Disadvantaged status Q - I'm sorry for another one

midnitetots12

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For the question asking to check the disadvantaged box, is there not specific criteria for this, is it somewhat subjective? I'm a first-gen college student, lower income bracket ~ 50k per year with 5 family members including college age sibling, and middle school sibling. I've received EBT food stamps and the pell grant every year. I've worked several jobs, but it was never like do or die for my family. I know what it's like to feel a little behind in terms of background, and being worried about money at times, but tbh I've had a relatively good life. Parents sacrificed a lot so I still got to play my pokemon cards, nintendo DS, etc, etc lol. Objectively I've seen how I've had it worse than a lot of peers, but it was clear there were also a handful of students who had it much worse than me... is the choice to check all up to me?
 
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For the question asking to check the disadvantaged box, is there not specific criteria for this, is it somewhat subjective? I'm a first-gen college student, lower income bracket ~ 50k per year with 5 family members including college age sibling, and middle school sibling. I've received EBT food stamps and the pell grant every year. I've worked several jobs, but it was never like do or die for my family. I know what it's like to feel a little behind in terms of background, and being worried about money at times, but tbh I've had a relatively good life. Parents sacrificed a lot so I still got to play my pokemon cards, nintendo DS, etc, etc lol. Objectively I've seen how I've had it worse than a lot of peers, but it was clear there were also a handful of students who had it much worse than me... is the choice to check all up to me?
I'm not an adcom, but my understanding is it's just a census box. Any boost you get will come from your story as expressed in your PS and essays. They'll figure out your demo from details you provide on your parents and the rest of your family, your zip code, etc. Resist the temptation to feel guilty to claim any preference you might be entitled to. Yes, there will always be people worse off. There will also always be those better off. Just answer questions honestly and don't worry.

Food stamps, Pell grants, first gen college? Yeah, you don't have to apologize for or second guess checking the disadvantaged box. Good luck!!!
 
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I believe there are specific guidelines for the question in the Aamc guide thingy
 
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KiddCo

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I'm fairly certain that being a true first gen student alone qualifies you for disadvantaged status. It specifically states that somewhere in the AAMC literature somewhere.
 
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midnitetots12

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Aug 15, 2018
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@LizzyM , @Goro . Sorry to bother, but do you either of you guys have any input on this. I've seen so many posts by lizzyM saying it should be how it affected you. So I took this as if someone grew up in a similar "disadvantaged" situation, but if the result is different, then variation in box checking may exist.

In terms of my own context, I grew up with food stamps up into elementary school of which I was still in the lower income bracket ~35-40k in 4 person family, had my sister making a 5 person family, but the economy got better and my family started making around ~50k a year. Went to high school on free lunch program, mother had a stroke halfway through HS affecting work hours, lowering income again as she works a job very much requiring her hands and dexterity. Moved to a different state of where I'm in college now under my mother as a single parent, receiving the FAP, pell grant and food stamps once again as a college student. I'll be honest, I went to a really great public magnet (free, but had to take a test to get in) school and my parents were the stereotypical must get good grades parents so I did pretty well in HS, and in college too I guess. I took some jobs to help out and all that business, but I feel like I had a fair life always. I'm not sure if my perspective is warped because I didn't give a damn if I couldn't get an xbox when there were people living on the streets - should I just forget about the disadvantaged box?

I'm so sorry for the long rant, but do you have any tips on how to illustrate this if I'm not going to check the disadvantaged box... my personal statement is very much focused on something else I'm passionate about, not exactly about my SES background.
 

Goro

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@LizzyM , @Goro . Sorry to bother, but do you either of you guys have any input on this. I've seen so many posts by lizzyM saying it should be how it affected you. So I took this as if someone grew up in a similar "disadvantaged" situation, but if the result is different, then variation in box checking may exist.

In terms of my own context, I grew up with food stamps up into elementary school of which I was still in the lower income bracket ~35-40k in 4 person family, had my sister making a 5 person family, but the economy got better and my family started making around ~50k a year. Went to high school on free lunch program, mother had a stroke halfway through HS affecting work hours, lowering income again as she works a job very much requiring her hands and dexterity. Moved to a different state of where I'm in college now under my mother as a single parent, receiving the FAP, pell grant and food stamps once again as a college student. I'll be honest, I went to a really great public magnet (free, but had to take a test to get in) school and my parents were the stereotypical must get good grades parents so I did pretty well in HS, and in college too I guess. I took some jobs to help out and all that business, but I feel like I had a fair life always. I'm not sure if my perspective is warped because I didn't give a damn if I couldn't get an xbox when there were people living on the streets - should I just forget about the disadvantaged box?

I'm so sorry for the long rant, but do you have any tips on how to illustrate this if I'm not going to check the disadvantaged box... my personal statement is very much focused on something else I'm passionate about, not exactly about my SES background.
Haven't a clue.
 

LizzyM

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Sometimes, life is what you make it and sometimes the struggle to stay housed and keep the lights on makes it difficult to make it at all.

When you got to college, were you at a disadvantage compared to your peers? Had you learned to swim? Did you learn to drive? Had you ever been more than 100 miles from home? Had you ever traveled in an airplane? Had you ever been seen a professional theatre production?

Did you ever have the electric or gas turned off because you hadn't paid the bill? Has your family ever been threatened with eviction for being behind on the rent? Were there times when some family members went without a meal because there was not enough food in the house?

I'm sure there are other measures of experiences that are common among college students in general and those that are very uncommon among college students. If you've had few of the positive experiences and more than one of the negatives, then you might consider yourself to have been disadvantaged as a child compared with your fellow college students.
 
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