

    Boston University is asking all applicants to write and submit just one supplemental essay for the 2023-2024 application cycle. The school offers students the option to pick between two prompts: one is a classic 'why this school?' while the other asks students to write more about their service work or social activism. Bear in mind that the admissions officers have no preference between ...

  21. 2023-24 Boston College Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide

    The Requirements: 1 essay of 400 words Supplemental Essay Type(s): Oddball, Community, Why. The writing supplement topics for the 2023-24 application cycle (400 word limit): *Please select one topic Each year at University Convocation, our incoming class engages in reflective dialogue with the author of a common text.