Now’s your chance to catch up on valuable information you may have missed during last week’s webinar, How to Get into Medical School with Low Stats. Med school applicants with low GPA and/or MCAT scores – you don’t want to miss this!
View How to Get into Medical School with Low Stats for free now!
I strongly urge you to watch the videos where Kellogg defines what it means by Think Bravely. The qualified applicants who show they profoundly identify with that mission will have the best chance of acceptance.
1. Resilience. Perseverance. Grit. Call it what you will…. Challenges can build character. Describe a challenging experience you’ve had. How were you tested? What did you learn? (450 words)
A perfect prompt for an essay showing that you take responsibility for you actions — even in challenging situations — and that you courageously face those challenges, deal with them, and grow from them.
The question asks you to describe one experience that you found challenging. I suggest you open with either a difficult moment or interaction, then describe what led up to it and continue with how you dealt with it. Reveal results both in terms of the situation and more importantly in terms of your personal character growth.
For more thoughts on resilience, please see Resilience: Moving On.
2. Leadership requires an ability to collaborate with and motivate others. Describe a professional experience that required you to influence people. What did this experience teach you about working with others, and how will it make you a better leader? (450 words)
This question reflects Kellogg’s emphasis on collaborative leadership. As in question 1, Kellogg is asking you to describe one experience. This time the school seeks a professional one where you influenced others. You can use a STAR framework for this response (Situation, Task, Action, Results). Start with the situation and simply describe what was going on. Then relate your group’s task and responsibility. How did you motivate the others to move in one direction? How did you influence and persuade? Finally what were the results for the group, but more importantly for you? What did you learn about leadership, collaboration, and influence?
While it isn’t a requirement and I can imagine instances where this may not be true, in general examples where you led by virtue of your stature and others’ respect for you will be more compelling than those where you led by virtue of station and title.
Re-Applicants Only: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)
No trick questions here. How are you a better candidate today than when Kellogg rejected you? Have you addressed weaknesses in your previous application? Check out MBA Reapplicant 101 — a lot of (free) resources.
Additional Information (Optional): If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)
This is a true optional question If necessary, use it to provide context for possible negatives. Take responsibility for mistakes if necessary and discuss what you have changed so that you don’t err in the same way again.
Keep this section short and to-the-point. Don’t be fooled by “No word count.”
• The Video Essays provide applicants with an additional opportunity to demonstrate what they will bring to our vibrant Kellogg community – in an interactive way. Each applicant will complete two short video essay questions. The questions are designed to bring to life the person we have learned about on paper.
• After submitting a completed application, each applicant will be asked to complete two Video Essay Questions. One will be about the candidate’s interest in Kellogg and the other will be a “getting to know you” type of question.
• There are 10 practice questions which candidates can complete as many times as they like to get comfortable with the format and technology. The practice questions and experience will simulate the actual video essay experience, so this is meant to be a useful tool and help applicants feel prepared.
• There is not an opportunity to re-do the answer to the official video essay questions. We encourage applicants to practice so they are comfortable with the format once it is time to complete the official questions.
• Candidates will have 20 seconds to think about their question and up to 1 minute to give their response.
• We estimate the Video Essays will take 30 minutes to complete – which includes time for set-up and answering all the practice questions.
To prepare for your webcam session, you need to practice for the experience of talking to a video camera with no responses from another human being. For tips on how to prepare and behave during the webcam session, please see Kellogg’s “Video Essay” on its Application Components page as well as my Tips for Video MBA Essay Questions.
If you would like professional guidance with your Kellogg MBA application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the Kellogg application.
|Round .||Due Date* .||Decisions Released|
|Round 1||September 24, 2014||December 17, 2014|
|Round 2||January 7, 2015||March 25, 2015|
|Round 3||April 1, 2015||May 13, 2015|
*Your application must be received by Kellogg no later than 5p.m. CT on the deadline for the round in which you are applying.
By Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.
We just wanted to give you a head’s up that we’ll be increasing our prices September 1.
