Grade point averages and LSAT scores, extracurricular activities and past achievements are all part of the mysterious mix of talent and potential that admission officers must weigh in selecting the members of each incoming class.
But perhaps no single item provides as much insight into the hearts and minds of applicants as their personal essays, 800 simple words that endeavor to capture a lifetime on a single page.
For instance, students are asked about their ethnicity, and asked an optional question about classifying their race—but Hispanic is not included in there.
As a result, nervous high school seniors are answering white just to classify themselves as something, meaning their applications could be processed differently.
From UAs application: Personal Statement - For All Freshman Applicants: A personal statement is our best means of getting to know you and your best means of putting your academic performance and activities in the context of your life. When you write your personal statement, tell us about those aspects of your life that are not evident from your academic record.
Because personal statements are brief, they usually focus on one aspect of a students life.
You log into the Common Application—known as the Common App, the only way to apply for hundreds of schools—but the website is giving you timeouts. You have no idea whether your school has an essay supplement, and it’s not accepting your form of payment.
And if you’re thinking of just throwing in the towel and mailing your application the old-fashioned way, don’t even bother—most schools don’t even accept paper applications anymore. It’s reality for thousands of high school seniors who are applying to college this year after the Common App rolled out a new version, which has caused hair-raising problems for students applying to the 517 member universities that use the application.
A great Personal Statement final draft cannot be written in one sitting.
It must be written, re-written and read to correct all punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors.