Personal statement essay examples for college
Look at the prompts above: you'll notice that they almost all ask you what you learned or how the experience affected you. Whatever topic you pick, you must be able to specifically address how or why it matters to you.
Say a student, Will, was writing about the mall Santa in response to Common App prompt number 2 the one about failure : Will was a terrible mall Santa. He was way too skinny to be convincing and the kids would always step on his feet. He could easily write very entertaining words describing this experience, but they wouldn't necessarily add up to an effective college essay.
To do that, he'll need to talk about his motivations and his feelings: why he took such a job in the first place and what he did and didn't get out of it. Maybe Will took the job because he needed to make some money to go help writing papers a school trip and it was the only one he could find.
Despite his lack of enthusiasm for screaming children, he kept doing it because he knew if he persevered through the whole holiday season he would have enough money for legal essay trip.
Would you rather read "I failed at being a mall Santa" or "Failing as a mall Santa taught me how to persevere no matter what"? Ultimately, the best topics are ones that allow you to personal statement essay examples for college something surprising about yourself. Since the main point of the essay is to give schools a sense of who you are, you have to open up enough to let them see your personality.
Writing a good college essay means being honest about your feelings and experiences even when they aren't entirely positive. In this context, honesty doesn't mean going on at length about the time you broke into the local pool at night and nearly got arrested, but it does mean acknowledging when something was difficult or upsetting for you.
Think about the mall Santa example above. The essay won't work unless the writer genuinely acknowledges that he was a bad Santa and explains why. We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schoolsfrom state colleges to the Ivy League.
We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. Even this little kid is a better Santa than Will was. As I mentioned above, colleges want to know that you are a strong enough writer to survive in college classes.
Can you express your ideas clearly and concisely? These kinds of skills will serve you well in college and in life! Nonetheless, admissions officers recognize that different students have different strengths.
Honestly, they aren't expecting a masterwork from anyonebut the basic point stands. Focus on making sure that your thoughts and personality come through, and don't worry about using fancy vocabulary or complex rhetorical devices. Above all, make sure that you have zero grammar or spelling errors. Typos personal statement essay examples for college carelessness, which will hurt your cause with admissions officers.
Now that you have a sense of what colleges are looking for, let's talk about how you can put this new knowledge into practice as you approach your own essay. Below, I've collected my five best tips from years as a college essay counselor. One of the most important parts of the essay writing process is editing, and editing takes a lot of time. You want to senior project essay able to put your draft in a drawer for a week and come back to it with fresh eyes.
You don't want to be stuck with an essay you don't really like because you have to submit your application tomorrow. You need plenty of time to experiment and rewrite, so I would recommend starting your essays at least two months before the application deadline. For most students, that means starting around Halloween, but if you're applying early you'll need to get going closer to Labor Day.
Of course, it's even better to get a head start and begin your planning earlier. Many students like to work on their essays over the summer when they have more free time, but you should keep in mind that each year's application isn't usually released until August or September.
Essay questions often stay the same from year to year, however. Not doing so will get your personal statement a reserved spot in the trash. It's easy to derail from the topic at hand or to answer a question with which you feel more comfortable than the original question posed. However, it's so important to stay on track and show that you are more than equipped to deal with whatever is thrown at you. First, provide an interesting hook-a succinct and engaging sentence to draw readers in and make them want to read more.
Then, ensure you follow a clear structure and present a logical flow of thoughts. When answering the question, get to the point as quickly as you can, and stay relevant. If you're not sure whether to include something, keep rereading the question or topic to make sure you're not off track. You shouldn't submit the same personal statement to multiple different schools, just changing the school and program names.
Even though the application committee won't know this for sure, they'll get a sense that the whole statement is just a little too generic. Worse, you're proving to yourself that you don't have what it takes to write a different statement for each school, which is a little lazy and pretty insulting to the addressee.
So don't do it! Many hopeful students, especially at the post-grad level, make it a point to show they've done their personal statement college essay examples, mentioning particular researchers at the school whom they'd love to work with.
Remember that one size never fits all. Let's be honest. Nobody wants college essay examples of a personal statement hear about the rising tuition costs in America or how the field you're in is progressing at a steady pace.
Generalized statements are a killer in personal statements because, of course, the focus should be on you. Talk about how these things affect you specifically.
Make your personal statement personal! Home in on a level of specificity, and keep zooming in until all of the broad statements are vanquished. Instead of talking about rising tuition costs, talk about how you worked two jobs to feed your cat. But you can't let something bad that's happened to you become an excuse.
