Author Archive

Friday
January 13

Celebrating MLK Day at BU

By Stacey Milton

Martin Luther King Jr. Free at Last sculpture, Marsh Plaza, Boston University

Students leave flowers and notes at the base of the Free at Last sculpture honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59) on Marsh Plaza in 2009. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Did you know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. earned his doctorate right here at BU?

Dr. King, certainly our most famous alumnus, received his degree from our School of Theology, and in doing so, left an indelible mark on the ethos of Boston University. During his time here, Dr. King was mentored by Howard Thurman, the first black dean at a predominantly white university; Thurman became dean of Marsh Chapel in 1953 and was influential in shaping Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence.

BU remains committed to both Dr. King and Howard Thurman’s views of social justice and inclusion. Thurman’s own Common Ground philosophy – that all people can find some point of connection with one another — is at the core of our multicultural center on campus, BU’s Howard Thurman Center.

To learn about all of the ways that BU is celebrating Dr. King’s birthday here on campus, check out BU Today‘s comprehensive coverage of events, as well as the history of this impressive figure.


Wednesday
January 11

Gourmet grilled cheese, cupcakes & banh mi…who’s ready for lunch?

By Stacey Milton

Food trucks have been popping up all over Boston recently, and many have landed right on our campus. They are perfect for a quick, cheap bite between classes, or simply a delicious option for lunch (or breakfast, or dinner!). I can vouch for the delicious sandwiches from Clover and the to-die-for grilled cheese offered by Roxy’s, and I’ve made it a New Year’s resolution to try the rest.

Check out the awesome feature that BU Today did on these mobile purveyors of tasty culinary treats, including where and when you can find them on our campus. If you’re planning a visit to campus sometime soon, be sure to save some time (and room in your belly) to check them out!

Tuesday
January 10

The life-cycle of a BU application

By Stacey Milton

Although campus is still relatively quiet, and classes won’t begin for another week, there is a lot of activity happening here in the BU Admissions office. Over the next couple months, our staff will read and review over 40,000 applications for the Class of 2016. So how do we do it?

Well, there is a lot of coffee involved (and luckily, a Starbucks and a Panera across the street). This time of year, we spend most every day reading applications, sometimes in the office; sometimes at home (which makes my cat very happy). In fact, there’s a pretty good chance your application could be initially reviewed by someone sitting at home in their pajamas!

When we receive an application from the Common App, it is  uploaded into our system, where it is then matched with all other required forms – recommendation letters, transcripts, school reports – and any test scores that we may have received. Eventually, these are all matched together with a student’s name, and a University ID is issued to the file.

Once a file is complete, it enters our online reading system so that we can begin the review process. As you may already know, BU Admissions reads regionally, and so we each tend to focus on our own state, or states, initially. I work specifically with PA and DE, and I’m thrilled to see the names of students that I remember meeting this past fall while visiting high schools in my region. We also read for all nine undergraduate schools and colleges.

After an initial review has been completed, a few things can happen. A decision may be recommended and the file will be looked at in committee, where several members of the board of admissions will discuss the applicant and come to a final decision. Or, if an applicant is clearly a strong candidate for admission, we may be able to make a final decision and move along to the next. With each file we review, we also may be considering an applicant for a scholarship or our highly selective Kilachand Honors College. Applicants to our College of Fine Arts receive an initial academic review and are also discussed in committee once an artistic evaluation (based on a portfolio or audition) is completed.

The process of reviewing applications is often referred to as an “art, rather than a science.” This is especially true for BU Admissions, where our applicant pool is predominantly made up of academically impressive students. Thus, we are attempting to build a class of individuals who will not only thrive as BU students, but who will truly enjoy their experience, and who really want to be here. We are thinking, “Would this student contribute to the classroom discussion?” or “Would they get involved with an a cappella group, the Community Service Center, or take advantage of research opportunities?” and one of my favorites, “Would you want this student as your roommate?

Believe it or not, it’s also a lot of fun, which makes the long days and slight eye twitch bearable. My colleagues and I look forward to reading many, many more applications over the next couple months as we complete the class. And we all look forward to April, when we get to leave our offices, rejoin the world and meet all of the wonderful students who have been offered a place in BU’s Class of 2016!

Thursday
December 22

Sounds of the season, from one of BU’s many a cappella groups

By Stacey Milton

Check out BU Today’s series of a cappella performances from The Castle (one our most historic, and beautiful, buildings). Who knows, maybe you’ll be singing with them this time next year!

Thursday
December 15

What movie are we going to see this weekend?

By Stacey Milton

Coolidge Corner Theatre, located just off campus in nearby Brookline

Some of my favorite memories of being a student a BU include weekend outings to the movies with friends. Living in Myles Standish Hall, we were a ten minute walk from the theatre at Fenway. I couldn’t tell you how many weekends were spent corralling a group of five or more to see the new Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter (there was a new film in either series for each year I was a BU student — it was awesome).

As a high school student, I worked in a small, five-screen movie theatre in my hometown. I loved working behind the scenes as a projectionist, but often lamented that many of the films that I wanted to check out – mostly indie or foreign films – never made it to our little town. I was like a kid in a candy store when I found that in Boston I could see every film that I wanted to check out. I think I saw Amélie three times at the theatre in Copley. Alas, this particular theatre is now a Barneys.

