The most important thing to remember when filling out the Personal Statement section of the UC Application is not to write out your essay on the website. There’s a 30 minute limit on every page of the application so make sure that you write your personal statement somewhere else then copy and paste it when you’re finished. Also, once you paste the text, be sure to remove any weird symbols that might accidentally pop up. You are given a total of 1,000 words to write two prompts. You can distribute the words however you like as long as neither essay is over 750 words or under 250 words. You don’t have to write exactly 1,000 words so if your total is only 900 and you said everything you had to say, that’s fine. For the Additional Comments section, be sure only to include extenuating circumstances or other important, additional information. This is not an opportunity to write another personal statement or include a resume. Remember, you don’t have to enter anything here. It won’t hurt your application. When you’re ready to submit, you should see a series of green lights telling you everything is filled out properly. Before you can submit, it takes you through a series of questions. You can submit your application as early as November 1st. Whatever you do, don’t wait until November 30th to submit. The server has a history of slowing down and it may prevent you from submitting your application on time. If possible, try to submit your application before Thanksgiving.
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The Activities and Awards section of the UC Application will help give admissions officers a better picture of who you are outside of the classroom. The Coursework Other Than A-G lets you enter non-traditional classes that you couldn’t enter in the academic history section, but formed an important aspect of your education such as a Drafting course in architecture or a PE Dance course. The Educational Prep program refers to any enriching academic program that you may have participated in, including academic summer camps. Community Work refers to any unpaid volunteer work that you’ve done. Don’t just describe the place that you volunteered at, try to highlight all the responsibilities that you had. For Work Experience, only enter jobs where you actually got paid. Unlike the Common Application, the Awards and Honors that you list can be both academic and non-academic on the UC Application. Lastly, for Extracurriculars, enter all the leadership positions that you had throughout high school. Remember, for each section, you’re only allowed to list a total for five items so choose wisely. Also, be as accurate as possible about the amount of hours you enter for each.
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