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Personal Essays


1. Briefly describe your family's economic background. Include information about your financial challenges.
  • Who works at home? 1 parent/guardian, 2 parents/guardians.
  • Does your parent/guardian receive any government assistance? For how long have they received this?
  • Do you work to help with the family expenses?
  • Do you pay any of your own expenses? Phone? Clothes? Senior activities?
  • Is it hard for your family to pay the bills each month?
  • Do your parents ever need to ask for help from relatives or friends to pay bills?
  • Do you live in a house or apartment?
  • How many bedrooms are in the apartment?
  • Are you renting a room in the house or apartment?
  • Do you share a room with a sibling or other family member?
  • Do you have a room or sleep in the living room or somewhere else?

2. Why would you like to attend college? Discuss your career and personal goals. Are there any particular circumstances, school experiences, or persons that influenced your preparation or motivation to attend college
  • Are you the first person in your family to go to college?
  • What does going to college mean for you? What does this mean for your parents?
  • Is there anyone or any experience that you had that encouraged you to go to college?
  • What are your career goals?

3. Briefly discuss your academic background. Did you utilize any additional support at your high school, such as tutoring? Do your grades in high school and/or college reflect your academic ability or potential?
  • Did you ever go to any tutoring during the time you were in high school?
  • Do your grades reflect your ability or intelligence?
  • What help or support do you think you needed to get better grades?
  • How do you think that being a part of the EOP program will help you to be successful in college?
4. List any volunteer, extracurricular activities, or work experience in which you are or have been involved in the past two years.
  • List and/or describe your extra activities in school or in your community?
  • Have you played a sport?
  • Have you been involved in a club?
  • Have you had a leadership role in a club?
  • Have you had any work experience? If yes, how many hours each week?
  • Have you helped your family with babysitting or daily chores?
  • How many hours do you cook?/clean?/babysit siblings each day or week?
  • Which activities have enjoyed the most?
  • What have you learned from these activities?
  • Are these activities something you would like to continue in college?

5. Is there any additional information you would like EOP to consider in determining your admission to the program?
  • What is the reason that going to college is important to you?
  • Is there any challenge big or small that you have overcome in life and how does it motivate you to want to go to college, or pursue a particular career in life.
  • Why do think it is important for YOU to be a part of the EOP program?
  • Let the EOP program know something about you that sets you apart.
  • Do you have a unique, talent, skill or ability or circumstance that you would like to share?
  • Remember you have to let them know why they should choose you over someone else to be a part of the EOP Program
Personal Insight Questions
1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
4. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
6. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
8. Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?
5 tips for your Personal Essay
  1. Be yourself 
  2. Stay focused 
  3. Paint a picture
  4. Read out loud 
  5. Get an Editor