UC Personal Statement Tips

Personal Insight Questions: Guide for Transfer Applicants

What are the personal insight questions? These questions are about getting to know you better-your life experience, interests, ambitions and inspirations.  Think of it as your interview with the admissions office.  Be open.  Be reflective.  Find your individual voice.  This is your opportunity to tell us about yourself.

Why is the personal statement so important?

  • Enriches and completes your application;
  • Helps provide context to the rest of your application;
  • Provides supplemental information that allows admissions staff to discover and evaluate distinctions among applicants whose academic records are often very similar;
  • May be used by the Scholarships Office in consideration for an award.

Technical Information:

  • Each response is limited to 350 words.
  • Avoid the use of special characters.
  • Feedback and suggestions from others are useful, but you are responsible for writing the Personal Statement.

Personal Statement Prompts:  These questions are about getting to know you better.  There is one required question (see below) you must answer, and you will need to answer 3 out of 7 additional questions.

Required QUESTION: Please describe how you have prepared for your intended major, including your readiness to succeed in your upper division courses once you enroll at the university.


Additional Questions (Personal Insight Guide for Transfer Applicant): Which three questions you choose to answer of the seven are up to you.  We suggest you select questions that are most relevant to your experience and that best reflect your individual circumstances.  All questions are given equal consideration in the application review process, which means there is not advantage or disadvantage to choosing a certain question over others.


Suggestions for Writing the Personal Statement:

  • Answer the question. Take time and think about each prompt before you start writing. Use details and examples to make your point. Use your words strategically; is there a reason behind your example? Write to add context and depth, not to fill space.
  • Give yourself time to edit. Start writing to answer each prompt, then go back and review the word count, content, and overall message. You may not have space to tell them everything so make your words count.
  • Write persuasively. Present your information and ideas in a focused, deliberate and meaningful manner. Provide specific, concrete examples to support your point. A personal statement that is simply a list of qualities or accomplishments usually is not persuasive.
  • Solicit feedback. Your personal statement should reflect your own ideas and be written by you alone, but others — family, teachers and friends — can offer valuable suggestions. Ask advice of whomever you like, but do not plagiarize from sources in print or online and do not use anyone's published words but your own.
  • Compose your personal insight questions in a word-processing program. Don't type it directly into the application. This way, you will have the opportunity to print copies for review, utilize spell check, and word count.
  • Proofread. In addition to checking your spelling, be sure your grammar is correct and your essays flow smoothly.
  • Copy and paste. Once you are satisfied with your essays, save them in plain text and paste them into the space provided in the application. Proofread once more to make sure no odd characters or line breaks have appeared.
  • Relax. This is one of many pieces of information the UC considers in reviewing your application. An admission decision will not be based on your personal statement alone.

Additional instructions for active-duty or veterans of the U.S. Military

Military service members need to meet the same admissions requirements and application deadlines as all of our applicants. It’s important to apply on time, so make sure you know our application dates & deadlines.

Once you’re ready to apply, here are some tips for filling out the undergraduate application:

  • Military status: You can indicate your military status in the “About You” section. This information will help staff connect you with veterans resources on our campuses.
  • Military courses: You must report all colleges you've attended and coursework you’ve taken (including DLI, CCAF, University of Maryland, U.S. Naval Academy, etc.), regardless of the grades you received or whether you want to receive credit for the courses.
  • Military transcripts: If you completed courses offered by a U.S. military branch, you may indicate your intention to submit your military transcript by checking the box in the "About You" section of the application. If you are admitted and accept an offer of admission, you can then submit official military transcripts (e.g., ACE, SMAART, JST) to the UC campus for evaluation of possible transfer credit.
  • Personal insight questions: Because UC is interested in knowing about your or a family member's military service, you may wish to use a response to one of the personal insight questions to communicate the following:
    • Describe how your military service has been instrumental in developing your educational plans.
    • Indicate if you're affiliated with the military, such as the spouse or dependent of someone who is on active duty or a current participant in an ROTC-type program.

How does your military service factor into admission decisions?

Your veteran status is a factor considered in our review process, known as comprehensive review. Our admissions officers will evaluate your academic accomplishments in light of your life experiences, including your experience in the military.

Apply for financial aid: Oct. 1 – March 2

You should apply for financial aid every year. Your eligibility for federal financial aid won’t be affected by your GI Bill benefits. Our campus financial aid and veterans services staff can help you get all of the benefits for which you qualify.

See tips to help you maximize your student financial aid.

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Last Modified Oct 23, 2018