Expressing diversity in the personal statement

The personal statement is your chance to stand out in the crowd. It is your opportunity to show what makes you unique. A wise applicant will use his or her personal statement to show what he or she can offer to the college by being one of its students. Colleges are very interested in having a diverse student body with several different points of view, so naturally they look to admit diverse applicants. Your personal statement is one of your best opportunities to show off how unique you are, so you should take advantage of it.The most important thing to realize is that we all have one-of-a-kind backgrounds with many diverse experiences. Whether distinguished by your race, ethnicity, religion, culture, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, or even your own personal life experiences, you always have something unique to offer. However, it is not simply enough to claim membership to a minority group and expect reward; you should discuss how it has affected your life.In other words, don't just say that your parents were immigrants, but explain how it has affected your access to resources. Don't just mention your disability, but explore the various ways you have had to overcome it. Don't just identify your race, but discuss a particular time you felt discriminated against. Don't just point out your sexual orientation, but tell a story about volunteering at an LGBT resource center. And so on. Colleges are savvy and aren't interested simply in what you are, but what you have done. Show them how your own personal diversity has played a part in your life, and how the experiences you've gained because of your minority status will be valuable to the college.Remember that colleges have a reason for selecting each applicant. Many times, it is simply because the student has the numbers to be picked. But a lot of times, a college will admit a student simply because it believes that he or she can add something unique to the student body that no other applicant could have. Figure out what that special part of you is and tell the college why they need someone like you. It could be the difference between acceptance and not.If you need some tips on how to best explore your diverse situation, e-mail me or leave a comment below.

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I am a white middle class male. I have always been so. I attended private grade school. As a white middle class male I am practically politically incorrect from birth. I was never poor, I never suffered from racism (except affirmative action) and I am completely able bodied. I am not a homosexual or a transexual. My parents were born americans and so was I. How should I approach a diversity personal statement? I am discriminated against for being who I naturally am, and it is too "traditional" to be considered diverse.

- andrew, 09/01/09 at 6:15 pm

I found this article really helpful. I am applying to some of the colleges in United States and so writing my personal statement these days. I would like to discuss my statement with you. Is it possible if i get your email address so that i could send you a detailed report on my situation.
Thank you

- Muhammad Usman, 06/04/11 at 10:01 am

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