College & Beyond

Community Service

These questions appear on the University of California application. However, you will notice questions of this type on other applications as well.

The two main prompts for the Freshman UC Personal Statement are:

Prompt #1
Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how has your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

Prompt #2
Tell 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 sample answers Prompt #2 and describes, I believe, an experience, a contribution, a talent, an accomplishment, and a personal quality all in one essay!

Many students, in their high school careers, perform extensive community service projects and/or put in a large number of hours. How does a student discuss his or her involvement and make the essay stand out compared to tens of thousands of other students, who are applying?

I believe that this student does stand out because she not only describes her community-service project, but she also recognizes a new need, actively pursues her “jean project,” and takes pride in her ability to facilitate change.