Let’s Get Personal: The College Personal Statement
The college personal statement is a very important part of the college admissions process and, in a process that can sometimes seem a little impersonal (there are a lot of forms and fill-in-the-blanks), the personal statement or essay is the one part of the application where it’s okay and even encouraged to let your personality shine through!
While this doesn’t mean that you should dot your I’s with hearts, it does mean that admissions wants to get a feel for your personality, your character, and your intelligence in a different way: through an open-ended or specific question in order to see how you respond.
Admissions is looking for a few simple things. They don’t want a rehash of all your accomplishments and extracurricular activities, they want to see how you have handled whatever life has thrown your way and come out on top.
How have you grown and changed? How have the events in your life made you who you are today and why should admissions care?
If those sound like tough questions to answer: they are. It’s important not to wait until the last minute on this one! A good personal essay can be what sets you apart from students who have the same academic background as you.
Before you start having nightmares about writing your personal statement, know that admission will be looking at other parts of your application as well. Other factors of college admission include items like your letter(s) of recommendation, your GPA, class rank, extracurricular activities, and standardized test scores.
So while your personal statement is important, that alone probably isn’t going to get you into a college where you don’t even meet the requirements but, if you do fit or exceed requirements, it can help set you apart from other students who have the same talents and background as you.
In fact, many admissions professionals do cite the college application essay as an important factor when weighing a college application: the less mistakes the better!
A poorly proofread personal statement is going to be a drudge to read and won’t show that you really want in to that school – so, why would they let you in?
My College Guide has plenty of tips and mistakes to avoid on your personal statement coming up! Stay on top of updates: subscribe for free to My College Guide via RSS or email.