Erney456

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Jul 29, 2018
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Hi all! I am looking for some input on whether to write a disadvantaged statement for AMCAS. The guidelines they provide are fairly vague (which I assume is intentional) and I couldn't find any previous scenarios like mine.
My Situation: I have a chronic illness which caused me to be disabled and unable to attend school for the majority of high school. Although I attended a well-rated school district, I did not receive the accommodations I needed and ended up teaching myself the material from reading textbooks at home for 2 years of high school. I was allowed to pass the grade and graduate because I could pass the final exams for the classes. I spent a lot of my time in high school fighting the school district for accommodations which were not received.
My Question: AMCAS notes that access to education can be a disadvantaged factor. Although I am not a disadvantaged SES status, would my difficulties in education be beneficial to note in a disadvantaged statement?
Appreciate any comments. Thanks!
 

LizzyM

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Do you feel as if you were at a disadvantage compared to other first year college students when you reached that point? Did the educational disadvantage cause you a disadvantage compared with your peers as you started college? If yes, then it might be reasonable to claim disadvantaged status. if not, and particularly if you'd like to keep information about your disability close to your vest, you might not want to open that door to additional questions at an interview.
 
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Do you feel as if you were at a disadvantage compared to other first year college students when you reached that point? Did the educational disadvantage cause you a disadvantage compared with your peers as you started college? If yes, then it might be reasonable to claim disadvantaged status. if not, and particularly if you'd like to keep information about your disability close to your vest, you might not want to open that door to additional questions at an interview.

Somewhat relating to OP's post, I was wondering if I experienced a crippling physical health issue that forced me to take a leave of absence from college and am still struggling with academics because of it (5 years has gone by and I have not returned, though am planning to once I am fully recovered), would it be reasonable to claim disadvantaged status? I've noticed that the majority of these claims are from applicants who experienced disadvantages between the ages 0-18, and their adversities were more related to social, economical, and/or educational struggles.
 
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LizzyM

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Somewhat relating to OP's post, I was wondering if I experienced a crippling physical health issue that forced me to take a leave of absence from college and am still struggling with academics because of it (5 years has gone by and I have not returned, though am planning to once I am fully recovered), would it be reasonable to claim disadvantaged status? I've noticed that the majority of these claims are from applicants who experienced disadvantages between the ages 0-18, and their adversities were more related to social, economical, and/or educational struggles.
Here are the instructions,
Disadvantaged Status This subsection asks you if you wish your designated medical schools to consider you a disadvantaged applicant. You might consider yourself disadvantaged if you grew up in an area that was medically underserved or had insufficient access to social, economic, and educational opportunities. If you answer Yes, you’ll have 1,325 characters to explain why you consider yourself a disadvantaged applicant.

Most people interprete "grew up" to mean 0-18 years of age. Your leave of absence is something that can/should be addressed in your personal statement, secondary essays, and/or letters of recommendation. This would be something covered in a committee letter if you have one.
 

Mr.Smile12

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I would work with your university disability officer about writing your essay to conform with the instructions which address more traditional socioeconomic hardships. The challenge will be not making a case that your disability will interfere with your ability to complete the curriculum. By disclosing it, it's fair game for interviews and file deliberations.
 
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Here are the instructions,

Most people interprete "grew up" to mean 0-18 years of age. Your leave of absence is something that can/should be addressed in your personal statement, secondary essays, and/or letters of recommendation. This would be something covered in a committee letter if you have one.
Understood. Thanks for the reply
 
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I would work with your university disability officer about writing your essay to conform with the instructions which address more traditional socioeconomic hardships. The challenge will be not making a case that your disability will interfere with your ability to complete the curriculum. By disclosing it, it's fair game for interviews and file deliberations.

Thanks for the response.
I take it that putting this information (and adding that I recovered to the point where it wouldn't interfere with my academics) in other areas such as my personal statement, secondaries, and/or letters of rec, rather than the disadvantaged section, would be the safer choice?
 

Mr.Smile12

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Thanks for the response.
I take it that putting this information (and adding that I recovered to the point where it wouldn't interfere with my academics) in other areas such as my personal statement, secondaries, and/or letters of rec, rather than the disadvantaged section, would be the safer choice?
My opinion is that it would fit better in another essay. You will need to work with others on it for a PS (so all schools know about it) or a secondary essay (where you think it helps).

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