One of the many challenges of applying to college or graduate school is showing the admissions committee how you’ll fit in and stand out. Adcoms are trying to build student bodies that will work cohesively towards shared goals and ideals, but that come from different backgrounds and with different ideas so that the combined educational, social, and professional experience is rich with diversity. How will you contribute to your target school’s diversity? How will you express that diversity in a compelling personal statement?
Full video transcript
You are applying to top graduate and professional schools and you’re stumped: You have to write the dreaded Diversity Essay. How can you do so when you aren’t a member of an underrepresented minority and haven’t overcome serious social ills?
Classic diversity question: How will you contribute to the diversity of our class or community?
Problem: You are a member of an overrepresented (or at least well-represented) group in the applicant pool. You assume that only members of underrepresented minorities or those who have overcome significant socioeconomic challenges can effectively answer this type of question.
You’re frustrated because why should accidents of birth influence whether you are accepted or rejected? They don’t reflect on your qualifications at all. They shouldn’t lead to rejection and keep you from pursuing your dreams.
At Accepted, where we help applicants get accepted to their dream school, we know how frustrating this situation can be.
But we’ve developed a 3-part framework that will help you broaden your thinking about diversity so that you can write a persuasive diversity personal statement, even if you are from an overrepresented group.
3 IDs of Diversity
• I Dids or deeds
Identity who you are: This is the most commonly thought-of form of diversity. It certainly includes ethnicity or being a member of an underrepresented minority, but it is much more than that. It could be gender, sexual orientation, religious commitment, non-traditional education background, a particularly strong political commitment, etc.
I Dids or deeds: This refers to your accomplishments. Overcoming challenges. Leadership experiences. Community service. Military service, especially leadership. And much, much more.
Ideas: This is your distinctive approach or perspective. Big data anyone? Specific philosophy or perspective? Problem solver? And again there are many more ways that your ideas or perspective can bring diversity to a class and community.
For many more ideas and examples of each of the 3 IDs and to help you draft a persuasive diversity essay, download the Diversity Checklist.
The Diversity Checklist will act as a springboard and help you go from frustration to confidence as you creatively and authentically show how you can add diversity and value to your class while highlighting some of your most valuable achievements and talents. And of course, doing so leads to acceptance at your Top Choice U and pursuit of your dream career!
Need more personalized assistance? Work one-on-one with an admissions expert who will help you with this essay and any other element of your application. Check out Accepted’s Admissions Consulting Services for more information on how we can help you get ACCEPTED.
• Fitting in and Standing Out: The Paradox at the Heart of Admissions, a free guide
• Different Dimensions of Diversity, a podcast episode
• Approaching The Diversity Essay Question