bentley supplemental essays

Bentley Supplemental Essays 2023-24

Wondering how to approach the Bentley supplemental essays? If so, then this article is for you. We’ll start by going over Bentley essay expectations, including how many are required and which are optional. Then we’ll go more in depth, breaking down the Bentley University essay prompts one by one. Throughout, you’ll find plenty of advice and tips for how to write the best responses possible. But first, let’s discuss some Bentley highlights.

Each year, thousands of applicants apply to be part of Bentley’s unique educational experience. Located in a suburban setting near Boston, Massachusetts, Bentley is a private school with 4,000 undergraduates. The school’s uniqueness comes from how it infuses arts and sciences into its business-focused education. Students can choose from 30 Bentley University majors, which each represent an interdisciplinary approach to business. Students can choose from majors like Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Informational Technology in Accounting, each with its own core business curriculum.

Outside of the classroom, Bentley students have numerous opportunities and resources to expand their horizons. The college boasts more than 100 student organizations, and most students complete internships to prepare for their future careers. Bentley’s career services are highly applauded, leading to a 99% job placement rate for graduates after leaving the school. Collectively, Bentley’s offerings allow students to become business leaders with global mindsets, a variety of skills, and a dedication to making the world better.

Below, you’ll find some key Bentley statistics, such as the Bentley University acceptance rate and the Bentley University ranking. While these measures should not be your only reasons for applying, they are one way to determine how Bentley compares with others.

Bentley University Admissions: Quick Facts

Bentley University Admissions: Quick Facts

  • Bentley University Acceptance Rate: 58% – According to U.S. News, the Bentley University ranking is #1 among Regional Universities in the North. Nationally, Forbes ranks Bentley #212 in its list of Top Colleges.
  • Bentley University Essay Requirements:
    • 1 required (~650 word) personal statement
    • 2 optional (~250 word) Bentley supplemental essays
  • Bentley University Application: Students must submit their Bentley University application through the Common Application. After selecting your application deadline, prepare your Bentley University supplemental essays and personal statement, along with other application materials.
  • Bentley University Application Deadlines:
    • Early Decision I: November 15
    • Early Decision II: January 15
    • Regular Decision: January 15 
  • Bentley University Essay Tip: While the two Bentley supplemental essays are technically optional, we strongly recommend completing them. That way, you can ensure Bentley admissions officers have the fullest picture of who you are as a student and why you are a good fit for the school.

Please note that essay requirements are subject to change each admissions cycle, and portions of this article may have been written before the final publication of the most recent guidelines. For the most up-to-date information on essay requirements, check the university’s admissions website.

Does Bentley University have supplemental essays?

bentley supplemental essays

There are two Bentley supplemental essays: a Why Bentley essay and a Cultural Diversity essay. As you’ll notice during your college application journey, supplemental essay requirements vary from school to school. Some schools have multiple supplemental essays; others have none. While many schools have similar supplemental essay topics, you’ll still want to tailor your responses to each individual school you apply to.

Technically, both Bentley supplemental essays are optional, meaning that you can submit your application without them. However, if you truly wish to attend Bentley, then we recommend answering both prompts to the best of your ability. In doing so, you will not only show your dedication to attending the school but will also share more about what makes you a strong candidate.

Before you begin writing your Bentley supplemental essays, you should understand what the prompts are asking you. In the following sections, we will break down both of the Bentley University essay prompts in detail. Each of the Bentley supplemental essays has a 250-word limit, so you’ll need to make sure your essays are focused and concise while fully answering the prompt.

Optional Bentley Essay Prompt #1: Cultural Diversity essay

The first of the two Bentley University essay prompts is a Cultural Diversity essay. As such, it provides space for you to share aspects of your identity that have shaped your life and allow you to contribute a unique perspective to Bentley. Here is the prompt:

Optional Bentley Essay Prompt #1

Our students bring to campus a variety of experiences, cultures, and intersecting identities including race and ethnicity — aspects that are important to a rich educational experience and your success in college and beyond. You may use this section to discuss how race and ethnicity has affected your life, be it through discrimination, inspiration or otherwise. (250 words or fewer)

While some cultural diversity essay prompts are broad enough to focus on many aspects of identity, this one makes specific note of race and ethnicity. As such, you should focus on race and ethnicity if those parts of your identity are important to you. If not, you can always mention another aspect of your identity and how it has shaped you. 

Regardless of what you choose to discuss, you should not only illustrate how it shaped your life, but also how it will shape the way you contribute to Bentley. For example, maybe coming from an immigrant family and being the first to apply to college has inspired you to work hard to pursue your goals of higher education. Or, maybe the values your Dominican family taught you have given you so much joy and pride that you would be excited to share that with the Bentley community. Writing about your identity can be difficult, so be gentle with yourself and only write about what you are comfortable and willing to share. 

