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How to Respond to the 2023/2024 Boston University Supplemental Essay Prompts

For many students, supplemental essays can be one of the most intimidating portions of a college application. But they are not so bad! The Boston University supplemental essays invite you to elaborate on the experiences and perspectives you bring to the table. Plus, they are your chance to show admissions why their school is your ideal place to study. 

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 asking yourself. These thought starters will help you generate ideas and find the story you’d most like to share. 

Related: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool

Prompt #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? (300 words)”

This prompt is perfectly setting you up to tell a narrative about something you are passionate about! This issue can be as big or as small as you want it to be, what matters most is that you are animated about this topic and have some prior experience and knowledge on this issue. To begin, you should brainstorm a time in your life in which you’ve solved a problem. For example, perhaps you noticed that there were no recycling cans in your high school so you discussed with the student council how to add recycling cans to your school. Another example could be something even smaller such as posting a news article on your social media pages in order to spread awareness about the cause. 

Whatever your story, tell it! Describe it in detail by listing your emotions, actions, and lessons learned from helping raise awareness about an issue you are passionate about! This prompt can be easy to get lost in by writing all about the issue and not enough about you. Remember, you are the one who wants to be accepted to Boston University – not your issue! Additionally, you should finish your response by detailing a lesson you learned or how advocating for an issue made you feel. 

Questions to consider: 

  • What issues most matter to you? What gets you fired up? 
  • If you could have an unlimited budget to donate to a charity, which one would you select? 
  • Have you ever volunteered somewhere you were passionate about? What impact did you have and what did you learn from this experience? 

Prompt #2

“What about being a student at Boston University most excites you? (300 words)”

To ace this prompt, you need to do some research. There are tons of exciting aspects about college, from living in a dorm to picking a major to cheering on your school’s athletic teams. But what is it about BU specifically that makes it your dream? Explore BU’s website, look at the course catalog, and check out its social media pages. Take notes on anything about the school that genuinely intrigues you! Another way to approach this essay is to think of what you are currently involved with in high school, or any passions you have. Look into what BU offers that might allow you to channel those interests. How does BU fulfill what you desire out of your college experience more than any other school? When you back up that claim with examples, it signals you have done your homework.

Questions to consider: 

  • Do you have any personal connections to Boston University? Such as family members whose pride for their school is something you admire and wish to have yourself? 
  • Does BU have any clubs you can see yourself belonging to? Or something that energizes you academically, like a unique study abroad program?  
  • When you look at the school’s values, mission statements, etc., how do those matchup with your own character? 

Related: How to write an essay about yourself

Final thoughts

After reading the above tips, you should be well on your way to writing stellar Boston University supplemental essays! Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to write and revise. 300 words is not “a lot” for most students who are applying to a college like Boston University. However, it is all the more challenging (and fun!) to allow “you” to come through with such a limited word limit. Best of luck with your supplemental essays!

Also see: How to choose a college

Additional resources

Make sure to check out our guides on writing both 250 word and 500 word essays. Our guide to responding to the Common App prompts might also come in handy, so take a look. When you are done writing your application essays, make sure to take the time to apply for scholarships.  Our free scholarship search tool is the perfect platform to custom-match you to vetted scholarships. Our easy to navigate platform will keep you on target, as it automatically updates when new opportunities are available (and reminds you about deadlines of all!). Good luck on your academic journey! 

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Frequently asked questions about the Boston University supplemental essay prompts

How long should my Boston University supplemental essays be?

300 words is the limit for the Boston University supplemental essays! Therefore, make sure that your responses are concise and clear to ensure you make the most of this short word count.

Can I reuse my Common App personal statement for one of the supplemental essays?

No, we would not recommend doing so. Rather, you should tailor each essay response to address the specific question or prompt. This will show that you’ve put thought into your responses and that it is specific to Boston University.

When are the application deadlines for Boston University?

Application deadlines for Boston University vary depending on whether you’re applying for Early Decision or Regular Decision. Make sure to check the university’s official website for the most up-to-date information!

Can I get creative with my Boston University supplemental essay answers?

Yes! Creativity can make your essay extremely memorable, but it’s also important to not overshadow your content with excessive flair. Rather, make sure your creativity enhances the substance of your response.