College review by Lisa Bleich
April, 2011 – We arrived at the welcome center at BU and were greeted by friendly students available to answer our questions and tell us about their experience. We were then escorted to a large lecture hall where we ran into some people we knew from our hometown.
Boston University’s campus is located right in the heart of Boston, near Kenmore Square (home to the Red Sox!). The buildings line Commonwealth Avenue for several miles and are completely integrated into the city. The backside of the campus on Bay Street overlooks the Charles River. That side of campus feels less imposing with its line of classic Brownstones and some green area. The Brownstones offer themed housing options (ranging from the Classics House to the Chinese House) in an intimate setting of approximately 12 students with shared interests. The Tower , on Commonwealth Ave., is a huge industrial looking apartment style dorm where many freshmen live.
BU has nine distinct colleges ranging from pre-professional focus like Management, Engineering, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Communications, Fine Arts, Hospitality Administration, Education to its School of Arts and Sciences that offers a liberal arts education. The schools are seamless so that students are free to take classes across schools. The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college with roughly 43% of the students. BU also offers several accelerated programs in medicine and dentistry.
Students were diverse and seemed actively engaged in the city and their education. They all worked hard and said that given its location and access to the city, it’s important to learn time management skills because the workload is heavy, but there are also a lot of really fun things to do. As a rule of thumb students study about 2 hours per hour of class. Students also talked about faculty’s willingness to get to know them and help them with their work and find internships.
BU offers a lot of opportunity for students to do research through their Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Students can put together a research proposal and BU will provide them with a grant to pursue their research. Some other interesting opportunities are a student run advertising agency that helps local companies develop marketing materials (I actually used them over 25 years ago when I ran my business right out of college!). Students can also do internships abroad that BU facilitates. For example, one student majoring in Communications and History launched a Facebook campaign for The Financial Times while studying in the UK.
Given its location students never lack for something fun to do from the active live music scene to local bars (for those 21 or over) to a Red Sox Game to strolling through Boston.
The Admitted students had an A- average with an SAT mid-range average of 1880-2110 and an ACT average of 28-32. BU instituted an honors college two years ago, however this year they accepted only 75 students out of 22,000 who expressed an interest. Since it was next to impossible to get in this year, they are discussing alternative ways for students to be admitted to the honors college.
BU is a fantastic school for students who want an urban environment, close interaction with faculty, and thrive in a city.
My Daughter’s Impressions:
The kids seem really nice and friendly, but it’s too big; I really want a distinct, separate college campus. It would be fun, though to have such easy access to Boston, but ultimately it’s not the right place for me.