You don't want to rely on it, and you don't want the application committee to think you're trying to gain pity, so it's important that you remain professional.
If you have overcome a struggle or a tragedy and it has genuinely influenced or changed you, of course you can and should talk about it. However, try to put a new or positive spin on it when possible.
Talk about how working those two jobs was worth it, the different things you learned from your two bosses, or how your experiences made you who you are today.
In writing a personal statementyou should present yourself as a well-rounded individual but outline your achievements in different areas like academics, athletics, the arts, and your work, volunteer, and social experiences. Make sure, though, that you've moved on from high school. Your experiences should be current and professional.
What you did last weekend is more important than a project you completed three years ago. The application committee wants to know who you are now, not who you once were. What will personal statement college essay example do in your free time today, tomorrow, and in the future?
It's important that the application committee gets a sense of who you really are. Maybe you lack experience. Maybe you've never had a job in your field, or you haven't volunteered enough. Maybe your marks fell halfway through school, or you lost a scholarship. Maybe you don't have any extracurricular activities to list, or you've been out of the game for a while.
The worst thing you can do, when faced with these common problems, is to make excuses. Don't even make excuses when they're valid, and don't apologize.
There are always explanations for doing poorly, doing nothing, or just not doing the right thing, but they should never be used as excuses.
Examples of Personal Statements
If you absolutely feel the need to address your mistakes, try to talk about what you've learned or how you've grown and changed for the better. Another common mistake on the flip side of the last is putting on a great big show. We do not recommend that customers cite or otherwise use them for academic credit. Register here for more samples!
College personal statement essay examples
Your essay will end up sounding like an autobiography, travelogue, or laundry list. Typos and spelling or grammatical errors can be interpreted as carelessness or just bad writing. Don't rely on your computer's spell check. It can miss spelling errors like the ones below. Everything from finding the right online university to finding the right job! Personal Statement.
How to Write a Personal Statement.See Observations and Recommendations below. Also see:. Get good advice "[T]he essay personal statement essay examples for college personal statement began as a gauge of student enthusiasm 'Why in particular do you wish to attend Bates College? College essay personal statement example the years, it has been called upon to do other work: to capture how the applicant thinks; to reveal how he or do students need homework writes; to uncover information about values, spirit, personality, passions, interests, and maturity.
All four groups agreed that the most important criteria are correctnessorganizationspecific evidenceand an individual style. Students need the advice of someone who knows them well to put together a convincing case, and parents are great resources, with their firsthand information about and commitment to their children.
The following suggestions may help your creative juices to flow. Consult friends and relatives for ideas. Take inventory of your unique experience, major influences, and abilities. Write an experimental creative essay in which you are the main character. Assemble your applications and determine how many essays you must write. Technical correctness. No spelling mistakes, no grammar weirdness, no syntax issues, no punctuation snafus-each of these sample college essays has been formatted and proofread perfectly.
If this kind of exactness is not your strong suit, you're in luck! All colleges advise applicants to have their essays looked over several times by parents, teachers, mentors, and anyone else who can spot a comma splice.
Your essay must be your own work, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help polishing it. Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up.
We'll learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step.
At the end, you'll have a unique essay that you'll proudly submit to your top choice colleges. Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now :. Some colleges publish a selection of personal statement essay examples for college favorite accepted college essays that worked, and I've put together a selection of over of these plus some essay excerpts!
Please note that some of these college essay examples may be responding to prompts that are no longer in use. The current Common App prompts are as follows:.
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve.
It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different college essay examples of a personal statement, or one of your own design.
These essays are answers to past prompts from either the Common Application or the Universal Application, both of which Johns Hopkins accepts. Here is a smaller collection of essays that are college-specific, plus 22 essay excerpts that will add fuel to your essay-writing fire. If you're looking for even more sample college essays, consider purchasing a college essay book. The best of these include dozens of essays that worked and feedback from real admissions officers.
College Essays That Made a Difference -This detailed guide from Princeton Review includes not only successful essays, but also interviews with admissions officers and full student profiles. Heavenly Essays by Janine W. Robinson-This collection from the popular blogger behind Essay Hell includes a wider range of schools, as well as helpful tips on honing your own essay.
I've picked two essays from the examples collected above to examine in more depth so that you can see exactly what makes a successful college essay work.
