2 years ago
Admissions Advice

How to talk about chronic illness in additional information section?

Hi! I was diagnosed with a severe chronic illness during my freshman year of high school and it largely affected my grades and attendance throughout high school. I have a low GPA (I have a 3.1), but I don't know the best way to clearly show the impact it had on my home/school life and family. Has anyone also dealt with an issue similar to this and how you explained your situation? Thank you.

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1 answer

2 years ago


I would suggest doing several things in your essay:

- Explain why you had to miss so much school, and why that was bad for your grades (like basically what symptom or part of the illness made you have to

stay home)

- BUT make sure to show that you're still hardworking and a bright student, like maybe talk about doing your schoolwork from home or any productive

thing you did in your free time

- Make sure the end of the essay is positive, like how your illness positively affected you and what you learned from it

Basically make sure the entire message is positive, and your application as a whole shows all the sides of you: including the illness, but not only that.

You don't want the colleges to think your illness is a liability for them, so that's why the positivity is so important.

You also asked what others have done - my illness didn't affect my grades noticeably, but it affected my extracurriculars and other parts of my life. I started my essay with how it affected me, but the focus of the essay was on a social media account I started to help people struggling with the same thing. So if you did something for those with your same illness, focus on that as well.


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