How important is the personal statement?

<p>Kinda of a noob question.. but how important is the personal statement along with your gpa for transferring to a UC?</p>

<p>For Berkeley and UCLA, they are SO important. Berkeley is notorious for saying that they admit stories, not just students. And my gpa is supremely average (3.7ish), so I can honestly say that it was my personal statements that got me in.</p>

<p>I think it also depends on how impacted your desired major is.</p>

<p>The personal statement is extremely important to UC Berkeley and UCLA, especially if you can demonstrate that you are a person who can persevere through challenges or show that you are incredibly passionate about your major. It is not as important to the other UCs, at least UCSD and UC Davis. Neither UCSD and UC Davis read personal statements last year. This might change for UCSD this year though, since they might start using a holistic approach to admissions as opposed to a point-system that. I don't know about the other UCs. Also -- I know you didn't ask this, but -- although GPA is important, the other most important factor for all of the UCs is that you complete your pre-reqs, and have will have junior standing when you transfer.</p>

<p>In my opinion the PS is EXTREMELY important! In my case, I'm positive it's what got me into EVERY SINGLE university I applied to. While I'm sure my PS did not make much of a difference for UCSD or CSULB, it was definitely 100% the deciding factor for my acceptance to UCLA and Berkeley.</p>

<p>Consider this: While I had a fairly good gpa of 3.85, I got a C in one of the MOST critical subjects for my major, Electrical Engineering. The course was Physics - Electricity & Magnetism. Not only was this course a pre-req, but it was the MOST directly related subject to my major of all courses I've taken. Subjectively speaking this had to look TERRIBLE!! I had all but written off Berkeley and had only a small hope at that point for UCLA ...and that's where the PS came in.</p>

<p>What I did, was give a solid explanation for the C, and it fit in perfectly with the other aspects of my Personal Statement - older student, working more than 40 hrs/week, overcame obstacles etc.</p>

<p>Very important for Berkeley, important for UCLA, hardly read elsewhere.</p>

<p>I was accepted to Berkeley as a 3.35 Political Science major, but rejected from UCLA even though I had TAP (and a 4.0 major GPA, and a 3.95 among my most recent 61 units). I'm firmly convinced it was my major-related work experience and personal statement that got me into Cal.</p>

<p>EDIT: Also, happy 1000th post to me!</p>

<p>Unless they're changing it for the 2012-2013 school year, the personal statement isn't important to UC Davis--in fact, according to [url=<a href="http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/counselors/files/cc10_transfermatrix_final.pdf%5Dthis%5B/url"&gt;http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/counselors/files/cc10_transfermatrix_final.pdf]this[/url&lt;/a&gt;], the personal statement wasn't even used as part of their decision process for Fall 2011 applicants. Same goes for UCR, UCSD, UCSB, and UCSC.</p>

<p>lmao @Victor</p>

<p>I really don't think that one C explanation would either make or break someone... it was probably your PS overall that encouraged your acceptance. Often, the people who read your application are not very well versed in your major and would have no idea that class was particularly important versus another pre-engineering course. They merely have a checklist they go by to make sure you completed what is required by your college/major. Your 3.8X is probably what got you in to every university. PS are usually only influential in borderline cases regarding GPA, impaction, etc.</p>

<p>(This, obviously, would be different concerning a series of poor grades/semesters.)</p>

<p>i don't think it's THAT important. my personal statements sucked. I re-used one of my statements that I applied with from high school and then rambled in my other essay explaining why my major fascinates me. lol. Btw, when I previously applied with my high school essay I got rejected from UCB and UCLA. After CC, I got in both of those schools. I think it's more about your gpa/grade trends/how impacted your major is/etc. etc.</p>

<p>It becomes important if you are a borderline candidate. also, if you are a science or engineering major, besides gpa, completion of pre-requisites is very important, especially for LA and Cal. they want you to start on your major courses right on after you transfer.</p>

<p>My essay absolutely got me into Cal, even though it was nothing special. I think it was more about how I put my... achievements, you could say, into perspective. Having a unique set of circumstances along this path coupled with interesting challenges along the way doesn't hurt either, I suppose.</p>

<p>Man, redo, nick, killmy, all you guys still on CC, I feel left out. I guess after that mod chastised me for language some time ago, I became bitter and resentful towards this forum and quit lurking as much. Plus theres my home forum, Calguns, which seems to take up all my time as far as internet forum talky time goes. But, my Cal brethren, if anyone wants to borrow a rifle and hit up the range, theres a great one in the hills sort of above campus. Its pretty fun, also good training in case civilization collapses, but I'll probably find some new hobbies now too, though... I just hope you aren't anti-Second Amendment. You can be liberal and still believe in individual freedom/ the right to bear arms. No wait, thats passing judgement, I don't even know you people or your political leanings, for all I know you could be fierce AnCaps or libertarians like me. Anyway, I'm tired, I'll stop rambling, good night. </p>

<p>And back on topic...</p>

<p>This is from the UC Campus Policies and Procedures for Evaluating California Community College Applicants (Transfer Matrix) for the Ensuring Transfer Success 2011 (it's a conference for community college counselors):</p>

<p>
[quote]
Does the campus use the personal statement in review of transfer applicants for UC admission? 9</p>

<p>Berkeley - Yes
Davis - No
Irvine - Yes
Los Angeles - Yes
Merced - Yes
Riverside - No
San Diego - No
Santa Barbara - No
Santa Cruz - No</p>

<p>9 While campuses vary in use of the personal statement, all use it to evaluate gaps in applicantsÂ’ educational history or in the evaluation of applicants for certain scholarships.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Source: <a href="http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/counselors/files/ETS11_TransferMatrix.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/counselors/files/ETS11_TransferMatrix.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>