Author Archive

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!

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 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.


October 29

BU Admissions Interruptions Due to Hurricane Sandy

By Stacey Milton

Hurricane Sandy

Due to the severe weather that is affecting the entire east coast, BU Admissions has been grounded for a few days. In fact, Boston University and much of Boston is closed today—a rare occurrence.

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, we’ve had to contend with cancelled flights and school closures, and we will be unable to visit some schools as originally planned this week. This is disappointing, as we always look forward to meeting students in person. We’ve also extended our Early Decision deadline to Monday, November 5, 2012.

If BU Admissions is not able to visit your school this year, please know that you are always welcome to contact your regional admissions representative with any questions, concerns, or to simply introduce yourself.

For those in the path of the storm, we hope you stay safe, warm and dry. Good luck!

October 25

How to Make the Most Out of College Visits to Your High School

By Stacey Milton

Boston University pennants at a high school visit

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been visiting high schools in my region to meet with students who are interested in learning more about Boston University. My colleagues are doing the same thing around the country, and around the globe. We generally spend 30 minutes to an hour meeting with students and counselors, explaining the application process, discussing academic programs and answering questions. Despite the hectic days of navigating traffic in semi-unfamiliar places, frequent stops at Starbucks and the perpetual challenge of finding a school’s main entrance, I truly enjoy this process and look forward to meeting students in their element. I know my colleagues feel the same way.

As I am in my sixth year visiting students in my region, I’ve noticed some trends in the questions that are asked, as well as the way students approach college visits in general. Some trends are good, some are not so good. So, I thought I’d provide a little insight—and advice—regarding how to make the most out of college visits to your high schools. These tips can also be applied to other forums where you might be meeting with college representatives.

Ask questions. While I absolutely love to hear myself talk, meeting with students who are interested in BU tends to be much more engaging for everyone if the students I meet with actually seem interested. This is your opportunity to get some face time with me and, believe it or not, I remember the students who are most alert, attentive, and engaged during my visits. Additionally, I have a hard time believing that there isn’t at least one thing you’d like to know more about. Most likely, your peers have similar questions. Be brave and speak up!

Ask relevant questions. There are no stupid questions. Some questions, however, are better than others. Questions like “How is your psychology program?” or one of my favorites, “What can you tell me about BU?” (do you have three hours to listen to that answer?), are too broad and aren’t going to help you learn much more about a place. Think about what matters to you with regard to your college experience. Is it access to undergraduate research? Internship opportunities? Unique electives or interdisciplinary majors? Ask targeted questions related to the topics most important to you to help you better understand the University.

Come with a pen (or pencil). Sound kind of basic? I think so, too. Still, bring a writing utensil to a college visit. Most college reps will ask you to complete an information card and, in most cases, doing this allows a college or university to track that you took the time to come and meet with them—a good thing, since it demonstrates interest. Interested students are interesting to us.

Refrain from telling a college rep that their school is your “safety.” I recently had a student tell me that BU was her “safety” school, and that she knew she could get in. She then went on to tell me everything she knew about BU (not all of which was accurate). Needless to say, this is not the best way to make a strong first impression with a university. And who knows, you might need that “safety” after all!

Be an active listener and pay attention. If I’ve spent five minutes talking about study abroad, and a student asks me if we have study abroad opportunities, I’m a little befuddled. It’s one thing to ask for a clarification—“you talked about the ways students can double major, but I’m unclear about exactly how that works”—as this is different from asking about something I’ve already gone into great detail about. Plus, your peers might snicker at you, because they were paying attention and heard it the first time.

September 24

See you this fall

By Stacey Milton

It feels like we were just out on the road meeting with newly admitted Terriers, and yet our travels to meet with prospective BU applicants have begun yet again.

View from the T - a perfect fall day on campus

My colleagues are all across the country—and world—visiting students at high schools and holding special admissions events. Just last week, I was meeting with juniors and seniors in Delaware and Chester County, Pennsylvania. I was pleasantly surprised to see great numbers everywhere I went. It was a fun four days, even in spite of some wicked rain and flooding in Pottstown, PA. I’m thrilled that so many students are taking the time to learn more about BU, and I can’t wait to meet even more over the next two months.

This beautiful fall weekend in Boston was also quite BU-oriented. Boston University welcomed thousands of alumni back to campus for our annual Reunion Weekend. Kicking off the celebration on Saturday night was an impressive display of talent – from student choirs to the Boston Pops. I saw lots of familiar faces as different student groups were highlighted; our admissions volunteers really ARE involved in everything. I was super proud to see one our Admissions Ambassadors, Alison Weltman, representing the Community Service Center and announcing a 1 million hour student service pledge over the next five years.

Tomorrow, it’s back to eastern PA, my Admissions home-away-from-home (and for me, it really is home!). I’m looking forward to meeting many  interesting students thinking about BU.

