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Personal history showing economic hardship while Affidavit of support asks for financial capabilities

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I am applying for PhD positions in computer science.

     I have much to tell about my impecunious background in a developing nation, and how I held 2 jobs to pay for my college education, while at the same time securing top grades. I wish to mention these things in the 'personal history statement' since that is what they are asking to know for consideration for college fellowships.

     On the other hand, I am concerned that the university also wants 'Financial statements and affidavits' to prove that I, or my sponsor, can pay for the first year of college. These are contradictory in nature. I fear if I write about my impecunious background they might be concerned that I won't be able to pay for the education--and will have to drop out in case they are unable to offer me a fellowship or research support. For the record, I can show this amount of money after admission.

     Also, I read a lot of advice about not crossing interpersonal boundaries while writing statements. I feel that I am crossing that boundary in each sentence of my personal history statement since discussing being raised in hardships by a single mom, a poor background, and the related obstacles, is not easy without crossing such boundaries.

     Am I doing something wrong here? I am bothered by this personal history statement. I have much to tell but lack the subtlety in saying things. Should it be subtle or is speaking bluntly about obstacles alright?

Edited by thegraydude
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So I can't address all of your questions, but here are a few:


You can cross interpersonal boundaries in a personal history, but it's not recommended in a statement of purpose (though a little is inevitable). In the personal history, they want to know that you can overcome obstacles and are a mature and responsible student. 


Are you applying with the intention of paying for grad school yourself? If you are, as long as you can show that NOW you can pay for grad school, I wouldn't worry about the past. Just be sure to emphasize in your personal history that yes you had all these hardships, but you overcame them and will make a great grad student. 


I hope this makes sense. And good luck!

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