In order to promote inclusivity, universities or colleges ask the applicants to submit diversity statements. The student needs to explain the details of their ethnicity, culture, background, religion, interests, and more.
The statement’s objective is to urge the applicants in telling the admission committee what sets them apart. Through it they are able to assess which diverse opinions and views students can contribute to the campus environment.
This task can be thoroughly confusing for students who come across it for the first time. To what extent are you supposed to share information about yourself and how to phrase it? Our guide will encompass all these details and more. But first it is essential to understand what exactly a diversity statement/essay refers to.
What is a diversity statement?
College application usually require you to submit two types of essays: a personal statement and supplemental essay. The former is a part of the main application and ordinarily consists of 500-650 words. Its goal is to emphasize who you are as a person and what your values and ethics are.
The latter encompasses vastly different topics depending on each university. Diversity statement prompts also fall in this category. It allows the college to understand what different elements you can bring to the table. Apart from undergraduate and graduate admissions, diversity statements are also required sometimes when applying for scholarships.
Why diversity matters within an educational environment
According to experts, learning within a diverse environment increases the chances of achieving success in future careers. Being exposed to varying perspectives on campus opens the minds of students. Class discussions are richer, and creativity is brought forth.
Moreover, developing and learning within a multicultural atmosphere, prepares students for a working and living among diverse groups. They are sensitive to and respect the differences and aware of the issues connected to their own or other cultures.
Awareness also empowers them to stand up for another person if they are being treated unfairly for who they are. A mind open to diversity will work in harmony with others and battle underrepresentation of cultures. This in turn will create a peaceful environment on a bigger scale.
Best tips to write a diversity statement
When answering the prompt given to you for the statement, describe an experience or two which greatly affected you. Explain how they shape the way you now see things, form empathy, and develop connections with people.
While attempting diversity essay writing, it is important to focus on the specific question you are asked. It can be about how you perceive diversity, or how you think you can assist in promoting it. Understand the precise nature of the question first before starting to respond. Or all your hard work might end up diverting from the actual prompt.
Share your story
Every individual has their own unique experience relating to diversity. Do not hesitate in sharing something which you think is startlingly different from usual. You are not required to every single in-depth detail which makes you uneasy to share.
But also keep in mind that sometimes, describing your experiences can help you let go hurtful or bitter emotions. So, relate the story you are ready to share without fear of judgement. This will make it heartfelt and will set your application apart.
It is essential to speak as yourself when you are crafting something as personal as a diversity statement. It is not meant to be generic or present viewpoints that you think the committee would want to read. Build it around what you have faced in real life and include those events as examples. The readers will find the statement more genuine and relatable with these details.
Focus on the common diversity topics
This issues most often voiced in relation to diversity are gender, class, race, or sexual orientation. When a university poses a question about it, they expect your response to address these subjects. If you merely talk about the troubles of navigating between diverse environments it will fall short of its true purpose. So, talk instead of the struggles you have faced because of your ethnicity, gender, etc.
Avoid a false narrative
It is not a given that you have gone through a personal experience connected to the diversity topics mentioned above. The exclusion you faced in high school because you moved from another state is not equal to racial exclusion.
The experience must have definitely been painful, but it is not a diversity related issue. Claiming it as one can be considered as ignorance of the topic from your end. Therefore, concentrate on writing about the things you do know about it.
For instance, if you have helped someone from a different and underrepresented culture then share that story. Describe what you learned from that experience and how you brought changes to each other’s lives. A narrative like that will help the committee see that you will be a positive addition to their campus community.
Keep it concise
It is essential to keep within the word count you are provided by the university. Your application will be one among many that are being reviewed. So, keep it brief and meaningful by using accurate yet effective diction.
If you are unsure how to fit your story in a few words, then create drafts. The first one can be as lengthy as you want it to be, exploring all the thoughts surfacing in your mind. Once completed, read through carefully and craft a briefer version of it in the second draft.
Need further help?
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