Essay PreviewMore ↓
Selling Your Disability to the Admissions Office
"My father was an alcoholic, and I did anything I could to stay away from home. I chose that college because it was the farthest away. But I hated it there, and didn't do very well. Then I began to worry that I'd flunk out and have to go home, and of course my grades just got worse."
"My mother was a drug addict. She did everything a person might do to get money for drugs. Often we didn't have food in the house; if there wasn't money for both, drugs came first. I ran away when I was sixteen, and never even finished high school. They figured that out in my third year of college, and made me take an equivalency test."
"When my girlfriend got pregnant, we decided to keep the baby. I had to work two jobs to support us, three during the summer. So my grades aren't so hot."
"They found out I had bone cancer in my senior year of high school; I hurt my knee playing basketball, and it wouldn't heal. I've had six operations in six years, along with the chemotherapy. But it didn't interfere with my studies; what else could I do in the hospital anyway?"
Each of these cases was presented to me by my clients in the last few years. These clients all had two important things in common. The first is that they overcame incredible obstacles which would have completely demoralized many other people. The second is that, in every single case, the client was embarrassed by these events, and wanted to hide them.
"Why should I talk about my problems?"
Let's step back into the admissions office for a minute. The faculty committee is reviewing the files of two applicants. Both have a 3.0 g.p.a. and a 155 LSAT score. They're the same age and race, and both went to local colleges. But one is in good health, while the other has suffered from a lifelong kidney disease. They only have one seat left. Which applicant should they admit? They could toss a coin. Or they could decide that, in some cosmic sense, the person with kidney disease "deserves" the seat.
Now what if you're that person, but don't want to tell the law school about the kidney disease, because you don't want to sound like you're asking for favors?
How to Cite this Page
"College Admissions Essay - Selling Your Disability." 123HelpMe.com. 14 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- My Contribution to Disability Awareness It's 8 o'clock in the morning and the corridors of Mill Road Elementary are busier than Grand Central Station. The only difference is that Mill Road students are about a foot shorter and ten times more energetic than your average Grand Central Station commuter. In comparison with the dorm room I have just left, these walls are papered with hundreds of drawings and paintings. The hallways could compete with any modern gallery in terms of sheer bulk and some critics might argue for their content as well.... [tags: College Admissions Essays]
651 words (1.9 pages)
- This is Not the Perfect College Admissions Essay Choose the day, Choose the sign of the day. The day’s divinity, the first thing I see, a crazy world that beckons me. As I stand forth today in my infancy, I wish to seek— seek the knowledge which I must find for I must be in control of thee. The power to control oneself and the ones beside me, For if I not have the ultimate control rival that of Satan. This is the apocalypse. Apocalypse not of the world but that of my world, my inner feelings my dreams, my ambitions.... [tags: College Admissions Essays]
474 words (1.4 pages)
- College Admissions Essays - A Photograph Attach a small photograph (3.5 x 5 inches or smaller) of something important to you and explain its significance. At an age when my friends’ floors were strewn with toys, dirty clothes, or video-game cartridges, mine was smothered in paper of all sorts — books, magazines, reams of white and college-ruled, paper bags, paper airplanes. This pattern has survived, and it is representative of the way I live. The house of my life is built on a foundation of paper.... [tags: College Admissions Essays]
727 words (2.1 pages)
- College Admissions: Essay for Stanford As the beast ran rampant through the streets, I couldn't help but wonder if my work had been for naught. Trying to salvage any remains, I chased my dog from the room and stared at the havoc left in his wake. The city lay in ruins; the buildings were razed. The prospect of beginning from scratch was ponderous, but I instantly welcomed the challenge. With patience and determination, I began returning the small plastic bricks into their former glory; and then greater glory.... [tags: College Admissions Essays]
521 words (1.5 pages)
- College Admissions Essay - The Search for Truth Whoever said that we were supposed to take everything on faith. Not God, that's for certain. He's always told us to try it for ourselves, and see if it makes our lives better. I'll never forget the day my high school chemistry teacher had a nervous breakdown because he tried to understand a universe where there was no God, whatsoever. (That is true, to my knowledge, by the way.) I've always been surprised how much faith people put in science, though.... [tags: College Admissions Essays]
348 words (1 pages)
- College Admissions Essay - Rewards of Understanding As a high school freshman, I met and became friends with many new people. Among the most fascinating people was Lauren. I met Lauren in my lab class. She was outspoken and liberal. Her clothing revealed creativity; her big eyes, curiosity and strength. I was interested in learning more about Lauren, but felt shy about approaching her. My peers made fun of Lauren's manners and actions. They considered her too strange to know and shunned her.... [tags: College Admissions Essays]
