November 26

Just one week in Honduras changed her whole future

By Alessandra Forero

Chelsea Higgins works alongside fellow students at the children's "charla," she created in Honduras with the Global Medical Brigades.

Just a year ago sophomore, Chelsea Higgins, an anthropology major following a pre-medical track, came to Boston University not as an aspiring doctor but as a neuroscience major. But after spending a week in Honduras with the BU Global Medical Brigades, Chelsea’s entire perception about global medicine changed.

Working in Honduras alongside other students from BU, Chelsea held hands with the children she was helping and cared for women who’d never had a personal medical consultation. The goal of the trip was to offer medical assessments, dental screenings and free medication to both adults and children in the region who did not have access to healthcare.

It took just one semester at Boston University to prepare for her life-changing trip. Chelsea and a small group of BU students took the initiative to raise the funds needed through empowered.org to travel to Honduras. Also before her trip, she designed a curriculum for a children’s “charla,” meaning “chat” in Spanish. Chelsea created this curriculum, which included skits, songs and dances, as a way to have a fun and educational conversation with children about everyday dental hygiene.

Through her time in Honduras Chelsea realized she wanted to study a major that incorporated cultural sensitivity and awareness into the medical world. Upon returning to BU, she switched her major to anthropology to help address some of the challenges she saw her clients facing.

One of the greatest challenges she observed while in Honduras, which was also one of her favorite learning experiences, “was understanding Honduran perspectives and ideals while trying to assist patients. Recognizing the patient’s point of view is equally as important as supplying the medication,” she said.

While Chelsea enjoyed learning about medicine and volunteering at the clinic, her favorite part of the trip was interacting with the Honduran people. “Because I speak Spanish, I was able to have long conversations with locals and learn so much about the challenges not just the patients, but their country is facing, such as illegal immigration or drug trafficking. I learned, without the slant of the media, what these people really see and how that affects their medical needs.”

While she was passionate and proud of her volunteer experience in Honduras, Chelsea shared her realization, “You can’t fix it all in four days, it’s a long process. It takes a tremendous amount of commitment over many years. That only pushed me more to want to pursue global medicine for my future.”

When asked to give her best advice to aspiring medical students, Chelsea said, “Do the pre-med track and major in something you enjoy, something you are passionate about.”

Boston University encourages pre-medical and pre-dental students to create their own undergraduate pathway, as they work toward their intended career, through whichever major they desire. Many BU students major in traditional programs, such as biology or biomedical engineering, while others branch out and explore majors as varied as international relations, psychology, or economics – all while still pursuing a medical degree.

This semester Chelsea is back at BU hoping to use her larger humanitarian perspective on medicine and love for working with people to keep pushing herself in global medicine.

For Chelsea, the choice to come to Boston and attend BU was the first step in breaking out of her comfort zone and experiencing new things through academics, her experience in Honduras, and the people she has met along the way.

“BU has pushed me outside my comfort zone like I never had expected it would. It was a combination of all these things that lead me to see a future in global medicine that would have seemed out of reach in the past. I’m encouraged by watching my peers break boundaries in their fields of interest, which continuously inspires me to do the same,” she said.



October 22

Why Early Decision Was The Right Decision For Me

By Alessandra Forero

Hello! My name is Ali Forero and I am currently a junior studying public relations in the College of Communication. Only three years ago, I was a high school student, trying to figure out what my path to college was going to be. I spent my nights—as many of you probably do—studying for SATs, researching universities, and working on my Common Application essay. I eventually decided that I was going to apply Early Decision to BU. Here’s the story of my college application process and my decision to apply ED.

Cambridge, MA. April 2010, 9 p.m.: Hotel room

I stood staring out the hotel window, looking over the Charles River at the glistening Boston skyline. Even I, a born and raised New York Yankees fan, couldn’t deny it was a truly amazing sight.

“Do we have to go on the rest of those tours tomorrow?” I asked my mom.

I was shocked as the words came out of my mouth, considering my mom practically had to drag me to Boston. “There are so many schools in Boston! It’s a great college town!” She told me, “Come on Ali, at least look.”

First stop: Boston University. They say you’ll just know when you find the right school for you. That never made sense to me until I visited BU.

