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How to address special circumstances in essay?

GlueEaterGlueEater Posts: 1,002Registered User Senior Member
How do you guys suggest going about 'excusing' grades and talking about difficulties in the Essay?

On the personal statement I have already written, I don't outright say "my brother was arrested, dropped out and fought with my parents until 3 in the morning so that's why my grades are bad". I kind of dance around it but never mentioning my grades? Bad thing or good thing? I have gotten a couple people suggesting I do jsut that and be straight forward about it. So what do you guys think?

I am going to apply through EOP, and on the UCSB site for EOP it says: Be sure to mention if you are the first in your family to pursue higher education, if your parents received educational degrees outside the U.S., or if you speak a language other than English in your home. .

And what do you guys think about this? While every single one of those things do apply to me (low income, first gen, first language not Eng etc) I don't talk about them in the essay? And I figure the income and parent education thing is on the app itself. Since I'm applying through EOP do you think I should do all this since this is what they want.

And lastly, does anyone want to read my essay and tell me if they think it's ok and apparent enough without me frankly listing everything that would qualify me for EOP? I realize that this is in the wrong section, but it really only applies to the UCs.

EDIT: Oh and in case anyone does volunteer to read the say, it's 900 words long, I plan to cut it to be about 700. This address' the first prompt. And I know beggers can't be choosers, but I'd rather readers who have more than 150 posts since in the past I've gotten a lot of unreturned replies (as in I sent it to them but never got a reply). So I'm a little gun shy, since it feel like they just stole my essay. And no 08ers for obvious reasons.
Post edited by GlueEater on

Replies to: How to address special circumstances in essay?

  • GlueEaterGlueEater Posts: 1,002Registered User Senior Member
    Bump? Anyone? I'd like to rewrite my essay soon.
  • collegemom16collegemom16 Posts: 4,257Registered User Senior Member
    May I suggest this to help you with editing.

    College Application Essays with ****
  • 99cents99cents Posts: 1,088Registered User Member
    GlueEater,
    Carolyn, a counselor from another forum said not to beat around the bush on your UC essay. Here is the info:
    The UC readers are looking for clear and to the point. They don't assign comp review points for big words; they don't especially care about some big creative build-up. In fact, most of the UC readers I've talked to have said they prefer when students cut to the chase and answer the prompt as directly as possible because it's easier for them to determine if the student deserves comprehensive review points.

    So, my advice is to spend a bit more time thinking about the prompt -- what EXACTLY is the personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution that is most important to you to convey to a UC reader and how does it relate to the person you are? Then write your answer in as direct a manner as possible. Don't waste words on unnecessary scene-setting. Just answer the prompt.

    This advice doesn't necessarily hold for essays for other schools, especially privates, who often appreciate a bit of well-done creativity (emphasis should always be on the WELL-DONE -- if you're not sure it's well done, the straight approach is almost always a better choice). Although keep in mind that if you were an admissions officer at a private school reading your 20th essay of the day, you'd probably appreciate clarity, directness, and an easy to understand point just like the UC readers do.
  • UC DavisUC Davis Posts: 1,196College Rep Senior Member
    Please do not “dance” around the issue. Please clearly state and discuss the issue. Since we can not assume information when reading the application “dancing” around the issue might not make the issue clear to the reader. It usually saves space to discuss other important information also.
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