I have no doubt that current students are still enjoying this movie-going tradition on the weekends. In fact, I was thrilled to come across this post from BU Culture Shock, the blog of BU’s Howard Thurman Center. Their recent post, “CULTS, CLASSICS AND REAL BUTTER” is a great guide to the many independent theatres in the Boston area. Film buffs, take notice. You’ll want to check these out for sure.

Thursday
December 15

Admissions Tip #7: Remember that “please” and “thank you” can go a long way

By Stacey Milton

Guidance counselors and admissions staff members are often friends. We may even have had dinner together. Don’t forget to thank your guidance counselor and references for their help.

If you’re feeling the stress of college application season, take a minute to think about what your college counselors are feeling. They are often writing hundreds of recommendation letters while making sure that transcripts, teacher recs and other materials are being sent to the right places, at the right time. The same goes with teachers — they are writing letters in addition to teaching classes and grading assignments, and not every student remembers to request letters early. And because this all culminates right around the end of a high school term, you can bet they are not lacking fairly long to-do lists at the moment!

The voices of these individuals really do matter in the application review process. It is from your teachers and counselors that can learn more about the type of student you are, in terms of academic performance and your personal character. As admissions counselors, we appreciate when a counselor is candid and forthcoming in their descriptions of students and these accounts are based on their interactions with you and observations of your interactions with others. Make sure that you are providing them with positive things to say about you, and not the other way around.

Bottom line, the “please” and “thank-yous” make a difference, especially this time of year. So, next time you pop into your counselor’s office, take a moment to let them know how much you appreciate the time and effort they are putting into helping you with this process.

Tuesday
December 13

What did you do this year?

By Stacey Milton

Annual Report 2011

We’ve had a busy year. Check out BU’s Annual Report to learn all about it!

Tuesday
December 13

Admissions Tip#6: Don’t wait until the last minute to hit submit

By Stacey Milton

Online applications can hit glitches. Make sure you have enough time to fill them out, check them, and fix them. Starting on them the day before a deadline is a don’t.

Over 95% of Boston University applications are submitted online, and many of those come through during the last week of December.

If you wait until December 31st to submit your application, you may find yourself flirting with disaster: not only will many other students be submitting applications through the Common Application (lots of online traffic!) but the BU Admissions Office will be closed until January 3rd, so you won’t be able to contact anyone right away if you encounter problems. Keep in mind that this won’t hurt you with regard to application consideration, but it will add some unnecessary stress to your holiday break!

If you are ready to submit your application — your essays have been proofed, you’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s — then take a deep breath and send it our way! Then you can take that great sigh of relief in knowing that it’s out of your hands for a few months.

Monday
December 12

So much cheer, so few pants…

By Stacey Milton

Hundreds gathered in Boston for the 12th annual Santa Speedo Run on Saturday, Dec. 10. Runners, running enthusiasts, and fans of the quirky tradition took part in the roughly one-mile race down Boylston Street and Newbury Street. Proceeds benefit the Play Ball Foundation.

Runners in the Santa Speedo Run 2011. Photo courtesy of Boston.com

Like many of my fellow Bostonians, I found myself downtown doing a little Christmas shopping this weekend. I actually enjoy the frenzied bustle of Boylston Street during the holidays, provided I have a nice warm beverage in hand. As with much of the East Coast, here in Boston we’ve had an unseasonably warm winter thus far, but this Saturday the temperature had dropped to a brisk 38 degrees. So, you’ll probably understand why I found it a little peculiar to see a girl standing outside the Apple Store wearing a perfectly weather-appropriate parka and….no pants. No pants! It was freezing outside, and she was in what appeared to be a bathing suit bottom.

Now, I know why: This Saturday was the 12th Annual Santa Speedo Run! Though less established than the Boston Marathon, this fundraising event has spread to other cities throughout the US, and the name pretty much says it — excited runners take to the streets of Boston in their skivvies, decked out in bright red and green to raise money for the Play Ball Foundation “which provides Boston middle school students with a chance to play and build friendships and character through the lessons of sport.” It’s a great cause, and a wonderfully amusing event to stumble upon while out doing a little holiday shopping. People-watching in Boston doesn’t get any more interesting than that!

You can check out more great photos from the event on Boston.com.

Thursday
December 8

Admissions Tip #5: Create a plan to manage college correspondence

By Stacey Milton

Separate correspondence from your friends and family from the college process. Designate an email account for college stuff only so you don’t miss a message between Aunt Betty and spam.

I don’t know about you, but I get way more emails a day than I could possibly read. Between work messages, Facebook updates and notifications of holiday sales, it’s a mess in there. One remedy is to clear out the unnecessary clutter with a designated email account that you can use exclusively for college applications. Many colleges, including BU, will be in touch primarily through email, so it’s important to be sure that you are getting those important messages.

In addition, BU applicants can check their application status through their Web Account, so it’s also good to get into a habit of checking it pretty regularly to see if we are requesting anything. But, if you forget to check your Web Account, we will most likely email you to let you know if we are missing anything for your file. Even more importantly, we’ll be sending you an email when your decision is available online later in the spring, and you won’t want to miss that!

(Plus, as an added benefit, there’s nothing potentially questionable about staceyscollegesearch@gmail.com compared to some of the other email addresses we’ve seen!)