We drove down Bay State Road and parked in front of the Admissions Reception Center. Who knew such a beautiful and peaceful street could be found in the heart of Boston?

As the tour guide led us around a corner onto busy Commonwealth Ave, my heart leapt with excitement. It couldn’t be more perfect, a city school that still felt like a campus! It was its own little city in a way. She told us all the fun facts about BU as we walked by Warren Towers, the George Sherman Union (GSU), and the BU beach.

What if I came to Boston?

If you had a similar reaction when you first visited BU, Early Decision may be right for you. Haven’t visited yet? Give yourself the chance to experience the excitement and give BU the opportunity to meet you.

Boston, MA. July 2010, 10 a.m.: Warren Towers

They say you should show your favorite schools how interested you really are. The more they see your name, the better. So, I applied to BU Summer Challenge, a two week program for high school juniors and seniors. I spent those two weeks living in Warren Towers, taking classes with BU professors, and exploring the city of Boston. If I wasn’t 100% sure about BU when I visited in the spring, then I certainly was now.

I highly recommend this program to any high school student who thinks they might be interested in BU. Actually, I recommend it to any high school student, because it really was so much fun!

Upstate, NY. September 2010, 12 p.m.: Guidance Office

“I want to go to BU!” I told my guidance councilor, with a smile and a nod.

BU was a reach school for me. My GPA and SAT scores were a few points short of BU’s average, according to College Board. But I knew I wanted BU. My guidance counselor told me I should consider applying early decision. This meant two recommendations, an essay, and an early decision agreement, all within the next few months. It was time to get to work.

Number 1: Common Application Essay

500 words. I had 500 words to make Boston University as excited about me as I was about them. My topic changed probably three or four times along the way. Once I finally decided, I went through countless drafts before finally uploading that 500 word essay.

Three things: Start your essay early, have 5 million drafts, and have 6 million people read it. The sooner your Common Application essay is done, the sooner you can click apply. That doesn’t mean rush through it; it means start now and take your time. Think about what you want to write about and then figure out the best way to do so, with the help of as many people as possible. In my case, that meant three teachers, a counselor, my parents, and two neighbors. Most importantly, draft and proofread, and draft and proofread some more.

Number 2: Recommendations

They say it’s important to maintain a good relationship with teachers, visit them during their office hours, stay after class to chat, whatever it takes. I’m not a quiet person, but I was never good at this. I had two teachers whom I had built solid relationships with throughout my four years of high school. First, was my Latin teacher. I got good grades in his class and he knew me well enough after four years, so he seemed like an obvious candidate. Second, was my chemistry teacher. Science was never my strongest subject; that being said, I spent a whole lot of time with that teacher. He knew my personality and he knew how much time and effort I put into that course.

BU requires two recommendations, both of which need to be submitted with your Common Application. Get it done now. Talk to the teachers who know you well; they are the ones who will give you the best recommendations.

Number 3: Early Decision Agreement

I applied to seven or eight schools, some safety schools and a few reach schools, just for fun. None of that mattered anyway, because if I could get into BU that was where I wanted to go. This meant that I was ready to commit right then and there. I also wanted to show BU how excited I was, and I figured that applying early decision was the best way to do so. I signed the Early Decision Agreement and committed to BU, if they wanted me.

There are two general options when applying to BU. Regular decision (application due January 1) and early decision (application due November 1). If you are 100% sure you want to attend BU, then I say early decision is the way to go. Just remember, you can only apply early decision to one college and you can’t back out once you hit apply.

Upstate, NY. October 31, 2010, 7 p.m.: Kitchen Table

My essay was done, recommendations were in, and my application was complete. All I had to do was click submit. I had read it over a million times, but still I checked it just once more. I even had my parents take a glance, just to make sure everything was right. I wasn’t about to mess this up just because I misspelled my last name somewhere on the application.

Check it over. You’ve spent four years working toward college and now so many months on your application. Take another ten minutes to read it over one more time.

Upstate, NY. December 2010 4 p.m.: Yearbook Office

The yearbook doesn’t come out until a few weeks before graduation, but for the yearbook staff December means countless hours of editing to meet deadlines on time. So, naturally, I ignored my mom’s first call and, naturally, she called again. “Decision emails are out! Check and see if you got in!”

