How to Respond to the UC Essay Prompts
Many students are quite interested in applying to one or many of the campuses within the University of California system (or the “UC system” for short). That’s not too surprising as 6 of the 9 campuses (UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, & UC Irvine) are ranked in the top 40 of the US News & World Report’s “Best National Universities.” The UC system has always had one main application that all the campuses share. Incoming freshmen must respond to two essay prompts on the UC application in order to apply for undergraduate admission. Each applicant must respond to both essay questions within a maximum of 1000 words total. These words may be allocated as the student wishes as long as the shorter one is greater than 250 words. Continue reading More Than UC Personal Statement Prompt Examples
Also known as the College Specific Supplement, the Supplemental Questions to the Common Application give students an opportunity to tell admissions officers exactly why they want to attend their school.
They also give schools the ability to differentiate themselves from other colleges and universities also using the Common Application (which is designed to be…”common”).
Here is a video tutorial Continue reading How to Answer the Supplemental Questions to the Common Application
When I first meet with families and students, they always ask about the college essay, aka “the personal statement.” Fears and questions run the gamut. Some students elude topic altogether and are in denial that they will need to write one. Others just have no idea how to start writing. Here are some examples of common questions I may receive and my usual responses. Perhaps these questions and fears may sound familiar to you?
“How important is the personal statement?”
Well, for some schools, it’s the most important part of the application. Particularly if the college(s) you like don’t offer interviews or a chance for teachers to write recommendation letters, then the personal statement becomes the school’s one way to get to know you apart from your grades and scores. Continue reading Personal Statement FAQ
Each year my students tend to fall for the same mistakes when filling out college applications. Because the UC, Common Application, and many others have not yet revealed their 2011-2012 Fall application, I will base these mistakes on past years’ applications. Most will still apply for the next application season, do don’t you get caught making the same mistakes!
Adding wrong test scores
Some students will write the wrong scores or use the pull down menu on the online application incorrectly. Many students will even add scores that are lower than what they have on their AP, SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject tests. Continue reading Common Mistakes on College Applications
Following up on examples of how to begin and end your personal statement, I wanted to post another great beginning and ending from one of my private counseling students.
I am not scared of heights, crowds, closed spaces, spiders, or snakes. My pulse hardly quickens when I get up on stage in front of hundreds of people and speak, sing, or act. But for a year every Saturday my palms would start sweating in anticipation of Sunday afternoon at 2:30.
At the time I had played the bassoon for four years. I practiced occasionally and managed to put up with all the harassment one gets for playing the bassoon (Is that a baboon, bazooka, or buffoon? Continue reading Personal Statement Sample
How to Begin & End Your Essay
Sometimes it’s easier to understand how to write a personal statement by reading through some good examples. I am not giving these 3 examples so that anyone can use them for themselves. This is just a good way to see how the lessons you’ve learned can be put to use.
All I could do was cry. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. My hands gently glided over the letters etched into the granite stone. I traced the distinctive letters and spelled out the names. The water was chilling and was beginning to numb my fingers. Tears rolled down my face as the water streamed over the fountain. I was sobbing uncontrollably as I cried like no one was watching me.
I had never been interested in the Civil Rights Movement during my first two years in high school. Continue reading Personal Statement Example
This is part I in a three-part series on how to format a personal statement or application essay.
Continue reading How to Format Your Personal Statement