Application Information for Father's Occupation





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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: August 2003 Archive: Application Information for Father's Occupation
By Davehead (Davehead) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 04:57 am: Edit

Hi, I have a question about what to write for "Father's Occupation". My dad is a diplomat for Taiwan, but we don't make as much money as people think diplomats should make. He has to be "stationed" somewhere in order to be paid more, but since he is not stationed anywhere right now and hasn't been for the last year, we have been pretty tight about money and have even lost our insurance. If I write "Diplomat", will the adcoms think that I'm financially stable? Same question goes for Financial Aid officers. What do you think I should write for it? Thanks.

By Stephenpmi (Stephenpmi) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 09:05 am: Edit

It appears that you are an US citizen after looking at your profile. If that is the case, Admissions is need-blind no matter where you apply and what your parents do (in most cases). That means that the college does not take your financial situation into consideration when reading your application. It doesn't matter if you have a lot of money, or if you are middle class (unless your last name is "Gates, Schwab, Forbes, Trump, etc.) IMO The college may, however, expect more from you because it would appear that your father is well-educated.

Just my take.

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 10:27 am: Edit

Most well informed people know that diplomats (especially lower level diplomats) are not raking in the big bucks.

I think admissions officers are intelligent enough to know that guessing about an applicant's financial status by way of the father's occupation is both inaccurate and foolish. They look at the FAFSA and other financial aids for those kind of clues.

I think what that word "diplomat" might do for you is tell them that you've probably had an interesting life.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 11:32 am: Edit

Aren't diplomats government employees?

Listing your dad's occupation as government or state employee should readicate all visions of boundless riches :)

By Clickspring (Clickspring) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 12:15 pm: Edit

Tell colleges that your dad is a diplomat! They want the truth! What else could you possibly say? Financial aid sees your tax forms...there's really no way to get around it. Besides, adcoms aren't the ones who judge your ability to pay for school -- that's financial aid. Don't try to lie or conceal anything!

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 01:01 pm: Edit

LOL

By Davehead (Davehead) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 06:03 pm: Edit

Thanks for all the feedback. I'm not trying to conceal anything. I just didn't want to seem ostentatious and have misconceptions of my family situation because most people think, "Wow, your dad's a diplomat? You guys must be rich!" Regarding the comment about "diplomat" implying that I've had an interesting life, that is true, so should I go ahead and put down "diplomat" still? Somebody else suggested writing "Taiwan Foreign Ministry". Or would it just be plain and simple and discreet to write "government employee"? If it were you, what would you write?

Since my dad works outside of the US, we hadn't filed taxes until last year when my mom got a job as a part-time Chinese tutor. So technically, our financial status is "low income". Do I need to explain any of this to FAFSA or financial aid? I really don't know how to deal with this stuff...

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 06:54 pm: Edit

I would put down "Diplomat-- <title>" Most diplomatic titles are fairly descriptive. I mentioned the thing about an interesting live because a good friend of ours was a diplomat's daughter, and she lived in many exotic countries and is quite an interesting person for all of her travels and experiences.

Without knowing much else about you, I would guess that you would be able to turn this into a very interesting "hook" that would be a great advantage for you in nearly every admissions office!!!! If you have interesting and unique experiences, do NOT hesitate in talking about them at length. There's no need to "ride your father's coat tails" just because you had interesting life experiences because of his line of work.

The FAFSA will be the place where all of your financial information will be asked for.

If you are low income, ask your counselor for "fee waivers" which will allow you to send in applications without having to pay an application fee.

You will NOT get the "Wow, your dad's a diplomat? You guys must be rich!" reaction at any college admissions office. It WILL always open the door to a series of questions about the experience---which you should be ready to ramble on about in a way that will improve your chances. Avoid "My father did (this or that)" Stick with what YOU did.

This could be very good news for you!


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