I calmly hung up the phone and logged into my Applicant Link account. I didn’t want to have to tell anyone around me if I didn’t get in.

There it was. I took a deep breath before reading my decision… “Welcome to the Class of 2015!”

When you receive your first college acceptance, scream and dance around, call everyone you know and post to every social media platform out there. You have worked so hard and you deserve a little bragging time!

March 23

Welcome to BU, Class of 2017!

By jmceach

Congratulations BU Class of 2017

Decision Day at BU!

Nearly two decades ago this week I ran to my mailbox and ripped open a large envelope with a Boston University return address label. Even now I can remember how excited I was, as a senior in high school in St. Louis, tearing into that envelope, anxiously hoping for good news. After scanning the first sentence I ran into my house, yelling to anyone who was at home: “I GOT IN!”

It is with no less excitement that I write to you today, 18 years later (or a lifetime for many of you), as a double alumnus of BU and Director of Admissions. For BU Admissions, it’s been quite a year. First, 52,695 students submitted applications for freshman admission to BU, a number that broke our previous record by 20 percent. On behalf of the University I want to thank you for your interest in BU. We consider it a pretty spectacular place, and we are happy to find out that you agree.

Second, the admitted class is the most academically accomplished ever to be admitted to BU. That is quite an achievement, and one in which you should take great pride. Your fellow classmates of 2017 are, quite literally, a class unto themselves.

So, congratulations!

While admissions folks like to think about the time they spent reviewing applications, I’d like to take a minute to appreciate all that you put into your applications. Each of you spent a lifetime establishing who you are and where your passions lie, years working hard in and outside of the classroom, hours and hours in testing centers, and even more hours crafting your personal essays. We value all the time you spent putting yourself out there for us.

So in our months of reviewing your applications, what did we learn? We learned that you’re an immensely talented, accomplished, and impressive group of students. Check out what your future classmates have been doing with their time on our Admitted Student site. We learned that you’re incredibly smart, in fact, the most academically accomplished class ever to be admitted to BU.

The choice of where to spend the next four years is up to you. For many of you, it is the most important choice you will make in your life so far. Don’t worry about making the wrong choice—there is no wrong choice. Wherever you go your only job is to make the most of the resources around you. Your undergraduate years should prepare you for the next chapter of your life (i.e., “the real world”). They should be filled with challenges and victories. They should excite you and sometimes terrify you. But most importantly, they should prepare you for the future. The choice is yours. We believe that BU will provide you with the best foundation possible to prepare you for the rest of your life.

Regardless of whether you’ve decided on BU, we hope you’ll come to campus and visit us at one of our Open House programs, or  connect with us when we come to your hometown. These programs will be great opportunities for you to meet your classmates and learn more about where you’ll spend the next four years of your life.

Congratulations, again! Good luck with the rest of your senior year and I hope to see you on campus in the fall!

John McEachern
Director, Boston University Admissions

March 18

What it’s like to be a student presenting research at a conference…in Hawaii

By ebriars

Hi there! My name is Emma Briars and I am a current senior in the College of Arts & Sciences double majoring in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (BMB) and Mathematics. Outside of my academics I am a Project Manager Fellow for One World Youth Project, Vice President of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Hosts, and a Training Coordinator for our Admissions Ambassador Program at the Admissions Reception Center. However my academic passions fall in systems and computational biology, and for the past ten months I have been doing research in Professor Daniel Segrè’s lab in the graduate program in Bioinformatics.

Waikiki sunset

A sunset in Waikiki during the conference

A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to attend the 1st Annual Winter q-Bio Meeting: Systems Biology on the Hawaiian Islands. This meeting brought together principal investigators, industry professionals, PhD students, masters students, and me, an undergraduate senior in our College of Arts & Sciences, to share ideas about innovative research in systems and synthetic biology.

