Writing College Admissions Essays
As a transfer student, the essay is an important part of your admission application for the University and most private and out-of-state universities. The essay is not read in isolation but with all the information you provide in your application. It is your one chance to explain to college admissions readers why you are a good fit for their school.
This is where you become more than just another name it’s where you become an individual, and where you can share your personality, your goals, your experiences, and where you can explain any opportunities or obstacles that have affected your academic record
Common Application Essays
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
Please provide a statement (250 words minimum) that addresses your reasons for transferring and the
Objectives you hope to achieve, and attach it to your application before submission
You will write two essays in response to these prompts. The length of each response is up to you, but neither one should be less than 250 words nor the combination of both responses should not exceed 1,000 words.
Prompt #1. What is your intended major? Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had in the field — such as volunteer work, internships and employment, participation in student organizations and activities — and what you have gained from your involvement
Prompt #2. Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?
Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.
Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
Describe your favorite academic subject and explain how it has influenced you.
What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
What is the one thing that you think sets you apart from other candidates applying to the University of California?
Additional Comments (500 word maximum)
Prompt – Describe anything else that you have not had an opportunity to include elsewhere in your
Tips For Writing The Personal Statement
Allow time for reflection, thoughtful preparation and revision.
Choose a topic for both essays.
Look critically at the information in your application: your grades, awards, activities and work experience, family and income. Anticipate questions an admissions evaluator will have after reading your application. The personal statement is your opportunity to answer those questions.
Compose your personal statement in a word-processing program.
Don’t type it directly into the application. This way, you will have the opportunity to print copies for review.
Present your information and ideas in a focused, deliberate and meaningful manner. Provide specific, concrete examples to support your point. A personal statement that is simply a list of qualities or accomplishments usually is not persuasive
In addition to checking your spelling, be sure your grammar is correct and your essays flow smoothly.
Your personal statement should reflect your own ideas and be written by you alone, but others — family, teachers and friends — can offer valuable suggestions. Ask advice of whomever you like, but do not plagiarize from sources in print or online and do not use anyone’s published words but your own.
Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay
Don’t try to cover too many topics. This will make the essay sound like a résumé that doesn’t provide any details about you.
Do focus on one aspect of yourself so the readers can learn more about who you are. Remember that the readers must be able to find your main idea and follow it from beginning to end. Ask a parent or teacher to read just your introduction and tell you what he or she thinks your essay is about.
Don’t simply state a fact to get an idea across, such as “I like to surround myself with people with a variety of backgrounds and interests.”
Do include specific details, examples, reasons and so on to develop your ideas. For the example above, describe a situation when you were surrounded by various types of people. What were you doing? Whom did you talk with? What did you take away from the experience?
Don’t focus on the great aspects of a particular college, the amount of dedication it takes to be a doctor or the number of extracurricular activities you took part in during high school.
Writing College Admissions Essays
How to write College Admissions Essays
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