Topic check with Priya: UC edition

Recorded Tuesday, November 9 at 11:30 PM

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About this livestream


The UCs aren’t your typical state college system - they buck the trend with their own application and a unique essay format to boot. So what happens when you need to write four amazing Personal Insight Questions but you don’t know where to start?

By popular demand, we at CollegeVine have created a topic check stream where you can send in your anonymized topics for each UC prompt and have them reviewed by an expert live on air. As a UCLA grad, Priya is no stranger to PIQs and will be available to answer all of your questions live.

You can submit topics for review to this form!

Your host

Undergrad College: University of California, Los Angeles '20

Major: Psychology

Work Experience: I have been working at CollegeVine for two years in various capacities, including mentoring students, editing hundreds of essays, and creating blog content. I have also interned in healthcare consulting.

My Admissions Story: I am extremely grateful for all the help I received as an applicant and want to pay it forward by demystifying the admissions process for others.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Priya and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
1:44@smarren:yes I can see and hear you
3:37@madhuvaishnavigoru:I am Madhu from India currently in junior year of high school , nice to meet you ( online ) Miss Priya .
3:40@Arnav_0203:I can’t see you
4:40@Sai_Murthy:No problems on my end
18:24@madhuvaishnavigoru:I just started to prepare for my SAT and I want to ask - Are the SAT essays similar to college essays that we need to submit ?
21:19@smarren:in thre common app essays they are longer and lend themselves to more of a story-as the UC PIQ's are so short are they looking for a creatively written reply or more straight facts?
23:41@Sai_Murthy:Prompt 4. I am trying to apply to UCSD, UCSB, UCSC, and UCD. I am planning to write about moving to America and learning English from scratch and struggling because my inability to speak. I hear some people say this might be generic. What do you think?
25:40@Sabrina4:Does UC have any psychology majors or is this a live stream of essays sorry I jut joined
26:38@Sai_Murthy:Prompt 3 same colleges. I am planning to talk about developing my passion for robotics and programming inside and outside of school. But I think this is also a common topic. What do you think could make my essay stand out?
27:55@BhaskarG:I am not in California but want to apply to 3 UCs because of the quality of their CS programs. I did not look at the other factors, ie. the financial aid and expenses. Do I have to worry about or look into those aspects as well before applying? Or should I just prioritize the major I want right now?
30:30@BhaskarG:I am not in California but want to apply to 3 UCs because of the quality of their CS programs. I did not look at the other factors, ie. the financial aid and expenses. Do I have to worry about or look into those aspects as well before applying? Or should I just prioritize the major I want right now?
30:44@JoanneT:#7 pulling out weeds and planting flowers at my church
31:07@BhaskarG:Oh okay thanks
31:49@JoanneT:#3 Knowing how to help the people around me - my mom with chores and being there for my friends. I will include anecdotes
34:02@smarren:As the UC's do not want to see our it bad form to mention that you got a 35 in Reading and a 35 in English on the ACT as something that you are proud of that supports the PIQ about the coursework you excel in? Will they be mad its mentioned?
36:59@MylaLinn:Prompt 4; I'm applying to UCSD, UCLA, UC Davis, and UC Irvine. I wanted to write about the ways that COOVID impacted me, but I wanted to make it unique by talking about the psychological barriers I encountered (mental health/recognizing stressors), which got me interested in psychology (my planned major). Is this okay to talk about or is it too cliche?
39:05@Arnav_0203:How is UCLA special than any other UC's?
41:33@ayantu_t11:Are there any topics you would stray away from, or is it true that any topic can work as long as it is written innovatively?
42:18@Sabrina4:What are the types of applied psychology that UC offer?
43:20@madhuvaishnavigoru:I am planning to take criminology as my major and psychology as a minor . As an international student I am worried about my job after I graduate and also my financial . Can I get some advice on that
45:00@BhaskarG:#5 You had mentioned that the immigrant essay was generic in the sense that people tend to talk about their parents. What if I talk just about my adaptation to the different cultural and educational environment, and how I changed my involvement and mindset for the better? Is that also too generic? Should I include a lot of specific anecdotes to be unique?
46:06@MylaLinn:My other idea for #4: I wanted to take about moving across the country from a small charter school to a huge public school, which made me super vulnerable when it came to public speaking and just being around large groups of people. I wanted to write about how I joined my speech team to lose my "stage fright" and join track to improve my social skills and become accustomed to change.
46:08@MylaLinn:I meant #5*
47:32@ayantu_t11:What are you doing now that you have graduated from UCLA?
49:02@Joseimmanuel:Are UC's good for graduate programs in the mechanical branch of engineering?
49:55@JoanneT:#6 making science lessons for local elementary school students
50:57@Sabrina4:What was the process as you were learning about psychology? And what inspired you for that major?
52:34@smarren:Is there an artful way to make your pitch to one particular UC even though you are applying several?
53:19@JoanneT:What is #8 asking for? I'm not sure how to answer it
55:09@madhuvaishnavigoru:I am indecisive when it comes to AP exams . Should I take them ?
56:01@madhuvaishnavigoru:In my country there is only academic activity , no clubs , no extracurriculars , just classes and exams .Can I get some advice on what to include in my admission ?
56:59@Sabrina4:What are the types of applied psychology that UC offer?
57:08@smarren:If you have a medical condition that has been significant and messed up grades early on can you use essay 8 to explain how and why you are a safe bet?
58:05@Joseimmanuel:How should one arrange his essay?
59:27@madhuvaishnavigoru:Thankyou , meet you again . Sending love.
61:06@ayantu_t11:Thank you for all your advice!
61:08@Sabrina4:Thank you for the info! :)

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