Systems biology is an emerging discipline as a consequence of recent advances in technology and high-throughput data generation. It takes advantage of large biological data sets, bringing together ideas from engineers, physicists, biologists, chemists and mathematicians. As a student double majoring in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Mathematics, systems biology is an attractive field for my inter-disciplinary mindset. So, when a graduate student in my lab told me about this conference, I knew I had to apply to attend. I submitted an abstract of my research project entitled “Genome-scale Architecture of Small Molecule Regulation” to the conference committee, and was fortunate enough to be accepted to present a poster. The next step was to find funding to get me to the conference. I did a little research and discovered that BU has a lot of ways to provide funding for students to attend conferences. I was able to apply for both a George R. Bernard Jr. Travel Award from the Biology Department and a Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Travel Award to help fund my way to the conference.

Each day of the conference started with an early morning breakfast featuring piles of tropical fruit, croissants, and plenty of local coffee. Every day I looked forward to grabbing some breakfast while mingling with other attendees. I met scientists from all over the world including Brazil, Scotland, San Diego, Chicago, and Vermont and I made conversation with academics ranging from first year PhD students to tenured professors. The breakfast, coffee, and lunch breaks throughout the days were great opportunities to share ideas with other conference attendees. We would debrief presentations, share research interests, and make connections with each other—all while sitting at the ocean, or around the coffee area.

The bulk of the conference programming was the eight feature presentations given by leaders across the fields of systems biology. The first speaker of the conference was none other than BU’s own Jim Collins, a professor in the Biomedical Engineering Department, and a pioneer of synthetic biology. His talk entitled “Radical Approaches to Antibiotics and Microbial Threats” discussed research in therapeutic synthetic biology and emerging drug treatment. He even brought in a public health perspective, discussing how our anti-bacterial craze is hurting, not helping our society.  I had such a great feeling of BU pride as he presented, and Professor Collins’ talk was definitely a fan favorite throughout the week.

Another notable speaker was Craig Venter, the father of the Human Genome Project, and the first human with his full genome sequenced. His presentation entitled “Synthetic Life: Control Over Nature for the Benefit of Society” also explored the cusp of synthetic biology—thinking of our DNA as software and how we can make the conversion from biological to digital information. Another BU alum, Timothy Gardner, who received his PhD and continued as a faculty member in our Biomedical Engineering department, gave a featured presentation on the research at his company Amyris. He brought the industry perspective to synthetic biology with his talk “Transforming Yeast from Moonshiners to Oil Barons” and how he formed the bridge from academia to industry by implementing standardization in synthetic biology, and taking the research and development approach.

The third day of the conference was my big day: the poster session. About 80 different participants took part in the poster session, showcasing research that really spoke to the diversity of systems and synthetic biology. My project looking at genome-scale networks of small molecule regulation in metabolism drew attention from a variety of viewers, and gave me the opportunity to answer questions, receive suggestions, and just throw around ideas about enzymes and genomics. I even had the opportunity to talk with Ned Wingreen, a professor in Princeton’s Molecular Biology department and a conference featured presenter, about the different modules of regulation on enzymes. Other posters in the session featured ideas about bacterial competition, synthetic cellular networks, a new computational tool for predicting cellular responses, and engineering small-molecule biosensors. It was exciting to see the diverse amount of research being conducted, and especially the youth and enthusiasm driving the field. The evening of the poster session concluded with a banquet on the beach. Although I had only been there for three days, looking around the event, I felt like there were many familiar faces. It was great hanging out with new friends in the laid-back environment, even though the conversation always made its way back to science.

The opportunity to attend this conference was such a culminating moment for my experiences here at Boston University. I felt like I was able to combine both my textbook knowledge and hands-on research experiences to interact with and learn so much about the systems biology field. As I complete my last semester here at BU, including finishing up my research projects and taking a systems biology course, I hope to continue making these inter-disciplinary connections.

March 5

A Day in the Life of an Application Reader

By Stacey Milton

Stacey Milton, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions

Getting ready to read some apps! (yes, that sweatshirt is as cozy as it looks)

Although most of what we do here at BU Admissions is very collaborative, our staff must read through tens of thousands of applications before we are ready to embark on the committee work that results in the selection of our class. Most of this initial reading happens solo, often in the comfort of our own homes, away from the office. We call these “reading at home” days—I like to think of them as “pajama days” or “quality time with the cat” days. As we are about to transition away from this time spent at home, we thought you may like to see where, and how, the bulk of the application review happens! Warning—it’s not glamorous.

French press coffee

The application reader's breakfast of champions.

