I am applying to the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, and they require a transcript. Now, I have a problem with my grades, in that I had good grades until my final year, where a combination of depression and a death in the family tanked my non-major GPA. During my final year, I went from a cumulative 3.55 to a 3.07, and also failed two courses. More specifically, my first semester of my senior year was awful, with a 1.22 GPA, and in my second semester, I managed to get a respectable 3.0, where I had to take 21 credit hours so I could graduate on time. So it's not as if I am a bad student, it's just one semester of badness which has to be explained.
How do I make this not look bad? I would like to explain myself in the personal statement that I am capable of rebounding from hardship, that I can rise to the challenge when confronted with adversity, that my performance in that one semester is not indicative of my abilities.
I am upset at the moment because after looking at my transcript, it's worse than I initially thought. As for my other materials, I believe I have good letters of recommendation, good industry experience, and I can write some kick-ass essays, despite the fact that English is not my first language.
Also, the bad grades are not in my major (CS), where I managed to keep a GPA above 3.5 during my studies.
Any tips on how to deal with this? Any other tips I could use? I really appreciate it?