Your personal statement is arguably the most important part of your college application. After all, lots of other students who are applying will have the same grades as you, so your essay needs to convince the admissions team that you’re one of the top candidates. This can feel like an overwhelming task, so here are some top tips to help you give it your best shot.
A good personal statement will take some time to perfect, so this is one job you definitely don’t want to leave until the last minute. Find out when your deadline is and start working on your essay well in advance. It can be helpful to set the first draft aside for a while after you’ve finished it, so that you can return to the text with fresh eyes and add new ideas as they arise. Then you can take your time editing your work until it’s as close to perfect as possible.
Staring at a blank page can be daunting, so begin by doing some brainstorming to get your thoughts flowing. Write down as many ideas as you can and get some inspiration by talking to your careers advisor and reading examples of personal statements online. After that, you can work on choosing the best examples out of everything you’ve come up with and arranging them in a logical way.
Meet the requirements
Colleges often have different requirements when it comes to personal statements, for example in the question they want you to answer and how long the essay should be. Check the parameters carefully before you start writing, and also confirm details such as the NYU admission requirements and GPA at campusreel.org to make sure that you meet the overall entry requirements for the program. Otherwise, you might find yourself wasting time writing a statement for a course you’re not eligible for.
Highlight your strengths
A personal statement is your opportunity to sell yourself to the college you’re hoping to attend, so be sure to demonstrate how you’re the perfect fit. Discuss factors such as your relevant work or volunteering experience, academic prowess and career goals, as well as your extracurricular interests. Admissions tutors want to know that not only can you succeed on the course, you’re also a well-rounded student who will be an asset to their college.
It’s not enough to show that you can ace the program you’re applying for. You also need to prove that you’re genuinely passionate about the subject. Talk about why you’re interested in the course and how it fits with your future aspirations, to demonstrate that you’re highly motivated and committed to your studies. Make sure you’re honest though, as colleges will see through any attempts to exaggerate your enthusiasm!
Proofread it carefully
Finally, before you hit that submit button make sure that you’ve taken the time to proofread your personal statement carefully. If possible, get a friend, family member or school counselor to read over what you’ve written as a way to get some honest feedback and catch any mistakes you’ve missed. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to overlook your own typos!