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Is a good personal statement enough to get admitted?

user_9460191user_9460191 6 replies1 threads New Member
My record shows that I'm a fairly good student I think, I have a 4.0 for both my freshman and junior year, and my senior year will most likely be as well. Sophomore year, however, I had some issues with my mental health (to the point of hospitalization) and I was failed for almost all classes that year, dropping my gpa to a 2.4. I've gotten it back up to around a 3 and will continue to raise that my senior year of high school. My SAT score was a 1300, evenly split for both parts although results aren't required due to covid-19. I plan on elaborating on the failing year in my personal statement, I would've had a 4.0 overall if it wasn't for that. I'd be an out of state students, but I'll also be a first gen college student, I'm low income, and I'm part of the lgbt community which helps add to the diversity. I wouldn't be as worried if I hadn't been failed that year, but now I'm concerned that a well written personal statement might not be enough to get in. If not I have other schools in mind and will most likely transfer to UW later on, but I wanted to see what other people thought.
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Replies to: Is a good personal statement enough to get admitted?

  • UWHusky652UWHusky652 40 replies0 threads Junior Member
    essays are a huge factor when they look at your application. if you lack something stats-wise you can definitely make up for it in your essays. just make your essays/application clearly show who you are and what you want to achieve. good luck!
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3501 replies80 threads Senior Member
    No, a great essay will not make up for poor grades. However, given OP's extenuating circumstances in one year and excellent performance in the rest, there is certainly hope. I would ask your guidance counselor to mention sophomore year in his/her letter of recommendation. Whether or not to discuss it in a primary essay depends on other factors. You can always mention the details in the "anything else we should know" section. Your other essays should help the college get to know you and sell you as an applicant. If the essay you write on your sophomore experience doesn't sell you to the college in a positive way, write about that year elsewhere.
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  • user_9460191user_9460191 6 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you for your response! If I decide to talk about it in my essay, I plan on framing it as an obstacle I've faced and managed to overcome, to show that I've been through something rough and it's made me a stronger person in the end. Do you think this would be a good idea?
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  • UWHusky652UWHusky652 40 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I will be attending UW in the fall and there have been several students from my high school in previous years that have been accepted with stats below UW’s average so you definitely have a shot.
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  • AroundHereAroundHere 3602 replies22 threads Senior Member
    If you are low-income and out of state, it doesn't matter how good your essay is. You will not be able to afford UW. Sorry. Run net price calculators before you apply anywhere if you are low income. You will be shocked at hwo different the prices can be.
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  • vannevkavannevka 51 replies1 threads Junior Member
    No, a great essay will not make up for poor grades. However, given OP's extenuating circumstances in one year and excellent performance in the rest, there is certainly hope. I would ask your guidance counselor to mention sophomore year in his/her letter of recommendation. Whether or not to discuss it in a primary essay depends on other factors. You can always mention the details in the "anything else we should know" section. Your other essays should help the college get to know you and sell you as an applicant. If the essay you write on your sophomore experience doesn't sell you to the college in a positive way, write about that year elsewhere.

    They do not take recommendation letters. UW places most emphasis on grades, course rigor and essays. If you have another dimension you want to highlight in your main essay, there is also an area where you can write about extenuating circumstances so you could write about your sophomore year there. That way they can get a multi dimensional view of you.
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  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3714 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I also don’t see how this OOS public will be affordable for a student from a low-income family.
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  • UWHusky652UWHusky652 40 replies0 threads Junior Member
    UW has a purple & gold scholarship specifically for out of state students and through FAFSA they can get financial aid.
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  • CCEdit_SurajCCEdit_Suraj 113 replies179 threads Editor
    @user_9460191 You may be able to find your answer in general in this recent article from College Confidential, which covered this topic in depth. You can read it here: https://insights.collegeconfidential.com/application-essay-tips-college-admission-officers
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  • Wmd818Wmd818 63 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Hey! A good essay can definitely make up for grades in your case. Every university has a handful of students accepted with lower stats because of these cases or stories. With access to your transcript and an explanation of what happened your sophomore year, they should be able to see how you would typically perform in academics with the exception of the one year. Though your SAT is slightly below the target range but a 4.0 should make up for that as well. Is it Weighted or unweighted?Make sure you write your essay from heart, but also do not make it seem like you are making excuses for yourself. Your plan for your essay sounds great! But do not forget to include EC's in the essay as well. In the end, if not accepted, I believe an appeal explaining the situation in more detail may also work.

    And in response to @CheddarcheeseMN 's comment, that is of course also an issue, if no scholarships are awarded it may be hard to afford. However taking a loan and applying for scholarships outside of the university can help you afford this pricey university. Some websites like Cappex, ****, and the link below are helpful resources in finding scholarships you can apply for.

    https://admit.washington.edu/costs/scholarships/#transfer
    (most transfer scholarships are for WA residents) However below on the page, they have more resources you can use!

