Optional Diversity Statements?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Optional Diversity Statements?

Postby lsatextreme » Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:40 am

So I have somewhat marginal stats for the schools i'd like to go to and I know I should try to answer optional prompts, but if those schools have optional diversity statements, should I be trying to do those EVEN THOUGH I hadn't planned on doing one? I know that doing a diversity statement isn't for everyone, but does that apply for even someone who should be doing optional prompts if at all possible?

I mean, I COULD write one but I just don't know how well I could write it, since honestly, I can't really think of something that would be relevant for me to disclose in a DS.

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Re: Optional Diversity Statements?

Postby fundamentallybroken » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:09 am

Do you have something not already shown in your PS or application materials that would help an adcomm determine how you would increase the class diversity? I mean, are you URM, disabled, older, anything besides just someone finishing up their undergrad? If yes, write one and submit. Since you're marginal, it can only help. If you're just going to write something like, "I will increase class diversity because I spent a summer teaching in Costa Rica" skip it - everyone's done that.

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Re: Optional Diversity Statements?

Postby verklempt » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:31 am

Agree with fundamentally. Another category would be socioeconomic -- if you grew up in extreme poverty, for example. If you "can't really think of something" then don't do it. You'll just look silly.

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Re: Optional Diversity Statements?

Postby MrSparkle » Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:01 am

I wrote about a unique project I did that ties into my ethnicity (non-URM) which won an award. I think it really helped me stand out. So it doesn't have to tie into any disadvantages.

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Re: Optional Diversity Statements?

Postby birdlaw117 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:22 am

I agree with the above posters' sentiments that you can write a DS on a variety of topics. However, if you can't come up with a good topic, DON'T WRITE ONE. You don't want to come off as someone who answers every optional prompt, even if it doesn't apply to them. This screams gunner, and adcomms don't like admitting gunners (everyone loves to be able to say their school doesn't have gunners and it isn't competitive).

Basically, there is a lot of flexibility as far as the topic for a DS, but don't try and stretch something into a DS if it has no business being one.

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