8:00 a.m.
Time to wake up! While many of my colleagues are up and at it well before eight, I like to get some extra zzz’s. Often this means reading well into the late evening, but I’ve always been a night owl. First thing: coffee—strong and from a French press—with just a dash of hazelnut. Today’s background music: the James Brown Pandora station.

10:00 a.m.
Break from reading to answer some emails, and have a little breakfast with the Today show on in the background. I like that my days at home allow for some Al Roker.

10:45 a.m.
Back to the grindstone, and my cat has made herself comfy next to me on the couch. I think Chloe enjoys my being home more than I do and many files are read with a nice, warm lapcat. Time to switch up the music, too; I’m listening to a lot of XM radio and discovering new music lately. Another perk of being home all day, and I’ve learned that many of the bands will be swinging through Boston, so my spring concert card is quickly filling up.

1:30 p.m.

Stacey's cat, Chloe.

Full disclosure: Chloe is an invaluable resource in the decision making process.

Time for lunch, and a change of scenery. I live in a one-bedroom apartment, so this means moving from the couch to the kitchen table. I’m about halfway through my goal for the day. We are often asked if we read every application – the twitch in my right eye is a pretty good indication of the answer to that question. We have a large staff, so we read our regional files initially, and then help out in areas where we receive a heavier volume. It’s a lot of work, but even in the depths of winter, it’s exciting to remember the goal we are all working toward – building the next great class of BU Terriers.

4:00 p.m.
I stashed some goodies from the office snack wall in my bag before leaving yesterday, so this next hour is sponsored by Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. We are already planning our travel for admitted student events this spring, so I just purchased my tickets for a trip to Dallas and Houston in April. I’ve never been to the Lone Star State, and I’m looking forward to new travels and some quality BBQ.

5:00 p.m.
Break time! I always slow down in the afternoon, and find that I am pretty easily distracted. Funny how some things don’t seem to change as you get older. Today is a laundry day – I know, fascinating – so it’s time to throw in a load of whites and clear the head a bit before reading some more.

7:00 p.m.
Dinner from my favorite Thai place and a little relaxation. Time to catch up on some DVRed shows – there’s nothing like The Walking Dead to calm your nerves after a long day. I made good progress in reading today – I generally average between 40 to 50 applications when I devote a whole day to reading.

10:00 p.m.
Time to double check my travel plans for tomorrow – I’m headed to Philadelphia for a program at one of my schools, so I’ll be hopping on the train in the early morning. Now for some last-minute packing and prepping, The Daily Show, and then it’s off to bed!

February 6

What is there to do in Boston during the Winter?

By Katie Kocourek

BU students on the Frog Pond

Hello! My name is Katie and I am an Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications for BU Admissions. I’m also a BU alum who graduated from the School of Management in May 2012. In our office, I have the unique opportunity of working with the recruitment team and individuals from each of BU’s schools and colleges to develop our integrated communications for prospective students. I am lucky in that every day I get to represent the university that I love and reflect on the wonderful experiences I had as a student.

Originally from Minnesota, I am no stranger to winter. This was always one of my favorite times of year as a student. Not only does the campus look beautiful covered in snow, but the colder months bring some of the best that Boston has to offer. After all, who can resist the idea of a pick-up game of soccer in the snow on the BU Beach or cozying up with a good book and a cup of coffee at the George Sherman Union?

