To what extent do your personal statements matter?

<p>So basically right now my stats aren't too hot:
10-11: 3.0 UW 3.46 W 3.35(?) UC Capped
SAT: 1740 M-640 W-540 R- 560
ACT: Taking in Dec (Hoping for super high score... around 28-30?)</p>

<p>How much do essays matter? I believe that my extra cirriculars are quite strong. I run my own business, business camp taught by Haas instructor and rotary, marketing internship, varsity sport for 4 years, martial arts for 8 years, tons of martial arts awards etc etc etc. </p>

<p>I'm planning on writing about my business, and lets say i write very strong essays. Can that make a difference in my admission chances? Any chance at mid-tier UCs? UCI/UCD and or UCB/UCLA?</p>

<p>UC's also take into account the competitive nature of your school, as well as your courseload.</p>

<p>Your stats are below average for mid-tiers. People say essays can make or break you, but in my opinion, unless your essays are just outstanding and nothing short of spectacular, then it will not have a significant impact.</p>

<p>Your EC's are quite strong, but do you also hold any leadership positions in any clubs? Have you taken any thought into creating a martial arts club at your school (if it doesn't exist)? Admissions love to see these things. </p>

<p>You say you run your own business, but are the revenues impressive for a high-school student? Or is it something that anyone with a bit of spare time can do on their own?
They love to see #'s. Perhaps you can talk about your sales, or the number of clients you have taken on, or the sacrifices you had to made for your business, or etc. I'm sure you have better ideas than me.</p>

<p>I can't say for the higher tiers like la & cal, as I only feel doubt, but for the mid-tiers, I can see it happen. Just remember that admissions at UC's can be unpredictable.</p>

<p>
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People say essays can make or break you, but in my opinion, unless your essays are just outstanding and nothing short of spectacular, then it will not have a significant impact.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I have to agree. If the UCs really want to get a feel for your personality, they'll ask for letters of rec.
The essay is a chance for people to argue they're more then just numbers. Really, I think its a sanity check. Just don't write about something that will give the adcom some reason to think you might be suicidal/crazy/etc. </p>

<p>Looking back on essays my (and the ones my friends wrote), they were all terrible. People who got into Cal/LA were just as bad as people who got into Riverside. Most of our admissions were determined by our numbers.</p>

<p>@ junshik. I see what you're trying to say. So both essays must be extremely outstanding! What if I'm more passionate about my business/business life, and have only a descent second essay? </p>

<p>In my essay I wrote about how I run and single handely start a business that makes $4k a month and i've served over 1000 clients. And I also talked about how it gave me time management skills, and helped me appreciate the importance of education, then i talked about how with the valuable lessons learned from the business, my GPA rose significantly while growing my 2k sales revenue to 4k all during junior year. </p>

<p>Having people go through my essay, they mainly comment that they never knew that i ran a business, or that's impressive, or it's a really contentful/interesting essay. They've never said that it was well written or anything liek that etc. So... I'm not quite sure if my essay is considered "outstanding"</p>

<p>Leadership roles is mainly being captain of the badminton team during junior year. And maybe a Student leader/ Teacher's assistant for martial arts class? </p>

<p>I also believe my school's API score is 5 and it's a public school. I took EVERY SINGLE AP/H course with the exception of lang/chem(because it's no longer offered). That's about 10 APs/Hs?</p>

<p>If you can illustrate the numbers of your business, and also tie it with what you've learned from it, how you managed to grow, how you incorporate it in your daily life, etc. etc., the essay will be strong.</p>

<p>You took many challenging courses, but what also matters is your rank. Which percentile are you in?</p>

<p>I would certainly give some mid-tiers a shot, but I think your best chance may come at UCSC, UCR, or UCM. As others have already said, your lowish GPA won't make you all that competitive at the mid-tier UCs and your essays/personal statements as well as ECs can only make up so much. </p>

<p>You should go to the link below, click on "Custom Tables", answer a few questions, and enter up to 3 "mean characteristics" at a time to see what the admit rates are for someone that has a similar profile to yours:</p>

<p>University</a> of California: StatFinder</p>