PERSONAL STATEMENT FOR 2015 APPLICATIONS
The Common App will be up and running by August 1. Of course, it’s summer, and the idea of writing an essay is probably not appealing. But it’s a great idea to start thinking about the personal statement when you are not burdened by homework, tests and extra-curricular obligations.
These are the directions:
“The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don’t feel obligated to do so. (The application won’t accept a response shorter than 250 words.)”
The prompts are:
- Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
- Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
- Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
- Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
- Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR 2015 APPLICATIONS
This section is often overlooked although it appears on the “Writing” page right below “Disciplinary History.” It is a perfect opportunity to provide a glimpse into the candidate’s strengths or some aspect of the candidate’s history that will be of value to the admissions officers.
The Additional Information section allows up to 650 words, with no minimum. The prompt is:
“Please provide an answer below if you wish to provide details of circumstances or qualifications not reflected in the application.”
Although this section was originally meant to allow the candidate to explain a weakness, personal issue, anomaly in a transcript, etc., it now gives you a chance to expand upon a “qualification” that could range from a personal interest to a major social action project. Think carefully about this! It shouldn’t be another personal statement, but it can be a thoughtful and detailed explanation of something that could just make the difference!
You can start working with College Essay Whiz now! Consider making an appointment (in person, phone or Skype) to brainstorm ideas for your personal statement, additional information and supplementary essays.