And, if you happen to be in Tampa, FL; Warwick, RI; Long Island, NY; Troy, MI; or Portland, OR – we hope to see you Monday night at our BU Admissions event!

Dean Kenneth Elmore leads an impromptu Jeopardy match during Alumni Weekend's Celebration of BU

BU's Pep Band, bringing down the arena

March 26

Congratulations to BU’s Class of 2016!

By Stacey Milton

You may have noticed that our blog has been a little quiet for the past few weeks. BU Admissions received a record number of applications this year – nearly 44,000 – and our staff was kept quite busy reviewing and selecting the students who have now been offered a place in BU’s Class of 2016. We are thrilled that the news is out and we can finally welcome all of you as future BU Terriers!

As you may have heard, this was the most competitive year to be applying to Boston University. We saw an increase in the number of applications, as well as an increase in the overall competition of the applicant pool. To add to this, we are also enrolling a slightly smaller freshman class. This made our job especially challenging, and for those of you offered a place in the class, we hope that you are as proud of yourselves as we are.

You are also a very interesting group! I know I can safely speak for my colleagues when I say that some of your extra-curricular activities and schedules are simply mind-boggling. I hope you spend some time on our Admitted Student site to learn some interesting facts about your future classmates. I am so impressed, and frankly a little exhausted, by all that you have done over the past four years.

We have truly enjoyed meeting and getting to know you over the past year or so – it’s hard to believe that we met some of you as sophomores! My colleagues and I look forward to seeing you in the weeks and months ahead as we embark on events both on and off-campus. If you can join us on campus for an Open House program, please do – it can be a wonderful opportunity to revisit why you decided to apply to BU in the first place. If you cannot come back to campus, we hope to see you at one of our many off-campus events, where you can meet with current students, faculty, and alumni.

Finally, as a very proud alumna of BU, I want to welcome you to the BU family. By accepting your place in BU’s Class of 2016, you will be joining a community of over 30,000 current students and more than 250,000 alumni. I  know that the tradition of academic excellence, intellectual curiosity and global engagement will continue with each and every one of you. You have an amazing ride ahead of you, and we are so excited that we get to share it with you.

Welcome to BU.

March 5

Study Abroad Series: An aspiring teacher goes Down Under

By Stacey Milton

From Boston Harbor to Sydney Harbor: A trip half way around the world for the experience of a life time

Writing & photos by Maggie Tittler (SED’12)

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Going to Sydney, Australia to teach abroad was probably one of my crazier, more impulsive decisions. After only three days of living in the southern hemisphere, I visited my school, and two days later I was in my classroom with 26 nine and ten-year-old boys and girls. I would say 99% of the people you talk to who have gone abroad will rave about their experience ad nauseam. I will tell you immediately that I am one of those people. Instead of boring you with every story, experience, and adventure I have chosen a tasteful collection of my photos with a short description of the adventure associated with each. If you have more questions for me about my abroad experience, you can contact me at Also, to see more of my adventures, feel free to check out my blog from my travels:

Sunrise over Boston

Sunrise over Boston



Naturally, the first thing I wanted to do when I got to Australia was kidnap a kangaroo and/or koala. Though I never brought them back to my apartment, I did get to pet them pretty early on in my trip. We went to Featherdale Wildlife Park and saw our fair share of animals native to Australia.

Sleepy koala

Sleepy koala


With my new friend, the kangaroo

I spent four days in Cairns (pronounces “cans”), which is in the North East of Australia. They were probably the four most consecutively dangerous days of my life and included rainforests, the Great Barrier Reef, snorkeling, scuba diving, bungee jumping, and sky diving. My parents were not thrilled when they found out after the fact, but my students loved learning about my change in potential and kinetic energy and the forces involved as I flew up to 14,000ft and jumped!

Just hangin' around

Just hangin' around

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Not having a bit of fun. None at all.

Not having a bit of fun. None at all.

Treetops of the rainforest

Treetops of the rainforest

My experience in the classroom was nothing short of incredible. My teacher and supervisor were so supportive and gave me some great constructive criticism. The school where I taught has a tight-knit school community, and I met some inspirational people I will bring with me to the teaching adventures that await me post-graduation.

With my Sydney students

With my Sydney students

Going abroad to Australia and traveling after to New Zealand and Fiji gave me incredible opportunities to work on my photography, which I hope to one day consider a professional hobby that I can include in both my classroom and my personal life. My last two weeks consisted of a phone-less and relatively direction-less trip to New Zealand followed by Fiji. I knew I was going to get to the south island and travel for about a week, I just did not really know how. Once I made it there, I took the Magic Bus down the south island, stopping at a new destination each day. I met a wonderful group of people from every walk of life, from bee-keepers to environmentalists to musicians to doctors and lawyers, all ranging from 21 to 60 years of age. Finally, I caught a plane from Fiji on the 21st of December (at 11pm) and landed in Los Angeles on the 21st of December (noon).





