Boston University - Comments and Student Experiences|
The one bad thing about BU is the housing. The dorms aren't that great especially warren and west(although they are great for meeting people), but the senior housing is great (student village). Also, other schools often drink in the dorms and have mini parties there. This happens a lot less at BU. You can "pre-game" but that is about it without getting in trouble.
The classes have a fair amount of work and the people who experience grade deflation simply aren't working hard enough. In high school your grades are massively inflated most of the time, but here you need to earn your grades. I have never felt cheated out of a grade here. All of my professors have been very nice and I have never felt that any of them are overly arrogant.
Studying abroad is ridiculously fun. I have studied abroad twice, both during the summer, and I can't say that I ever had more fun. I recommend anyone attending this university or any university to go on one of BU's study abroad programs.
BU is also in the middle of the city and I enjoy the fact that it isn't hidden from the city. I don't really feel that it doesn't have a campus because I certainly know when I am on BU campus, so I wouldn't worry about that.You normally get to be good friends with the people on your floor, and if you don't like them it can be hard to meet new people. It can be challenging making new friends here after the first few months, so I can see why some people dislike it.
NYU was actually my first choice when I was applying to colleges in high school; I was admitted, but I ended up going to BU because they provided a very generous financial aid package. I believe Boston and BU were better for my undergraduate experience than New York and NYU would have been, ao I definitely do not regret my decision.
One thing I love about the school is how international it is. You won't encounter that in many schools no matter how high they are ranked. And speaking of rankings, definitely take them with a huge grain of salt (and don't base your choice of college solely on its rank). Sure, according to US News, the self-appointed authority on college admissions, BU isn't highly ranked (apparently this is mainly due to the administration's refusal to participate in one part of the survey), but if you look at the THES global university rankings, BU is one of the top 50 universities in the world (several American schools ranked higher than BU by US News don't even make the top 100). Still, the university should do more to fight its image as a rich kids' school. Many students and alumni agree that CGS should be done away with to improve BU's statistical standing, but it is a huge money-maker for the school, so that probably won't happen any time soon.
Overall, I think I am a stronger person for having gone to BU. I had actually considered transferring after my first year, but I came to the conclusion that there really is no "perfect school" and stuck with it (I have friends who attended Ivy League schools who were disappointed with their experiences, so happiness and rankings don't go hand-in-hand). Granted, BU isn't difficult to get into, but it is respected. I am currently a graduate student at LSE, and many people here think very highly of BU.
My only wish is that the grade deflation wasn't such a reality. Sure, some of the complaints are due to A-level high school students not prepared for the caliber of work expected in college, but when one sees the rampant grade inflation at schools like Harvard, concerns about admission to good graduate programs are valid. Also, even though BU's economics department is well regarded and has great professors, I wish the undergraduate curriculum was much more rigorous than it is (econometrics isn't even required for graduation, thus not enough space is alloted for everyone). Overall, I think BU is a good choice for anyone who wants to go to school in an urban environment and won't be overwhelmed by a large student population. It provides a lot of opportunities that one might not find at a smaller school, and the international student body provides a very cosmopolitan atmosphere. So if you're the type of person who needs his hand held and opportunities handed to him, then find another school. But if you're the independent type who can make her own way, then definitely consider BU.
But that isn't the point. The point is that if you come to BU with the intent of working hard and fighting for the top spot in your class, you might as well be at Harvard. BU gets ridiculously competitive; there is no such thing as a "gentleman's B" here.. it's called an F. Some people complain about grade deflation. I don't know if it's true or not, but all I can say is that getting an A at BU is a rare accomplishment. Top students here are hyper-busy, involved in some of the most interesting and unique clubs and organizations, and have access to the top professors in the world.
Yes, BU has Ivy-League professors.. maybe even better in some departments. You will not be disappointed with the real professors (freshmen level intro classes can be hit or miss). Also, the College of Arts and Sciences is a very good school, don't let people trick you. The International Relations department in particular is one of the best in the nation.
Now here's where I have an issue with BU... we let in too many students who are not serious about learning. The school of General Studies (CGS) hurts BU's ranking big time, since it is basically a 4-year daycare for rich kids. There are not many frats or sororities, which I am thankful of.. I think only 5% of men and 9% of women belong to a greek chapter. There are great parties on campus, and at MIT frats, and of course in the wonderful city of Boston.Bottom line: BU is where the serious and hard working students will get a world-class education. A few of my best friends just landed 100K+ jobs straight out of undergrad because they worked like crazy and took advantage of what BU has to offer. Very underrated school in my opinion... it sounds like many of these reviewers expected BU to hand them a degree on a silver platter... ain't gonna happen here.
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