I love Boston University.
Ever since I stepped foot on the BU campus for the first time—back in December 2012—I knew that I wanted to be here. I even became a certified Admissions Ambassador tour guide this semester, so that I could share my love for BU with prospective students and their families.
But even though I am unfailingly proud to call myself a BU Terrier, there are inevitable downfalls to the university that could be improved upon—just as there for any college. These shortcomings are important to bring to light, and it is useful to discuss them, not to bash Boston University but to see what can be done better.
This problem seems obvious and universal. Would any student at any university deny that college is expensive?
My qualms with the cost to attend BU are not academic or tuition based. I feel that I am getting a top-notch education, and I believe that the tuition costs reflect that academic quality. Rather, I find the other expenses—housing, meal plans, random fees—to be more costly than they should be.
BU provided me with a surprisingly great financial aid plan. I can speak only from my own experience, but the majority of what I am actually paying for—with a student loan, of course—is my dorm room and my meal plan. My tuition was largely covered by scholarships and grants, so what I am left to pay for on my own is an outrageously expensive and infuriatingly cramped dorm room—or what I affectionately call “the jail cell”—and a dining plan that I despise using.
And let’s not get into the cost of one meal swipe at the BU dining halls. Every time you use one of your precious, limited swipes to get dinner, you have technically spent almost $15 for that meal—an absurdly pretty penny to be paying for every single dinner.
Lastly, every semester you are charged a bundle of random fees such as the Student Activities fee, even if you don’t participate in student clubs or activities, or the Health and Wellness fee, even if you never use the Student Health Services. These fees, while not more than $100 each, really add up.
2. Dining Options
The food at the BU dining halls is not my favorite—and that’s fine, except that as a freshman, I am forced to eat it, and as a sophomore, I can only escape eating it if I get lucky. Every student is coerced into signing up for a dining plan, unless you live in apartment-style housing with a kitchen. Apartment-style housing is nearly impossible for freshmen, and highly unlikely for sophomores, as most juniors and seniors, who get first priority, opt for apartment-style.
Additionally, BU, in my opinion, does not offer the student enough restaurants to use Dining Points at. Dining Points are a part of the student’s Dining Plan package, and act as regular money to be used at certain designated restaurants. I love having Dining Points—except that I can only use them at a handful of places. I sincerely hope that BU one day expands their Dining Point acceptance.
BU offers a really spectacular bus service—The BU Bus—which is free for BU students, and makes several stops throughout campus, even to the far-away medical campus.
The only problem is that these buses are not frequent, nor reliable. The actual timing of a bus’s arrival never syncs up with the prescribed bus schedule, which can make it difficult to get to classes or meetings on time. There are also usually only about 2 buses making the rounds, so rather than a bus coming every 10 minutes, as BU claims they will, you are often waiting at least 20 minutes or more for a bus.
Hopefully my ranting tone has not convinced you that Boston University is a terrible place to live and learn. I will always be proud of my school—regardless of its shortcomings!