Making the mistake of simply talking about the concrete qualities of the university (such as the size of the student population, the amount of programs offered, and the proximity to Boston) without at least mentioning specific detail will cost you. Instead, focus on concrete examples such as a college visit to drive into your sensory and authentic impressions of the student body. Use a lifelong passion for a discipline, regardless of experience, to detail which specific faculty members you would love to work with. And profess your love for the Boston Central Library; though specific, it shows that you know your life at BU will be more than just the college and tourist sites.
Another example of a response to this prompt could start by taking note that the school offers one of the most comprehensive examples of diversity in coursework that a student can experience. Many other institutions do not offer such a wide array of studies, including such courses as remote sensing, aerospace engineering, hospitality administration, and lighting design. This would allow the latter part of the response to communicate how you’re not ready to settle into one particular subject area and want to maximize your breadth of study.
On the other hand, while BU is able to retain its status as a liberal arts institution, students who have already made up their minds on what they wish to study can pursue degrees that are much more specific. For example, for the precocious scholar who has known for years that she wants to study the ocean and its inhabitants — as evidenced by her diving credentials and high school projects on sea cows — being able to focus on marine science in college would give her a substantial leg up on another college graduate who was not able to study the subject more in depth than a major in general biology.
Above all else when responding to this prompt, be sure to distinguish yourself from other applicants. While a longer word count might allow for more general statements, in this case, every single topic that is mentioned in the prompt should be clearly illustrated and inapplicable to other applicants. It is indeed a difficult exercise in persuasion to have your reader remember you after only 250 words, but that is the test that BU has devised to qualify an applicant, so please remain mindful of that fact as you write.
Luckily, our Boston University essay specialists are trained in creating responses to such tricky prompts, so please do not hesitate to reach out to schedule a free consultation.
So have fun writing, write confidently, and good luck!
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What to expect on your application
Applicants will be required to complete these items on their Common Application:
- Common Application Essay. Applicants must choose to respond to one of these five prompts as part of their application:
- Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
- The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
- Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
- Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
- Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
- 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.
- UIC Member Profile Essay. UIC applicants will be asked to respond to a short essay regarding their program of choice or the career fields in which applicants are interested. Applicants to the Honors College or GPPA programs will also be prompted to respond to an essay for each of those programs.
- Common Application School Report. The Common Application School Report must be assigned as part of the Common Application submission process and should be turned in along with the high school transcripts. Counselors may opt out of the recommendation section on the School Report without having an impact on the application review.
- Letters of recommendation (required for Honors and GPPA applicants only). Applications to the Honors College and GPPA require two letters of recommendation. The School Report may satisfy one of those letter requirements provided it includes a full letter. Recommenders must be assigned specifically to each school, so be sure to assign your recommenders to UIC to ensure the letters are delivered.