How to Showcase Your Diversity in Your College Essay

200394126-001College campuses are striving to increase the diversity of their classes each year, believing that diversity enhances the multiple perspectives that a liberal arts education develops, as well as expanding knowledge and preparing students for life in a global community.

So what does this mean to you? This information can be used as an advantage in your college application; it is crucial that you demonstrate that you’ll bring something unique to campus and help create a microcosm of our diverse planet.

Using your individuality in your application could potentially unlock numerous opportunities. Here are some factors that could really provide that interesting feel to your application and you should strongly consider incorporating them into your application if they are applicable:

  • Being from another country – Having students from across the globe is the easiest way for a college to demonstrate diversity. Colleges value having a mixture of backgrounds in order for students to see the world through different perspectives. For example, in a politics lecture, students who have experienced different government systems can bring a unique viewpoint to the class which aids the learning of all students and ensures that classes are always fresh.
  • Students with diverse cultural backgrounds – A varied student population creates a more exciting learning environment. A good tip for an essay is to compare your own background with what you expect to experience at college. This highlights your special attribute and also your ability to research the college (and being smart enough to fit the pieces together).
  • Students with foreign parents or family – These obviously have an impact on your life, so use it to talk about blending your own culture into American culture (something that you’ll continue to do at college to bring a new variation on celebrations e.g. serving flan with turkey at Thanksgiving). Remember you are still considered Hispanic, for example, if your grandparent was born in a Latin country. This is part of your identity and will add an additional lens to the way you see the world, so make sure your college sees this!
  • Economically disadvantaged students – College is no longer just for the privileged; Colleges are determined to recruit pupils from all socio-economic backgrounds, which is shown by the increase in targeted financial aid. Schools want to be represented by all backgrounds to create a greater learning environment and provide campus with even more opinions.
  • First generation students – These are defined as undergraduates whose parents never enrolled in postsecondary education. This can help you show how much going to college means to you, so consider including it in your essay or in the extra information section. Your life would probably have been different if your parents had attended college, so draw on this and explain how it has influenced your life.
  • Courageous students – You can demonstrate this in a variety of ways and colleges want students who have taken risks and will continue to do so in their academic careers. For an international student this is easy; you can discuss your choice to study abroad or excitement to embrace a new culture. If you aren’t an international student, you can still highlight courage in your application, for example, through a problem you’ve solved or an internship you’ve undertaken.

My best tip:

The most important thing to do in your application is to be honest and be yourself. By doing this, you will write an essay that only YOU can write and this is vital to succeed in the admissions pool. Don’t ever try and emulate another application because you think that it is what your university wants (it isn’t). Admissions officers want to see the real you in your application in a way that makes you stand out from every other applicant, they don’t want any replicas. Prove to them that your individuality will strengthen their alumni network and ensure you will go on to have a lasting impact in both campus and global communities.

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