There are thousands of things to do in Boston during the winter, but here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Enjoy an evening skating at the Frog Pond
    Located in the heart of the Boston Common, the Frog Pond is one of the most visited sites in the city. During the winter, this iconic pool is transformed into an ice rink—so grab a bunch of friends and get ready to skate the night away. On Tuesday evenings, the Frog Pond even offers half-priced admission to students who show their college I.D.<
  2. Take in a performance at BU’s Huntington Theatre Company
    Known for its eclectic seasons of up-and-coming plays and classics, the Huntington Theatre Company is one of the premier theatres in Boston. For the past 30 years, the theatre has staged nationally-renowned productions that have enhanced the artistic culture of the city. Lucky for us, this remarkable venue offers discount tickets for students and members of the BU community and is only a Boston University Shuttle ride away.
  3. Cheer on the Terriers in the Beanpot
    This hockey tournament, played the first two Mondays and Tuesdays of February, showcases Boston collegiate rivalries at their best. Every year, the men’s and women’s hockey teams from Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern, and Harvard face off in a fierce tournament unlike any other in the country. The cheers are deafening, the fans shake the arenas, and the games are incredibly intense. Be sure to get your tickets early, because this is one event you do not want to miss as a student!
  4. Hit the nearby slopes on a day trip
    Boston has many ski and snowboard areas that are only a short trip away, making it easy to hit the slopes. The BU Ski & Board Club, a student-run group on campus, welcomes skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Each season, they organize multiple trips to local ski and board areas for great prices. Additionally, many outdoor sporting goods stores such as Eastern Mountain Sports organize ski, snowboard, or even snowshoe day trips, allowing you to experience New England outdoors during the winter.
  5. Spend an afternoon taking in Boston’s museums
    We have some of the best museums in the world right here at our doorstep, and a chilly winter day is the perfect time to check them out. The Museum of Fine Arts features one of the most comprehensive collections of art in the world—consisting of everything from a renowned display of Egyptian artifacts to an entire wing devoted to the great artists of the Americas to the largest collection of Japanese works under one roof outside of Japan. Smaller than the Museum of Fine Arts (but equally fantastic), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum provides a cozy, intimate environment for viewing a unique collection of more than 2,500 paintings, sculptures, furniture pieces, and decorative arts. This collection, personally compiled by Isabella Stewart Gardner herself, is housed in a beautiful 15th-century Venetian-style palace surrounding a gorgeous courtyard. Finally, a trip to the Museum of Science, located along the Charles River at the Science Park T Station, is a great way to spend an afternoon. This museum offers visitors shows at the Charles Hayden Planetarium and Mugar Omni Theater, a number of live presentations, and over 500 interactive exhibits highlighting topics ranging from the ecosystems and wildlife of New England to lightning and weather.

As you can see, winter offers lots of fun opportunities to get out and explore the city of Boston. Enjoy the remainder of the season and I hope to see you on campus soon!


January 14

Daring Yourself to Think BU

By kede

Boston University Viewbook cover

My role in admissions isn’t a traditional one. I don’t travel to meet with prospective students. It’s not part of my job to welcome students who visit our beautiful campus. But I still communicate with them every day.

I develop the publications you receive throughout your journey as a prospective student or applicant, including our keystone piece, the Viewbook. You may have already received a “We Dare You” Viewbook in the mail, or maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about (if not, you can request to have one mailed to you).

As my colleagues read tens of thousands of applications, they have heard from many of you how the “daring” theme has made you realize why BU is so different from other universities, and so worth applying to.

In many essays, applicants have shared how their search for a university comes down to more than just a name or reputation; they’re interested in finding a place where they can thrive. It may sound silly to pick a university based on an oversized pamphlet, but many of you felt that our Viewbook stood out and showed how BU will allow you to stretch your mind in ways you never imagined before. You felt you belonged at BU just from the stories it told and the campus personality it conveyed. I’m thrilled we were able to convey the essence of this university through these pages.

My job here is, in some ways, made simple because what speaks to you on the pages of the Viewbook are simply facts about BU. These facts—the incredible research, courses, global experiences, and perspectives of our students—vividly show how BU is a perfect fit for the students who ultimately come here.

Take the students who provided local media coverage remotely from the London Olympics. Or BU’s only deaf freshman who is learning Arabic through American Sign Language to further her archaeology studies. The young woman who is educating students in Belize on the affects of diabetes. And the young man who founded a charitable “mailbox” campaign on campus.

Then there’s the undergrad students working with faculty on graduate-level research projects that would blow your mind. I could list them, but it’s really worth checking them out yourself.

The truth is, there aren’t enough pages in the Viewbook for us to share even a small percentage of what’s happening at BU. But I’m so happy that the things we are able to share are inspiring you to apply here.

As you anxiously await your decisions, we will continue doing our jobs to keep you filled in on BU happenings and interesting bits of information. And regardless of whether you are accepted and decide to attend BU or not, I hope you always find ways to dare yourself to keep growing.