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When coming up for material for your personal statement, it’s important that you ask yourself the following: Are there any weaknesses, any holes in my information, any questionable data that somebody may question about my application?
You don’t want your admissions reader getting to the end of your application and then asking, “But why was his GPA so low?” or “How does she think she’s competitive with no extracurricular activities?” If you answer their questions before they’re asked, then you’ll position yourself as a much stronger and more confident candidate, despite your weaknesses.
How can you anticipate their questions?
Get a friend, family member, or admissions consultant (like those of us here at Accepted) to review your application and highlight any potential weaknesses. Sometimes, as the subject of the application, you may not see these blemishes – recruiting an outside critic may be just what you need to pinpoint flaws so you can see them, and address them.
Tackle the issue!
Now you need to take a step back and be critical yourself. Was there a quarter or semester that you got some poor grades? That would need to be explained. Was there a reason why you were too busy for an arm’s length list of extracurricular activities? Explain what went wrong, what obstacle you faced, and how you worked to overcome that challenge. Addressing the improvements you made (boosting your GPA, retaking a class) is an excellent strategy for your personal statement. You really do want to emphasize the steps you took and the self-development and self-awareness that you gained as a result. Medical schools love to see that level of self-reflection in essays and that level of maturity.
Don’t Be Too Negative!
Tread carefully! It’s a mistake to focus exclusively on perceived weaknesses. You want to give the admissions committee positive reasons to accept you. Again, why are you going to make a great doctor as opposed to merely what are the weaknesses in your profile that may keep you out? What are the stories that you can tell? What experiences have you had that will tell somebody not just that you can claim, but that will tell somebody, “Hey, you have the qualities, the personal traits that will make a great doctor.” Frame your weaknesses as stepping stones for increased strength. Don’t be defensive; be confident that you were able to face your challenges and overcome them.
The advice in this post is based on a conversation we had in our recent webinar, Ask The Experts: Medical School Admissions Q&A with Cydney Foote and Alicia McNease Nimonkar. Check out the full transcript for more tips on applying to med school successfully!
If you’re applying for graduate admission and hope to receive funding, it is particularly important to pay attention to deadlines—your school’s deadlines for admission and aid consideration, any additional deadlines for scholarship materials, and any deadlines for funding from private sources or outside agencies.
Here are some things you should keep in mind:
1. Some programs that have rolling admissions will post an earlier deadline for full financial aid/scholarship consideration. Similarly, many programs with spring semester admission will only consider funding applications for fall admission—so make sure you take all deadlines into account if funding is important to you.
2. Take your tests (GRE, TOEFL, etc) with enough time for your scores to be processed and sent to your schools before the deadline. If you take a paper test, allow 6 weeks for delivery. For computer-based tests, 3 weeks is a safe guideline.
3. Allow plenty of time for your recommenders to submit their letters—and follow up to make sure all docs have been submitted and received. A polite thank you note, before your deadline, can serve as a gentle reminder to a busy recommender.
4. To qualify for need-based aid and federal student loans, file your FAFSA on time. States may have their own deadlines [fafsa.ed.gov].
5. If you are an international student, contact the financial aid office at your university for the appropriate forms to demonstrate financial aid eligibility. International students are not eligible for US federal student aid and do not use the FAFSA.
6. Many states have extended some financial aid eligibility and in-state tuition to undocumented students who meet certain requirements (see for example CA’s AB 540). If this is your situation, make sure you file the necessary paperwork before enrolling.
7. For each application you are working on—whether it’s for admission, scholarship funding, etc—make a checklist, with dates. Keep track of everything that you need to submit (transcripts, resume, letters of rec, essays, test scores), and when you have requested and/or uploaded each item.
Funding for graduate school may include scholarships, grants, loans, assistantships (such as teaching or research assistantships), fee remissions, or any combination of the above. While PhD programs often fund most or all of their students, it can be harder for Master’s students (or students in professional degree programs) to find funding. Do your research, and look for funding opportunities both at your university and through outside sources. Good luck!
By Dr. Rebecca Blustein, Accepted.com editor and former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Rebecca will be happy to assist you with your grad school applications.