The Boston College admissions essays for 2013-2014 are up on the university’s website. Of the supplemental college essays, students are asked to select one question of four to answer in no more than 400 words. As Boston College states, “This is your opportunity to reveal how you think, what you believe, what you value, and what you hope to accomplish. This is your chance to let us hear your voice.” They’re very right. This is your distinct opportunity to let admissions officers at BC know what you’re all about. They want to hear why you’re unique, why you are special, and why they should go to bat for you.
Here’s the first essay option: “St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, encouraged his followers to live their lives in the service of others. How do you plan to serve others in your future endeavors?” That’s a pretty easy essay question for most college applicants as a number of students do community service and have probably already written an essay that can fit nicely here. Though maybe not! The second question asks, “From David McCullough’s recent commencement address at BC: ‘Facts alone are never enough. Facts rarely if ever have any soul. In writing or trying to understand history one may have all manner of ‘data,’ and miss the point. One can have all the facts and miss the truth. It can be like the old piano teacher’s lament to her student, ‘I hear all the notes, but I hear no music.’ Tell us about a time you had all of the facts but missed the meaning.” Now that’s an interesting question and it’s nicely framed around a BC graduation speech.
The third question poses, “In his novel, Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann writes: ”We seldom know what we’re hearing when we hear something for the first time, but one thing is certain: we hear it as we will never hear it again. We return to the moment to experience it, I suppose, but we can never really find it, only its memory, the faintest imprint of what it really was, what it meant.’ Tell us about something you heard or experienced for the first time and how the years since have affected your perception of that moment.” Our bet is most students will not choose this essay prompt. And the final supplemental essay prompt is: “Boston College has a First-Year Convocation program that includes the reading and discussion of a common book that explores Jesuit ideals, community service and learning. If you were to select the book for your Convocation, what would you choose and why?” Now if you’re a reader — and we’ve implored college applicants to read — this should be an easy question for you to answer!