As my parents helped to move me in to my apartment for my final semester at Boston University, my mom asked me if I thought the experience abroad was worth it and if I would recommend it to future students. Without hesitation, I told her study abroad should be required for all students. Going abroad is not only a great way to spend one of your eight semesters, but it is a temporary (or for some a permanent) life change that every student should take advantage of. The experience provides an alternative perspective, encourages an open mind and a new spin on the world around us. It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to explore, dream, and discover.

January 30

London Calling: A PR major’s adventures across the pond

By Stacey Milton

Welcome to our first installment of a series on studying abroad. Through this week and next we will be introducing you to several BU students who studied overseas last semester, as well as showcasing some interesting and unique study abroad opportunities available here at Boston University.

Cheers! My name is Hannah, and I am a junior in BU’s College of Communication, majoring in Public Relations, with a minor in women, gender and sexuality studies.

Enjoying high tea in London

Enjoying high tea in London

Many of you reading this are contemplating a pretty important transition: the move from high school to college. This past September I made a big move myself, from Boston, Massachusetts, to London, England. I spent the past Fall semester studying, exploring, and interning in one of the most metropolitan, international cities in the world.

With roommate Tara, and some classic phonebooths

With roommate Tara, and some classic phonebooths

Spending a semester in London was an amazing opportunity! Field trips took on a whole new meaning when my entire history class went to the center of London to walk in the steps of the suffragettes who campaigned for women’s right to vote outside of Parliament. My Literature of Shakespeare class took advantage of our phenomenal location and visited the Globe Theater for an acting workshop.

With friends Steph (CAS'12) and Jessica overlooking the Thames

With friends Steph (CAS'12) and Jessica overlooking the Thames

One of the best parts of my semester abroad, and one of the main reasons I chose to study in London, was the opportunity to intern at a public relations agency. For the last two thirds of the semester I spent four days a week working at one of the largest PR agencies in the world: Weber Shandwick. Through this experience I learned a few things. First, English people do actually drink a lot of tea, and often make tea for each other as a gesture of kindness. I also learned that they swear a lot more than American’s (the accents might sound posh — but English people can also be incredibly crude!).

Taking in the view in Florence, Italy

Taking in the view in Florence, Italy

Beyond my anthropological observations regarding the English people, I learned a lot about my chosen profession – public relations. I was given real work to do as an intern in the the branded content division, pursuing different opportunities that brought brands and films or TV shows together. Part of my job was even watching the TV shows (on fast forward) to monitor how often our client’s products were featured on screen. I also had the chance to write a business proposal which was sent to various major corporations, asking them to consider sponsoring the production of a feature film.

Molly (COM'12) and I in Dublin, Ireland

Molly (COM'12) and I in Dublin, Ireland

My semester in London wasn’t solely spent behind a desk. A typical weekend meant heading to one of London’s numerous markets to shop followed by a cheap curry lunch and a trip to a museum (many of the museum’s in London are free!), and later enjoying a pint of cider in a local pub. Although, I’d say it’s hard to call any weekend abroad “typical.” More often than not you could find me grabbing a plane to Barcelona, Dublin, or Brussels — just a few of the cities I had a chance to visit! I’ve relaxed in the thermal baths of Budapest and eaten pizza in the center of Rome. I’ve visited DaVinci’s Mona Lisa in Paris and Picasso’s Guernica in Madrid. Traveling in Europe exposed me to so many different places, people, and cultures, and I tried my best to to take full advantage of the small window of time overseas.

Visiting the Louvre with Dani (CFA'13) while in Paris

Visiting the Louvre with Dani (CFA'13) while in Paris

My semester in London was one of the most challenging, rewarding, and enriching periods of my life. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to pursue some of the things I love doing, which I now know to be traveling as well as working within the PR industry. While BU may be my home away from home I think London will have a soft spot in my heart from now on as well.

Hannah_ParisHannah is a Junior in the College of Communication majoring in public relations and minoring in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Originally from Ambler, PA (a suburb of Philadelphia), Hannah is involved with the Community Service Center and the Public Relations Student Society of America. She’s also a huge fan of brunch and most trashy television shows. Feel free to email her with any questions at If you want to learn more about Hannah’s experiences abroad, check out her blog, where she chronicled her entire semester.

January 18

BU alumnae taking over Tinseltown

By Stacey Milton

CBS President Nina Tassler (CFA’79). Bonnie Hammer (COM’71, SED’75), chairman of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. Nancy Dubuc (COM’91), president of History Channel and Lifetime Network. Photos courtesy of the alumnae

I met and befriended some pretty amazing people during my time as a BU student; individuals who I knew would be wildly successful in their chosen professions. Some of these friends are now doctors, lawyers, environmentalists, filmmakers and more.

So, it is no surprise to me that three of BU’s most successful female graduates were recently ranked in the top 10 of Hollywood Reporter’s 2011 Women in Entertainment Power 100 list. Find out more about these impressive women who have risen to the top of the entertainment industry by checking out the full BU Today story here.