2 The Personal Statement Adds clarity, depth and meaning to information collected in other parts of the UC applicationIs part of the comprehensive review process.
3 Purpose of the Personal Statement The UC personal statement is your chance to tell the University who you are and what is important to you.View this as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to introduce yourself in your own words.Take Your Time!!Be open. Be reflective. Find your individual voice and express it honestly.UC’s are looking for evidence of your intellectual curiosity and your interest in personal development.
4 A Message From UC Faculty While it is acceptable to receive feedback or helpful suggestions, applicants’ personal statements should reflect their own ideas and be written by them alone.Don’t let a parent write it for you!We can tell if it’s not student work…
5 Instructions There are two prompts. Students must respond to BOTH. Students respond to both questions.A maximum of 1,000 words totalStudents choose length of each response.If students choose to respond to one prompt at greater length, the shorter answer should be no less than 250 words.
6 Prompt #1Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations. This is about you, so focus on the dreams and aspirations. Don’t get caught up describing Rocklin.This prompt could read - “What are your dreams and aspirations and what is one thing that influenced them?”
7 Prompt 1 Tips“World" is a versatile term. What really makes up your "world"? Is it your team? The local animal shelter? Your grandmother's kitchen table? Your church? The pages of a book? Someplace where your imagination likes to wander?Focus on "how." How has your world shaped you? How do you connect your environment to your identity. Then project forward and imagine your future.Focus on you. You may have a brother with a disability who perseveres through life and is an inspiration to you, but remember this is your application, not his.Avoid the obvious. Thousands of students could write an essay about how their supportive parents helped them succeed. Make sure your essay is about you and isn't something that thousands of other students could have written.
8 Prompt #2Tell 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?This prompt could read: “Who are you, and what one thing are you most proud of that exemplifies who you are today?”
9 Prompt 2 TipsConsider what makes you proud. Then determine the experience, quality, accomplishment, etc. That lead to this.How has what you are writing about shaped you as an individual?Negative experience is okay as long as it is not a complaint or excuse and that something positive was gained that you are proud of.Write about something that is personally significant to you, not just what you think sounds impressive.
10 This is NOT an extension of the Personal Statement. Additional CommentsUse Additional Comments box for clarification, expansion on important details:Additional names/schools/transcript irregularityVisa issueAdditional exams taken or certificates earnedThis is NOT an extension of the Personal Statement.The University of California gives priority consideration to qualified veterans who apply for admission. Applicants are encouraged to use the personal statement to:(1) describe how military service has been instrumental in developing their educational plans(2) indicate if s/he is entitled to educational benefits as a result of military service or the service-connected death or disability of a parent or spouse, or(3) indicate if applicant is affiliated with the military such as, but not limited to, the spouse or dependent of someone who is on active duty or a current participant in an ROTC-type program.
11 Important Strategies Answer the prompt!! Avoid the list. Balance pride and humility. Don’t make excuses.Reveal your character.Get good feedback.
12 Be PersuasivePresent your information and ideas in a focused, deliberate and meaningful manner. Provide specific, concrete examples to support your point.Your job is to persuade the reader that you are a creative, ambitious, and unique individual who will contribute to the intellectual vitality and cultural life on campus.
13 Think Like an Admissions Reader Readers are friendly professionals who want to admit you.Readers are looking for answers to questions they have regarding the application.Readers are seasoned professionals who can spot baloney.Readers know nothing about you except what’s on your application.Remember you do not know your readers, so steer clear of divisive issues such as social issues, religion and politics.
14 Tips Don’t try to impress. Be sincere and write in your voice. Write to create and share the emotions of your passionEmbrace this opportunity for the readers to “meet” you. You want them to feel as though they know you.
15 Caution No sarcasm Don’t use offensive language Be careful with humor Avoid being “cute” or “perky”Don’t write about another person!Remember humility is much more pleasant that hubris.
16 Common Pitfalls FLUFF Better I have to admit that theater did notcome naturally to me, and I remember that felt remarkably self-conscious and nervous the first few times I set foot on stage. The first time I was on stage was in the eighth grade when my best friend talked me into auditioning for our school’s performance of the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.Theater did not come naturally to me, and I felt remarkably self-conscious and nervous the first few times I set foot on stage in the eighth grade. My best friend had talked me into auditioning for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.The length of your essay is limited and you want your words to be impactful, not filler.
17 Common Pitfalls Vague Better I like a lot of things about basketball. For one, the activity allows me to develop abilities that will help me in my future endeavors.Not only do I find basketball fun, but the sport has helped me develop my leadership and communication skills, as well as my ability to work with a team. As a result, my love of basketball will make me a better business major.Avoid words like “stuff”, “things”, “aspects”, “society”, etc.. They leave the reader guessing. Your essay should answer questions, not create them.
18 Common Pitfalls Clichés Better My brother is one in a million. If given a responsibility, he never falls asleep at the wheel. When others fail, he is not one to make a mountain out of a molehill. To make a long story short, throughout high school I have tried to emulate my older brother and I credit him with many of my own successes.Throughout high school, I have tried to emulate my brother. He takes his responsibilities seriously, yet he is generous when dealing with the shortcomings of others. This combination of reliability and graciousness makes others turn to him for leadership. My own successes in high school are due largely to my brother's example.Clichés diminish the essay's message and reveal the author's lack of creativity.
19 Common Pitfalls Verbose Better The game was spectacularly wonderful. I didn’t score the defining goal, but I did manage dexterously to pass the ball to my amazingly talented teammate who adroitly kicked it between the goalie’s desperately reaching fingers and the rigid frame of the right-hand corner of the goal.The game was close. I won't receive credit for our win, but I did pass the ball to my teammate who scored the winning goal. He shot the ball through the narrow space between the goalie's hands and the upper corner of the goal post.Strong verbs, not adjectives and adverbs, make your essay come to life. Two or three adjectives or adverbs in every sentence, are indications of an immature writer who is trying too hard to impress the reader.
20 Did you answer questions or create questions? Review your applicationRead your statementDid you create more questions?Did you answer questions?Did you show a theme?Did you demonstrate an ability to contribute to the vitality of a campus?
21 Always keep in mind…The readers will know nothing about you except what they will get from your application and your personal statement.It is critical that you read, and reread, your own writing then ask multiple people for feedback.DO NOT attempt to write a story intended to make the reader feel bad for you. Your goal should not be to try and gain admissions through pity. Mainly because it will not work. Your goal is to give the application reviewer concrete reasons for why they should accept you into their university.
22 Last Thing (from UCI)Don't stress out trying to write the ultimate personal statement. There is no single right way to write a personal statement that will guarantee your acceptance into a university. There is only the best personal statement you can write for yourself. As long as your personal statement gives a clear and accurate representation of who you are as a person, then you've accomplished your task. That is the best personal statement you can write.