346 words (1 pages)
- College Admissions Essays - The Rocky Path Stricken with rickets, attention deficit disorder, a severed facial nerve, and being voted "most likely to end up in the electric chair" by his fifth grade class, this individual triumphed over many obstacles. As an aspiring writer and actor he was rejected as an extra in the film The Godfather and was persuaded to switch careers for more realistic goals. Sparks of genius were recognized in his script writing, but he was told only legitimate actors would have a chance at performing the title roles.... [tags: Free College Admissions Essays]
255 words (0.7 pages)
- College Admissions: The College Experience In High School, college seemed to be the scariest thing that I could think of. Whenever I thought about it my stomach would immediately begin to spin in circles. Although I was ready to go off and be by myself and meet new people I was scared to death at the same time. I didn't know much about the "college experience" and what I did know (or thought I knew) scared me. I pictured hard classes that I wouldn't be able to keep up with, people that wouldn't like me, long hikes to get to my classes, and horrible food.... [tags: College Admissions Essays]
1215 words (3.5 pages)
- MIT Admissions Essay I may seem to be someone with many unconnected facets and talents once you have read all the other essays on this application. This essay is intended to slap together a few of the pieces of myself that I have displayed here. The human race is immortal ( that was a doozy wasn't it ). There is nothing that forces us to decay into old age and die, this is merely our body destroying itself once our purpose ( reproduction ) is complete. Evolution not only did not bother to select against genes that kill off people past 40, but to some degree selected for such genes: the faster we go through generations, the faster we evolve.... [tags: College Admissions Essays]
485 words (1.4 pages)
- College Essay about Psychology Some say that mankind is complex beyond comprehension. I cannot, of course, speak for every other individual on this earth, but I do not believe that I am a very difficult person to understand. My life is based upon two very simple, sweeping philosophies: pragmatism in actions and idealism in thought. Thus, with these two attitudes, I characterize myself. Pragmatism in actions. I believe utterly in one of those old cliches: we are given only a limited time upon this earth and every moment wasted is lost forever.... [tags: College Admissions Essays]
866 words (2.5 pages)
Overcoming significant life obstacles of any sort is evidence to the admissions officer that you have the determination to succeed in school. You've already shown that you have the will to survive; you're not a quitter. And who you are is measured, at least in part, by how far you've come.
Law schools vary enormously in their response to any kind of disability. All of it is behind closed doors and litigation-proof. Here are some good general rules:
* Be prepared to explain the nature of your disability and the accommodation you are presently receiving in detail. An unexplained disability could be perceived as a risk.
* If Law Services gave you accommodation for the LSAT, most law schools will consider your LSAT score the same as if it were taken under normal conditions. They will also give you reasonable accommodations at exam time.
* If Law Services denied your request for accommodation, you may have difficulty getting accommodation for your law school exams. You should be prepared to have your undergrad disabilities office contact the Dean of Students at your law school to see what documentation they'll want. You should get any promises of accommodation in writing before you make a final decision to attend.
* No law school will consider what your LSAT score "would have been" had you been granted accommodation. At most, some will compare your LSAT score with your SAT/ACT score and your college record, to see whether you outperform your standardized test predictions.
* If a learning disability caused "split grades" (bad grades before you were diagnosed, good grades afterwards), you should point this out in your personal statement or addendum. You might want to mention what treatment, learning technique, or accommodation caused the improvement.
* If your grades were not consistently better after you received accommodation, schools will be less accepting. After all, you haven't proven your case. Be prepared to apply to more schools, several with lower median gpa's.
"I don't want to sound like I'm whining."
Of course, you're right to believe that you can't just sound like you're whining. But go read those examples at the beginning of this section another time. What's whining about "I had six operations," or "my girlfriend got pregnant"? Reporting the relevant facts in your life isn't the same as complaining about them. It can often be done tastefully, without blood and gore and without melodrama.
But what if the admissions officer doesn't like you? What if her father was an alcoholic, and she doesn't want to think about it? You're absolutely right that everyone won't like your story. But you don't need every school to like you, only one. Take the risk, and it might be the one you want.