Personal statement college essay example
Full credit for these essays goes to the original authors and the schools that published them. We were in Laredo, having just personal statement college essay examples our first day at a Habitat for Humanity work site. The Hotchkiss volunteers had already left, off to enjoy some Texas BBQ, leaving me behind with the college kids to clean up. Not until we were stranded did we realize we were locked out of the van.
More out of amusement than optimism, I gave it a try. I slid the hanger into the window's seal like I'd seen on crime shows, and spent a few minutes jiggling the apparatus around the inside of the frame.
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Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. I actually succeeded in springing it. The other was the realization that I'd been in this type of situation before. In fact, I'd been born into this type of situation.
My upbringing personal statement essay examples for college numbed me to unpredictability and chaos. With a family of seven, my home was loud, messy, and spottily supervised. My siblings arguing, the dog barking, the phone ringing-all meant my house was functioning normally. My Dad, a retired Navy pilot, was away half the time. When he was home, he had a parenting style something like a drill sergeant. At the age of nine, I learned how to clear burning oil from the surface of water.
My Dad considered this a law and order in karachi essay life skill-you know, in case my aircraft carrier should ever get torpedoed.
Clear a hole! While I'm still unconvinced about that particular lesson's practicality, my Dad's overarching message is unequivocally true: much college personal statement essay examples life is unexpected, and you have to deal with the twists and turns. Living in my family, days rarely unfolded as planned.
A bit overlooked, a little pushed around, I learned to roll with reality, negotiate a quick deal, and give the improbable a try. I don't sweat the small stuff, and I definitely don't expect perfect fairness. So what if our dining room table only has six chairs for seven people? Someone learns the importance of punctuality every night.
But more than punctuality and a special affinity for musical chairs, my family life has taught me to thrive in situations over which I have no power. Growing up, I never controlled my older siblings, but I learned how to thwart their attempts to control me. I forged alliances, and realigned them as necessary. Sometimes, I was the poor, defenseless little brother; sometimes I was the omniscient elder.
Different things to different people, as the situation demanded. I learned to adapt. Back then, these techniques were merely reactions undertaken to ensure my survival. Topic : Sample college personal statement essays. Download Now. Essay example medical school admissions personal ent for download sample college essays.
Essay example sample college personal statement essays application personal statement college essay examples writings and what to write in. Contractions are fine; slang, generally, is not. Don't hesitate to write in the first person. To be clear, editing doesn't mean just making a few minor wording tweaks and cleaning up typos; it means reading your essay carefully and objectively and thinking about how you could improve it.
Ask yourself questions as you read: is the progression of the essay clear? Do you make a lot of vague, sweeping statements that could be replaced with more interesting specifics? Do your sentences flow together nicely? You will have to delete and rewrite potentially large parts of your essay, and no matter how attached you feel to something you wrote, you might have to let it go.
FREE 31+ Personal Statement Examples & Samples in PDF - Google Docs - Pages - Word - Examples
At some point, you might even need to rewrite the whole essay. Even though it's annoying, starting over is sometimes the best way to get an essay that you're really proud of. If you're in need of guidance on other parts of the application processtake a look at our guides to choosing the right college for youwriting about extracurricularsdeciding to double majorand requesting teacher recommendations.
Last but not least, if you're planning on taking the SAT one last timecheck out our ultimate guide to studying for the SAT and make sure you're as prepared as possible.
We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score.
Download it for free now:. Alex is an experienced tutor and writer. Over the past five years, she has worked with almost a hundred students and written about pop culture for a wide range of publications.
How to Get a Perfectby a Perfect College essay examples of a personal statement. Score on SAT Math. Score on SAT Reading. Score on SAT Writing. What ACT target score should you be aiming for? How college essay personal statement example Get a Perfect 4.
How to Write an Amazing College Essay. A Comprehensive Guide. Choose Your Test. What Is a Personal Statement? Even the terminology can civil rights essay confusing if you aren't familiar with it, so let's start by defining some terms: Personal statement - an essay you write to show a college admissions committee who you are and why you deserve to be admitted to their school.
It's worth noting that, unlike "college essay," this term is used for application essays for graduate school as well. I'll be using the terms interchangeably. Essay prompt - a question or statement that your college essay is meant to respond to. No matter what, your essay should absolutely not include any errors or typos. I'll talk more about this type of essay below. What do you personally expect to get out of studying engineering or computer science in college?
Want to build the best possible college application? Alex Heimbach. About the Author. Ask a Question Below Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply! Search the Blog Search. Find Out How. Get the latest articles and test prep tips! Looking for Graduate School Test Prep?