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.

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Article Contents
8 min read

The Boston University Supplemental Essays Boston University-specific Essay Common Application Essay Example: Personal Statement General Essay Writing Tips and Specific Tips for Boston University Conclusion FAQs

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.


Our strongest assets are our common humanity and an understanding of each other. By “us,” I mean the global “us,” the human “us,” the “us” that is all of everybody on the planet, from the most wealthy, privileged CEO or head of state, to the lowliest outcast from a caste culture that has decided on a value of “zero” for some humans.

Understanding each other is integral to the survival of our species. We have the ability more than ever; our communication technology is so robust that we can send instant messages around the globe. Rome would have salivated for that technology. Genghis Khan would have ruled the world with it. We can save everyone.

Boston University has a Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy course as part of a push for diversity, civic engagement, and global citizenship, which I think will equip students, including myself, for joining together and shaping the future.

This is all part of the BU Hub, which explores a multitude of disciplines and ideas. I want to be part of this exciting push. I want to experience the BU Hub, to increase my cultural awareness as I work toward my ultimate goal of improving communication.

I intend to study computer sciences and communications, to gain expertise in our ever-advancing technology and build a better, more inclusive, and more harmonious world, and I believe all of that starts with BU’s innovative approach to multi-cultural studies.

Check out this infographic for college essay writing tips:

Common Application Essay Example: Personal Statement

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.


Rod Serling’s baritone voice welcomes me into The Twilight Zone, and I’m lounging on the couch, feeling very much like I’m already there. My father, who first introduced me to Serling’s iconic sci-fi series, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and within two years, I wouldn’t see him anymore; I didn’t know the exact timing just then, but I knew it would be soon.

I have shared a lot with my dad over the years, not the least of which is his love of science fiction. He also shared with me his love of history, his devotion to family, and his easygoing nature. I’m hoping I didn’t inherit his early onset baldness, but we’ll see.

After receiving the news, I checked out. I felt bitter and betrayed, and I started letting my relationships and schoolwork suffer; nothing seemed important anymore. As usual, Dad had the solution, pulling me from school one day so we could go to the museum and stare at pieces of history. He joked that he would be history soon, and I didn’t think it was funny at all.

Until that time, I had been planning to study history, become a professor, and try to inform people of their role in history’s continuity. I planned to maybe even write a novel or two: time-travelers, combining my passions of sci-fi and history.

Dad knew all that was in jeopardy. He said that he didn’t fear the cancerous cells, but he did fear my giving up on my dreams. He had the answer, and he took extra time to study with me and help me along with my plans. I could focus more because I was getting in all the extra time I could with my father.

He took me to historians’ conferences and sci-fi conventions. He showed me how to study using a paradigm he used when he was a student – which pulled my grades back up. That dip on my transcript, and the recovery, is because of my dad.

He told me he was proud of me when I got a job at the museum. That job let me get closer to exhibits and learn more first-hand from other people who worked at the museum. Through my contacts, I put together an event at my school called, “History to Now,” which was about how to learn from the past to help the present and future. That is my ultimate goal – to be able to accomplish that kind of event on a larger scale.

My last memories of my dad were in the hospital, and we had The Twilight Zone on. He was smaller, from the disease and the treatment both. I couldn’t see the television half the time; I was tearing up a lot. I told him about my sketched out novel plans and how I was doing in school, and he grabbed my hand and squeezed twice. He had teared up, too, although I don’t know if it was from sorrow or pride or both.

That was the last time I saw him.

Dad gave me my loves and my direction, and he helped me find and reclaim that direction just in time. I am who I am because of my dad. There’s a lot more to me than just one relationship, but right now, this is the one I wanted to tell you about the most, to introduce you to my loves, dreams, and ambitions; to explain why my transcript has that blip on it; and to tell you that I know the value of living life to the fullest.

General Essay Writing Tips and Specific Tips for Boston University

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.


1. How much time should I spend writing my essay?

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.

2. How long can my essays be?

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.

3. What is Common App?

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.

4. What other schools use Common App?

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.

5. Is it more important to write a great essay or have a great transcript?

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?

6. Does Boston University take out-of-state applicants?

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.

7. What is the acceptance rate at Boston University?

The acceptance rate was 14% in a recent year.

8. Can I make edits or amendments to my essays after I have submitted them?

The Common App allows for this, yes; you can change your essays after submission.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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