Optional Bentley Essay Prompt #2: Why Bentley essay

The second of the Bentley University essay prompts is the Why Bentley essay. Here is the prompt:

Optional Bentley Essay Prompt #2

Please tell us specifically and in your own words which aspects of Bentley University prompted you to apply. In addition, if you are interested in a specific program/major, what attracted you to that program or area of study? (250 words or fewer)

Like most why school essays, this essay is looking to understand why you want to attend Bentley specifically. To answer this effectively, you must name specific aspects of the Bentley experience that drew you to apply. Maybe you like the interdisciplinary nature of the Bentley University majors, or the fact that Bentley offers comprehensive career services. Name these specific offerings to demonstrate your knowledge, then be sure to connect them back to you. In general, it is best to avoid focusing on more surface level aspects of the school like its pretty campus or proximity to Boston. While these may be aspects that drew you to apply, they don’t distinguish Bentley enough from many other schools which have nice campuses or are located in Boston.  

The second part of this Why Bentley essay prompt is a Why Major question. The question asks which of the Bentley University majors interests you. If you do not have an intended major in mind and are applying undecided, you can avoid responding to that part of the question. However, if you do have an intended major, share details about why you chose that major. Maybe your experiences interacting with those from other cultures have led to an interest in Language, Culture and Business. Or perhaps, you have had a passion for taking apart computers for your entire life, and the Computer Information Systems major piques your interest.

Regardless of what you choose to write about in your essays, make sure you spend time reflecting on why you are drawn to the school and your major. The first step to writing great supplemental essays is getting in touch with your own thoughts and ideas. Before we go over some tips to help you when you’re ready to start writing your essays, let’s go over the Bentley essay requirements.

Bentley University Essay Requirements

As we shared above, there are two Bentley supplemental essays. However, they are listed as optional. As such, you may be wondering how many Bentley essays are actually required? 

The answer is technically one – your personal statement. Your personal statement is a critical part of your application, as it is the one essay intended to introduce you to the Bentley University admissions committee. In contrast to the supplemental essays, which tend to be school-specific, your personal statement can be the same for every school you apply to. Since you’ll be submitting your Bentley application through the Common App, you’ll need to respond to one of the Common App essay prompts.

The personal statement should showcase an important part of your life story or identity. However, it does not have to cover an extremely rare or extraordinary topic. Some of the best personal statements are about mundane and simple pleasures. Bentley University admissions officers want to know what makes you who you are, not who you think you should be.

The Bentley supplemental essays offer more real estate for you to share who you are. As such, even though they are not required, we recommend completing them to the best of your ability. Coming up, we will share tips for how to write the Bentley supplemental essays. 

How to write the Bentley supplemental essays?

bentley supplemental essays

Now that we have covered the Bentley University essay prompts, you might be wondering how to write your Bentley essays. Here are four tips to help you write strong Bentley supplemental essays:

Start early

Writing good essays can take 4-6 drafts. For this reason, we recommend starting the process as early as possible. Once you have selected your application deadline, start writing your essays at least 4-6 weeks before the deadline. This will give you ample time to dissect the Bentley University essay prompts. brainstorm ideas, draft, edit, revise, and polish your drafts.

Do a thorough brainstorm

Before you write your Bentley supplemental essays, brainstorm ideas for each of the prompts. The key to brainstorming is to avoid judging or second-guessing your ideas as you jot them down. The brainstorming stage is simply to get ideas on the page. You also do not have to brainstorm alone. Ask your friends and family to help you think of ideas based on what they know about you. While you ultimately should choose an idea that resonates with you first and foremost, your loved ones can sometimes shed light on topics that you hadn’t thought could work.

Be specific

As you consider topics for your Bentley supplemental essays, think of details that can help bring your stories to life. Details can include sights, sounds, smells, emotions, dialogue, or any other fact that comes to mind. These details can add color and character to your essay, allowing you to show and not tell your story. For example, if you want to express your early love of computers, maybe you share a memory of playing with computer parts and describe the feeling of your fingertips fumbling with the parts to show your excitement. For your Why Bentley essay, be specific about what draws you to the school. Your Why Bentley essay should be different from any other Why School essay you write.

Share your why

Both Bentley University essay prompts ask you to share your why, whether that is why your identity is important to you or why you want to go to Bentley. Make sure that in your response, you highlight the significance of your experiences and choices. That means doing some self-reflection; consider how these experiences have changed you and how your choices reflect your character. Telling the why is a critical part of your Bentley supplemental essays.

By now, you’re aware the Bentley supplemental essays are not actually required. So, you may still be asking yourself, do you actually need to write them? Is there any harm in not writing them? We’ll go further into this in the next two sections.

Are the Bentley essays optional?

bentley supplemental essays

Technically, both Bentley supplemental essays are optional. This means you can submit your application with only one essay – your personal statement. However, as previously stated, we recommend writing the Bentley supplemental essays to make sure your application is as strong as possible.