    Apply for as many as you can. You can also look for on campus jobs to help pay. I know many comments or people say or will say its impossible to pay for if you come from a low-income family. Though I do recommend staying in-state or other universities with scholarships, if Udub is your top choice, it is possible to pay off. It will be hard but paying off your loans will not be as hard as other universities as the UDub has some of the most employable alumni directly out of undergrad!

    In addition, transfer competition to the Udub for OOS students especially OOS students from other 4 year institutions is competitive. (I plan on transferring too, COVID-19 made me stay in-state. Average GPA of applicants is 3.5 but for students in our situation, the average is 3.7 as well as nearing about 90 transferable quarter credits. If you plan on transferring as a sophomore and have less than 40 transferrable credits, I believe you must send Do not forget EC's, sign up and join as many on campus organizations to make your application stand out.
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  • Wmd818Wmd818 63 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Hey! A good essay can definitely make up for grades in your case. Every university has a handful of students accepted with lower stats because of these cases or stories. With access to your transcript and an explanation of what happened your sophomore year, they should be able to see how you would typically perform in academics with the exception of the one year. Though your SAT is slightly below the target range but a 4.0 should make up for that as well. Is it Weighted or unweighted?Make sure you write your essay from heart, but also do not make it seem like you are making excuses for yourself. Your plan for your essay sounds great! But do not forget to include EC's in the essay as well. In the end, if not accepted, I believe an appeal explaining the situation in more detail may also work.

    And in response to @CheddarcheeseMN 's comment, that is of course also an issue, if no scholarships are awarded it may be hard to afford. However taking a loan and applying for scholarships outside of the university can help you afford this pricey university. Some websites like Cappex, ****, and the link below are helpful resources in finding scholarships you can apply for.

    https://admit.washington.edu/costs/scholarships/#transfer
    (most transfer scholarships are for WA residents) However below on the page, they have more resources you can use!

    Apply for as many as you can. You can also look for on campus jobs to help pay. I know many comments or people say or will say its impossible to pay for if you come from a low-income family. Though I do recommend staying in-state or other universities with scholarships, if Udub is your top choice, it is possible to pay off. It will be hard but paying off your loans will not be as hard as other universities as the UDub has some of the most employable alumni directly out of undergrad!

    In addition, transfer competition to the Udub for OOS students especially OOS students from other 4 year institutions is competitive. (I plan on transferring too, COVID-19 made me stay in-state. Average GPA of applicants is 3.5 but for students in our situation, the average is 3.7 as well as nearing about 90 transferable quarter credits. If you plan on transferring as a sophomore and have less than 40 transferrable credits, I believe you must send Do not forget EC's, sign up and join as many on campus organizations to make your application stand out.
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  • Wmd818Wmd818 63 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Hey! A good essay can definitely make up for grades in your case. Every university has a handful of students accepted with lower stats because of these cases or stories. With access to your transcript and an explanation of what happened your sophomore year, they should be able to see how you would typically perform in academics with the exception of the one year. Though your SAT is slightly below the target range but a 4.0 should make up for that as well. Is it Weighted or unweighted?Make sure you write your essay from heart, but also do not make it seem like you are making excuses for yourself. Your plan for your essay sounds great! But do not forget to include EC's in the essay as well. In the end, if not accepted, I believe an appeal explaining the situation in more detail may also work.

    And in response to @CheddarcheeseMN 's comment, that is of course also an issue, if no scholarships are awarded it may be hard to afford. However taking a loan and applying for scholarships outside of the university can help you afford this pricey university. Some websites like Cappex, ****, and the link below are helpful resources in finding scholarships you can apply for.

    Search up UW scholarships for transfers and press the link from the official UW website. I can not post the link unfortunately. But it should be the first page to pop up.
    (most transfer scholarships are for WA residents) However below on the page, they have more resources you can use!

    Apply for as many as you can. You can also look for on campus jobs to help pay. I know many comments or people say or will say its impossible to pay for if you come from a low-income family. Though I do recommend staying in-state or other universities with scholarships, if Udub is your top choice, it is possible to pay off. It will be hard but paying off your loans will not be as hard as other universities as the UDub has some of the most employable alumni directly out of undergrad!

    In addition, transfer competition to the Udub for OOS students especially OOS students from other 4 year institutions is competitive. (I plan on transferring too, COVID-19 made me stay in-state. Average GPA of applicants is 3.5 but for students in our situation, the average is 3.7 as well as nearing about 90 transferable quarter credits. If you plan on transferring as a sophomore and have less than 40 transferrable credits, I believe you must send Do not forget EC's, sign up and join as many on campus organizations to make your application stand out.
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  • Wmd818Wmd818 63 replies7 threads Junior Member
    why on earth are there three 😑
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  • AroundHereAroundHere 3602 replies22 threads Senior Member
    Mgkarlsvik wrote: »
    UW has a purple & gold scholarship specifically for out of state students and through FAFSA they can get financial aid.

