a year ago
Admissions Advice

Issues with special circumstances in collge apps

Let us say a student constantly receives torment (serious torments with no kidding, the abuser is never convicted only due to the lack of rule of law in the region), which forbids him to go to school and have him physically hurt for a long period of time.

The member of the family finally left him and he finally had some chances to go to school and he is doing more wonderfully than everybody else. He is so capable of learning any stuff whether it's academic or artistic. He picked a lot of them in a very short amount of time. Given the same time, he is capable of surpassing most of the students but the only issue is one of his family members physically tortured and forbids him to do anything for so long. But once that demon has left, he immediately starts to shine in every area he enters, achieving things way faster and smoother than most other people. The only thing against him now is the time wasted when he was being tortured by that family member(Let us say, normally people need 10 years of practicing an instrument to be able to participate at a national or international level but he is achieving like 1/4 of this kind of achievement but in about two years). Maybe we can add some additional details: in the time he is being tortured, he secretly picked up several foreign languages so right after that demon has left him, he can immediately find himself a school(though his family does not want to provide him any opportunity for attending school, he managed to get one on his own) and an opportunity to study overseas since he picked up some languages during that time. This is not a joke or trolling, please consider this question seriously: Should he mention this situation in his college application, will the committee see this as a bad narrative, or thinks he is so extraordinary to come back from a life-destroying situation?


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2 answers

a year ago

Hi!! Colleges value honesty and including information about personal circumstances may provide context for your academic and personal achievements.

However, make sure to address the situation in a way that is respectful & professional. Avoid coming across as complaining or blaming others and focus on how you have overcame challenges. Also consider discussing the skills and qualities that you have developed as a result of your experiences.

Hope this helped!!

a year ago[edited]

Hi @Jai123456!

Something like this is definitely worth mentioning in your application. It is a truly amazing comeback and the admissions committee will see it as an example of resilience, one that not many applicants are able to show (simply because few people have experience such tormentation and even fewer are able to emerge alive and successful).

Since you're asking this question now, I'm assuming you didn't include this in your UPenn application. It would've played a huge role in your favor. Anyways, good luck with your remaining applictions!

Hope this helps!

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