– Kristin Ede
Sr. Assistant Director of Admissions Marketing and Communications

December 14

Congratulations to the first members of the Class of 2017!

By Stacey Milton

Early Decision Admitted Class of 2017

It was a cold, crisp December day. One of those perfect winter days when the sky is as blue as it’s ever been, and the sun was on its way down and turning everything golden. Alas, it was in the year 2000, otherwise I would share the Instagram with you. I was surrounded by cornfields, praying this was the day that my ticket to Boston would arrive.

I opened my mailbox and pulled out a standard envelope addressed to me, from Boston University. Heart in my throat, I walked back to the house and placed it on my kitchen table. Mom was at work, dad was out running errands. We didn’t have cell phones, so I couldn’t text them that it had arrived. I called my best friend. No answer.

I surveyed my audience. Three fluffy cats that couldn’t possibly understand how monumental this was. Three-and-a-half years of honors and APs, hours of homework, not to mention the afternoons spent editing final versions of the school paper and prancing about on the stage dressed in decade-old costumes. It all came down to this. To wait, or not to wait.

I tore open the envelope.

“Congratulations on your admission to BU’s Class of 2005.”

I remember it like it was yesterday.

Congratulations to all of the Terriers around the world admitted today to BU’s Class of 2017. This was our most competitive Early Decision applicant pool in BU’s history. We saw a 40% increase in applications. That’s HUGE.

This is an incredibly exciting moment for all of you. Enjoy it. Bask in the knowledge that next year you will be walking down Commonwealth Avenue, and take a moment to reflect on all of the hard work that allowed you to get to this point. Be appreciative. Thank your parents, teachers, friends, guardians, mentors, and friends who have supported you. Most likely, you didn’t do this alone.

And be humble. Remember that not everyone is getting, will get, or has gotten, good news.

On behalf of BU Admissions, again, congratulations. Have a wonderful weekend and happy holidays. We are thrilled for you, and cannot wait to see you next fall.

Where were you when you learned of your good news?



November 26

Six Tips for Meeting College Application Deadlines

By Stacey Milton

Tips for Meeting College Admissions Deadlines

It’s hard to believe, but we are now in the midst of application season. We are busy reading Early Decision applications for the Class of 2017, and will soon move on to scholarship applications in early December. As you’ve probably discovered, this is a very deadline-driven process, and we know that it can be daunting. Many schools have multiple deadlines for scholarships and financial assistance, not to mention the application itself, and most students are applying to more than one school. For seniors, there will be a lot to keep track of during the next few months.

So how can you make this process a little easier on yourself? Here are a few tips.

  1. Create a master schedule for all of the deadlines that apply to you. This includes deadlines for applications (Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision), financial aid (they may be different for each school) and scholarships. And don’t just make note of the dates. Are there additional essays or other requirements? Multiple forms that are required? This schedule can take any form you want. Create an excel sheet, buy a calendar, or put pen to paper and make a chart. You can even try to have a little fun with it—color coding and stickers allowed.
  2. Note how much preparation will need to go into each deadline and requirement. Do you need to write an additional essay? Are there special forms required? Do standardized test scores need to be submitted by the official testing agency? Are other people involved? Just knowing the deadlines isn’t necessarily enough. Make some notes regarding the amount of time you’ll need to put into the different parts of the application process. The more you plan and prepare, the better. For example, our Trustee Scholarship has a December 1 deadline—you don’t want to be scrambling on November 30 to write an essay that could put you in the running for a full-tuition scholarship. Also, give other people enough time to help you. If you need a teacher’s recommendation, don’t wait until the last minute to ask for it. You don’t want to annoy or frustrate your teacher before asking them to write a positive letter about you.
  3. Prioritize. You can only apply to college as a freshman once (in most cases). It is important that you put in the time and effort to ensure that you are presenting yourself in the best light. If you are like most seniors, you are probably juggling classes and homework, extra-curricular activities, part-time jobs, friends and your social life…maybe even more. Help yourself through this process by setting aside time to devote to completing applications. This means filling out forms, writing essays, and proofreading.
  4. Proofread, proofread, proofread. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: you should re-read and review every section of your application. This includes your list of extra-curricular activities, short answers, essays – even your academic course listings. We read everything closely; so should you. It does not inspire confidence to see that a student interested in studying psychology is taking AP “Pyscholgy” in their senior year. Or that they are interested in the “Collage” of Arts and Sciences. Proofread. You may not notice it, but we will. And while we know students are applying to multiple institutions, remember that we don’t need to know why you want to attend Boston College, Georgetown, or NYU. Make sure you’re sending the right credentials to the right places.
  5. Monitor your application once submitted. We will send you a confirmation email once you’ve submitted your application. This will go to the email address that you included on your Common Application form. First, be sure that your email account is set to accept emails from admissions@bu.edu. This email will also include instructions regarding how to set up the Web Account you will use to monitor your application status. If we are missing anything from you, we will let you know through this account. If your application is complete, we’ll let you know that, too. Eventually, we will send your decision electronically through this account. Check it often and make sure that you’ve sent everything in that is required. Many students are denied every year because they don’t complete their application. Don’t let that happen to you!
  6. Ask questions. Unclear about a requirement or deadline? We are here to help you, so be in touch if you have questions. With that said, remember that all deadlines and requirements are posted on our website, so it’s best to check there first. If you are still unsure about something, it’s always better to double check than to miss out on an opportunity, so feel free to email or call us.