Writing the Bentley supplemental essays showcases how serious you are about attending the school. It also gives Bentley University admissions officers a better picture of who you are, which can help increase your odds of being admitted. Therefore, if you really want to attend Bentley, take the time to write your Bentley supplemental essays. 

Does Bentley University care about essays?

Considering the Bentley supplemental essays are optional, you may wonder whether Bentley University cares about essays. Indeed, the school does care about essays. This is in large part because they use a holistic admissions process. Holistic admissions means that applicants are evaluated along a variety of measures, including grades, test scores, extracurriculars, recommendations, and essays. In doing so, they seek to get a full picture of a student’s abilities and strengths. Essays are a key way that they can determine what makes you unique from other students who may have similar grades and test scores.

Secondly, the fact that there are Bentley supplemental essays means that the school cares about them to a degree. Indeed, there are some schools that actually do not have supplemental essays. Furthermore, others do not require a personal statement. By having these Bentley University essay prompts as part of the application – even if they are optional – Bentley is communicating that they do indeed care about essays.

Now that we know that Bentley University will carefully review your essays, you’ll want to make sure you write the best essays possible. Below, you’ll find some tips to make sure your essays stand out from the thousands of essays Bentley admissions officers read each year.

How can I make my Bentley University essays stand out?

bentley supplemental essays

At this point, we hope you agree it is absolutely worth responding to the two optional Bentley supplemental essays. Therefore, here are a few tips for how to make your Bentley essays stand out:

Show, don’t tell

Whether you are writing your personal statement or Bentley supplemental essays, expressing your ideas through vivid details is going to strengthen your essays. After you have written your first draft of your Bentley essays, go back over them to look for places where you can illustrate your experience rather than simply say what happened. For example, instead of saying that you felt stressed working on a big project, describe the sleepless nights and the worries racing around your head. (And always connect back to why you were feeling that way!) 

Be authentic

Many students struggle with feeling like their life or interests aren’t worth writing about. In fact, every student has a story to tell. Avoid getting caught up in trying to figure out what admissions officers want to hear in your Bentley supplemental essays. Instead, write about what matters to you, in your own voice, and your connection to your experiences will naturally shine through.

Edit several drafts

It is uncommon, and highly unlikely, that the first drafts of your Bentley essays will be ready for submission. Spend time editing your drafts to make sure they are clear, concise, grammatically correct, and compelling. Ask for others to read your Bentley essays and incorporate their feedback while making sure your voice is not lost in the editing process. If someone suggests adding a vocabulary word you would never use, leave it out.

If you want more tips for how to make your Bentley essay stand out, check out this CollegeAdvisor resource on how to write better essays.

Bentley University Supplemental Essays – 5 Takeaways

bentley supplemental essays

In this article, we shared why Bentley University is a superb school and everything you need to know about the Bentley supplemental essays. If you do your research, you’ll find the Bentley University ranking and Bentley University acceptance rate only scratch the surface of what Bentley has to offer. Rather than focusing on these measures, make sure you take the time to explore Bentley so you can decide whether you could thrive at the school. If it’s the right fit for you, you’ll have plenty of great details to write about in your Bentley essays.

In turn, remember you also have a lot to offer the school. If you decide to apply to Bentley University, we hope you keep these five takeaways in mind to make sure you put your best foot forward:

Takeaways for Bentley University Supplemental Essays

1. Write the supplementals

We have shared how the Bentley supplemental essays are optional. However, we hope by now it is clear that writing them is overwhelmingly likely to strengthen your application for numerous reasons. As long as you take the time to write thoughtful responses to the Bentley University essay prompts, you will undoubtedly increase your odds of getting into the school.

2. Be specific in your essays

The Bentley University essay prompts can be thought of as a Why Bentley essay and a Cultural Diversity essay. Rather than speak generally about why you want to go to college or how you value diversity, provide specific examples and details to illustrate your points. In your Why Bentley essay, make sure you name specific reasons why you want to attend the school.

3. Put time into your essays

If you really want to go to Bentley, spend time editing and revising your essays. Make sure your essays reflect your best writing – not your first draft.

4. Be yourself

Write in your own voice and write about topics that matter to you. By doing so, your writing will be more compelling and enjoyable to read. And the more effective you’ll be at highlighting your individual strengths and characteristics.

5. Seek support

Writing about topics like your race or what you want to study can be challenging. Seek outside support from trusted teachers, mentors, friends, or even a CollegeAdvisor admissions specialist.

Now that you know how to write the Bentley supplemental essays, your task is to get started. Even though the college admissions process can be competitive, there are many parts of it – like the quality of your essays – that you can control. Give your best effort and you are sure to land yourself at an excellent college of your choice.

bentley supplemental essays

This essay guide was written by Courtney Ng. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how can support you in the college application process.