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    How to Ace the 23/24 Boston University Supplemental Essays

    By Ginny Howey

    Ginny Howey is a former content writer at Scholarships360. Ginny graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2022 with a degree in Media and Journalism (Advertising/PR focus) and minors in Entrepreneurship and Spanish. Ginny’s professional experience includes two summers as a writer intern at global creative consultancy BCG BrightHouse. More recently, Ginny worked as a content marketing intern for Durham-based software engineering bootcamp Momentum, where she gained SEO skills. She has also written freelance articles on emerging tech for A.I. startup Resultid.

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    and Cece Gilmore

    Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cece earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University. While at ASU, she was the education editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece was also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: July 11th, 2024
    How to Ace the 23/24 Boston University Supplemental Essays

    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? 

    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! 

    Related: How to write an essay about yourself

    Keep reading…

    Other colleges to consider

    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.

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