Valerie Acevedo: Creating a Holistic Application

õValerie Acevedo is an excellent applicant for an advanced degree although she has concerns about her undergraduate GPA and GRE scores. To increase her chances of acceptance, Valerie applies to six programs and visits the ones close to her home. She also carefully crafts her essays to provide a narrative context for her quantitative scores. This case can be helpful in demonstrating the kinds of experiences you should have in order to prepare for an advanced degree, as well as how those experiences should be narrated in their essays.

Teaching case: Valerie Acevedo: Creating a Holistic Application

Questions to consider as you read the case:

  1. What kinds of information about yourself should you include in the various application essays?
  2. In addition, your essays should include the names of potential mentors and why your project or career goals is compatible with their research agenda.  How do you go about finding appropriate professors?
  3. Have you investigated possible opportunities with AmeriCorps VISTA?
  4. How do you describe the adversity you may have faced in regards to your educational goals without sounding like you are complaining?
  5. What is an addendum and what is appropriate information to include?