Accommodating finite numbers of students, institutions of higher learning invariably require applicants to prepare personal statements. Known interchangeably as admissions essays, the statements encapsulate aspirants’ personal, academic, and/or professional lives, serving as barometers by which admissions committees accept or reject students. Well-written personal statements are critical for those in serious pursuit of Bachelor, Master, PhD, Juris Doctor, or Medical Doctor degrees.
In editing admissions essays, we apply specific criteria. Like a great song or a compelling novel, a personal statement must begin with a “hook” to draw the reader in, unfold with a narrative to hold that interest, and end with a summarization of the student’s abilities and commitment. Motivation for entry into the program as well as long-term career goals must be addressed; work experience, extracurricular activities, and/or community service must also be discussed within the required format, which is usually two to three pages in length or a specified number of words. Accomplishments must be highlighted.
It is imperative that difficulties are also explained. These include low grades or scores on entrance examinations, such as SAT’s, ACT’s, GRE’s, MCAT’s, and LSAT’s, which weigh in a committee’s decision. In confronting these issues, the student should convey the reasons underlying the grades/scores, emphasizing the lessons that he/she has learned, applied, or intends to apply on his or her journey, both academically and professionally. Articulated with integrity, the statement can convince — and in our experience, has convinced — committees to pardon less than optimum grades or scores.
College, graduate, and professional school candidates requiring assistance with these statements should Contact Us to arrange for a personal consultation either in-person or via telephone.