    No! No! No!

    The Purple and Gold Scholarships do not even cover the cost difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition.

    Through the FAFSA, you can get a Pell grant (max about 6K if you are desperately poor) and a loan (max 5500K).

    The main financial aid program for low income students at UW, Husky Promise, is for in-state ONLY.

    At some schools, you can save a lot of money by living off campus. The rents in Seattle are HIGH.
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  • UWHusky652UWHusky652 40 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I’m aware that the Purple & Gold scholarship doesn’t cover tuition. However, I’m sure it would help. I was only giving suggestions because I don’t believe that cost should be a reason that someone can’t go to their dream school.
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  • user_9460191user_9460191 6 replies1 threads New Member
    AroundHere wrote: »
    Mgkarlsvik wrote: »
    UW has a purple & gold scholarship specifically for out of state students and through FAFSA they can get financial aid.

    No! No! No!

    The Purple and Gold Scholarships do not even cover the cost difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition.

    Through the FAFSA, you can get a Pell grant (max about 6K if you are desperately poor) and a loan (max 5500K).

    The main financial aid program for low income students at UW, Husky Promise, is for in-state ONLY.

    At some schools, you can save a lot of money by living off campus. The rents in Seattle are HIGH.

    I've already come to terms with the fact I'm most likely going to have to take out a loan no matter where I go, and I'm okay with that. I won't be an OOS student the entire time, I'm moving there for reasons other than education at the same time and will be applying for in-state tuition as soon as I can after becoming a legal resident of Washington. I have other schools I'm looking at, UW is just my top choice as they have an amazing astronomy program, with a program specifically for groups like low income and first gen students, and I planned on moving to Washington anyways for personal reasons. If I can't afford it I'll settle for another college, but right now I'm focusing on if I'll get accepted.
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  • whidbeyite2002whidbeyite2002 304 replies1 threads Member
    edited June 15
    @user_9460191, you have received good advice here. I have known students with higher stats who have been waitlisted and students with lower stats who have been accepted, so the rest of your application, especially your essays, is very important. Truly paint a picture of who you are in your essays. And diversity is very important to UW; included in your application is an essay specifically addressing diversity. Wishing you the absolute best with your application. I was a first-generation college student from a large, low-income family. I know you can do this.
    edited June 15
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 9985 replies386 threads Senior Member
    @mgkarlsvik: I don’t believe that cost should be a reason that someone can’t go to their dream school.

    Cost is the driving factor in most families' college selection. Students can only borrow ~$5500/year, and that's not enough to cover OOS costs, and moving to a state isn't enough to get in state tuition in most states. Some colleges offset outside grants by reducing their aid by the same amount, so getting outside grants doesn't always help much either. A letter from the guidance counselor might help with admissions, but finances are the biggest challenge.

    OP needs to start with finding safety schools (schools they can for sure get into, afford, and would be happy to attend). Then they can add matches and a couple reach schools.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 2064 replies25 threads Senior Member
    I won't be an OOS student the entire time, I'm moving there for reasons other than education at the same time and will be applying for in-state tuition as soon as I can after becoming a legal resident of Washington.
    Unless your parents are moving, that is highly unlikely to happen. Even if you are independent (also unlikely), you cannot establish residency taking more than 7 credits per quarter.
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  • AroundHereAroundHere 3602 replies22 threads Senior Member
    AroundHere wrote: »
    I've already come to terms with the fact I'm most likely going to have to take out a loan no matter where I go, and I'm okay with that. I won't be an OOS student the entire time, I'm moving there for reasons other than education at the same time and will be applying for in-state tuition as soon as I can after becoming a legal resident of Washington. I have other schools I'm looking at, UW is just my top choice as they have an amazing astronomy program, with a program specifically for groups like low income and first gen students, and I planned on moving to Washington anyways for personal reasons. If I can't afford it I'll settle for another college, but right now I'm focusing on if I'll get accepted.

    Students generally cannot get larger loans than the 5500 I mentioned above without a cosigner. Do you have someone with enough income and credit rating to cosign a large loan each year?

    If you truly want to move to Washington for reasons other than education, the best way to do that is to move to Washington without applying to UW first, get a job and work for a year, then apply to school. Even then, starting at a community college is going to be your most affordable bet. (Check out Bellevue College - they have a planetarium and good pre-UW math/physics.)

    Even if you do all that, you still don't get the biggest in-state low-income scholarship, which is called Washington College Bound and requires you to attend 8th-12th grades in Washington. https://wsac.wa.gov/college-bound

    Good luck to you.
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