Need help explaining extensive breaks in UG

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Anonymous User
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Need help explaining extensive breaks in UG

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:28 am

I was a married father before I was old enough to vote. Due to work requirements, I took classes when I could over a period of 10 years. How do I explain this in a way that doesn't sound like I'm making excuses for my nontraditional path? Thanks in advance.

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Domke
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Re: Need help explaining extensive breaks in UG

Postby Domke » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:25 pm

First of all I would stop thinking about it as a way to explain the gaps. Just describe an event that involved being a young father and working full time. Possibly an instance where you had to balance being a father, student, and work. The ADCOM people are smart enough to figure out why you weren't in school full time. If you want to explain the gaps do it with an addendum to your transcripts.

Anonymous User
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Re: Need help explaining extensive breaks in UG

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:53 pm

Natem137 wrote:First of all I would stop thinking about it as a way to explain the gaps. Just describe an event that involved being a young father and working full time. Possibly an instance where you had to balance being a father, student, and work. The ADCOM people are smart enough to figure out why you weren't in school full time. If you want to explain the gaps do it with an addendum to your transcripts.


Awesome! Thank you very much!

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oxie
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Re: Need help explaining extensive breaks in UG

Postby oxie » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:46 pm

Natem137 wrote:First of all I would stop thinking about it as a way to explain the gaps. Just describe an event that involved being a young father and working full time. Possibly an instance where you had to balance being a father, student, and work. The ADCOM people are smart enough to figure out why you weren't in school full time. If you want to explain the gaps do it with an addendum to your transcripts.


Ehhh, not sure about this approach. I took a semester-long leave of absence for medical reasons and I'm finding that a lot of schools ask for a brief (500 words CHARACTERS or less) explanation of post-high school education gaps. I don't think they're looking for something poetic here -- just something that succinctly explains that you were a non-traditional student with work and family obligations who was not able to continuously attend school full-time.

I do think that the sort of statement Natem suggested could work very well for a personal statement or diversity statement, though!
Last edited by oxie on Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Need help explaining extensive breaks in UG

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:25 am

oxie wrote:
Natem137 wrote:First of all I would stop thinking about it as a way to explain the gaps. Just describe an event that involved being a young father and working full time. Possibly an instance where you had to balance being a father, student, and work. The ADCOM people are smart enough to figure out why you weren't in school full time. If you want to explain the gaps do it with an addendum to your transcripts.


Ehhh, not sure about this approach. I took a semester-long leave of absence for medical reasons and I'm finding that a lot of schools ask for a brief (500 words or less) explanation of post-high school education gaps. I don't think they're looking for something poetic here -- just something that succinctly explains that you were a non-traditional student with work and family obligations who was not able to continuously attend school full-time.

I do think that the sort of statement Natem suggested could work very well for a personal statement or diversity statement, though!


Thank you! It is the basis for my PS so revisiting it in the 500 word explanation would likely be overkill.

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oxie
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Re: Need help explaining extensive breaks in UG

Postby oxie » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:48 am

Shoot, meant to say that several schools require an explanation with a limit of 500 CHARACTERS, not 500 words. So I do think you'll need a brief addendum to explain that you were a non-traditional student (and you can end it with something like "For more information about my family obligations, please refer to my personal statement.")




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