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how important are optional statements, really?

Knowing my own privileges, I don't want to try to pad my application with essays that falsely interpret minor difficulties and set backs as "adversity." If I feel that my personal statement touches on what makes me stand out (international background, language fluency, etc.) should I bother writing a diversity statement or any other optional essay?


  • OldLadyKOldLadyK Alum Member
    396 karma

    I am a non-traditional applicant (old) and am not planning on writing any extra essays because I, like you, feel that my personal statement and resume fill out my application plenty. I have also heard in many podcasts and webinars that if you write a diversity statement and it comes off as insincere or inconsequential, this can hurt rather than help you.

  • JoeyyyyyJoeyyyyy Member
    48 karma

    What @OldLadyK said about the diversity statement is true. From what I understand, however, is that optional essays are another way of adcoms gauging an applicant's interest in the school. A lot of schools offer multiple unique prompts i.e. "If you could create a non-profit org, what would it be and why?" Obviously, not writing one of these is not the end all be all, but it certainly could help. Take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I would highly recommend writing an optional essay if the school allows it.

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