November 15

Hello from London

By muellerz

Prime Meridian

Hello from London! Let me introduce myself—my name is Zack (that’s me above, at the Prime Meridian), and I’m a junior at BU. I’ll be posting here every so often, so keep checking back for more! I’ve had a ton of great experiences at BU so far: sailing on the Charles, Kilachand Honors College classes, my time on the Mock Trial team, and the summer I spent living and working in Boston are just a few. But right now I’m in London on one of BU’s awesome internship study abroad programs, so I figured I’d start off by telling you a little about that.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect out of a study abroad program. I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and have traveled around the country quite a bit, but my international experiences were limited to Vancouver, BC, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Those trips were vacations, so this is the first time I’ve ever really lived and worked in a foreign country.


The Acropolis, Athens, Greece

England might not seem like a very exotic destination, but at the same time it’s much different than the US, and in so many ways. Take the Tube (the London subway system), for instance. If you don’t know your way around its extensive underground network, and if you don’t know to stand on the right side of the escalator and walk on the left, then you best get out of the way or risk getting run over; much different than in Boston, where the T (our subway system) is more relaxed. Another difference: on the Tube, everyone reads newspapers and doesn’t say a word to each other. On the T, there’s always a conversation to be had.

Harry Potter Studios

Harry Potter Studios

That said, when you introduce yourself, work, or spend some time with a Londoner, they’ll talk to you like you’ve known each other forever! It’s interesting how, generally with strangers, most people in the city keep to themselves, but once you start to establish a relationship they’ll want to go out for drinks or check out an event in the city almost every weekend. Having the opportunity to work in a law firm through the program has really allowed me to see what it’s like to live and work like a Londoner, and has given me so much more of a unique view of the people and life here than any other visit would have afforded.

I’ve always known I wanted to study abroad, and my experience so far has only reaffirmed how important I think it is to a college education. It’s much more difficult to be successful in today’s international economy without having experienced at least one other culture. While I may not have the chance to work and live in every country, the more exposure I have to people all over the world, the more it will enrich my own education. My time here has not only made me see what a great decision it was to go abroad, but now has me seriously considering programs like the Peace Corps or other opportunities after graduation that will let me see more cultures and get to know more people from all over the planet.

Of course, there’s more to my study abroad experience in London than the internship and the subway system. I’ve toured Buckingham Palace, visited Windsor Castle, ran in a half-marathon around the city, and went to a Guy Fawkes Day carnival that culminated in a fireworks display over the city. Oh, and a few weeks ago, the world premiere of the new James Bond movie was held a block and a half from the BU dorm building here at the Royal Albert Hall. The premier was attended by Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and Prince Charles and his wife, among other celebrities and musicians. Just an average day in London!

Not many prospective students think about it, but look into the study abroad programs of the schools you are thinking of applying to. Make sure they have an option to study abroad for at least one or two programs you might be interested in. If you want to check out all of BU’s programs, go to www.bu.edu/abroad. Fair warning, you might be a bit overwhelmed with all the options!