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Personal Statements

A personal statement is your opportunity to provide admission/acceptance committees a look at who you really are. Great transcripts and resumes may be impressive, but there will always be many applicants with equally impressive credentials. A great personal statement, however, can push you over the top.

The best way to write a good personal statement is to be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not. Focus on your best qualities and go in depth on a few key points. Explain what makes you stand out. GPA and test scores can be duplicated by other applicants. What is it about yourself that can’t?

If there is a specific question, answer it. This may seem like obvious advice, but it is very important. The statement is supposed to be about yourself, so use personal examples and if you wish, tell a story. But never lose focus of the question.

Make your statement applicable. For each application you should include something that personalizes it to the program or school you are applying to. Admission committees can pick out a generic statement, and you will often lose points for it. If you truly want to stand out, it is always helpful to show that you’re knowledgeable of the program you are applying to.

Always proofread! There are few worse feelings than submitting a personal statement and realizing you misspelled the school or program name. Avoid clichés. You want to stand out, so why resort to using common phrases to make a point?

A personal statement can be a make or break part of your application. It may be your only chance to show who you are to those deciding if you are accepted to a school or program. Be yourself, be creative, and let your personality come through.

Links:

This is great tips on writing a personal statement: http://www.unm.edu/~pre/law/archuleta.htm

This resource has good tips on how what to ask yourself before you begin writing: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/642/1/