How to Write the Boston College Supplement 2018-2019

Boston College is a private, Jesuit university, as well as a research university, located in Boston’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood. The school has a 31% acceptance rate last year. This year’s supplement allows students to choose from four prompts.

We would like to get a better sense of you. Please respond to one of the following prompts. (400 word limit)

Great art evokes a sense of wonder. It nourishes the mind and spirit. Is there a particular song, poem, speech, or novel from which you have drawn insight or inspiration?

Like most supplement questions that ask you to identify a favorite piece of literature or art, the purpose of this question is to get students to demonstrate a part of their personality. It’s kind of like if you see a therapist and the therapist says, “where do you want to begin?” Wherever you choose is indicative of something about your thought process.

If you play a lot of sports, you don’t want to talk about the speech that Abby Wambach gave at Barnard commencement. It’s too cliche. Instead, your objective should be to exude passion. If we were answering this question, we would talk about how “Red and Black” from Les Miserables (a song about revolution) is one of our writers’ anthems and how it always motivates her to spend a few minutes each week writing letters to her congressman, something she promised herself she would do after the election.

If you can’t write about something and exude passion, don’t choose this question.

When you choose a college, you will join a new community of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and stories. What is it about your background, your experiences, or your story, that will enrich Boston College’s community?

We have seen more questions like this in 2018 than in any other year and we wonder why?!!

A lot of these universities are trying to emphasize “difference” as a utility or a positive attribute. We think that’s great…in theory. But we also feel that’s kind of a PR stunt, and one that could be a bit uncomfortable to write about. It just feels a little inauthentic for colleges to be over the top with enthusiasm for Diversity while also asking kids who have, perhaps, felt a little different in some way their whole lives to take about those differences on a superficial level.

We like the first question a lot better than this one. However, if you do choose this question, pick a simple story that brings the reader into your life. It does not and should not be complex or an attempt to be profound.

Boston College strives to provide an undergraduate learning experience emphasizing the liberal arts, quality teaching, personal information, and engagement of critical issues. If you had the opportunity to create your own college course, what enduring question or contemporary problem would you address and why?

This is a fun and unusual one. First, take note: 400 words is a lot, so make sure you like this question if you plan to answer it. Start by picking an issue you’re passionate about. Maybe it’s the prison-industrial complex or perhaps, the beef industry and climate change.

Something kids don’t often know about until they get to college is the fact that each course offers a full course description, usually a two-paragraph blurb, and an accompanying syllabus that allows students to see what the course will be like week after week, as well as the vibe of the professor teaching it. Look around at some of these descriptions and syllabi.

We want you to create your own syllabus, based on the styles of those you see in your research.  Pick a title for your course like, for example, “Economics 500: Why African Americans Deserve Reparations.” Next, detail the course in a two or three paragraph description, and then, create a syllabus.

We think this makes for a unique touch that will set you apart from most of your competition. It not only demonstrates creativity and passion, but it also makes for a memorable response.

Jesuit education considers the liberal arts a pathway to intellectual growth and character formation. What beliefs and values inform your decisions and actions today, and how will Boston College assist you in becoming a person who thinks and acts for the common good?

In terms of creativity, this question is the most opportune, but it’s really not our favorite. If you must choose this one, start by picking a value or belief. Next, pick a story that demonstrates said value or belief. The second half of the essay should tie in BC. We really hope you choose questions one or three, especially three. If you spend a few hours looking at course offerings, you could put together something great.

Need some help deciding which extracurriculars to do? Reach out to us here. We offer a holistic service that helps students with every aspect of their applications.