It’s never too early to start writing your college essay and/or personal statement. In fact, try to start it as soon as you can, even as early as your junior year of high school. This will put less pressure on you & give you more time to perfect it. (College Prompts for 2015-2016 are listed at the end of the blog).
College & universities have different requirements so please check with each schools & follow the directions to apply. Most schools ask that you write an essay and/or personal statement when applying. The purpose of the essay/personal statement is to reveal your personality, writing skills, & creativity.
When writing keep these things in mind:
- Brainstorm & let the words flow on its own. Don’t force the writing. If you feel that you can’t write, take a break & come back to it.
- Read previous essays from students who have been admitted into the schools you are applying for. Look online or on the school’s website.
- Make it personal & truly reflect on yourself as a person.
- Be honest! Tell your story & not the one the admission committee would like to hear.
- Be specific & get to the point. Most essays/personal statements have a word count ranging from 250 -500, or sometimes 1000.
- Show & don’t tell.
- Get as many people as you can to read & provide feedback. The more the merrier.
- Proofread! Check your spelling & grammar.
- Don’t be afraid to make changes. It’s okay to have multiple drafts.
Here are the college essay prompts for the school year of 2015-2016:
- 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 failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
- -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 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 or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
This can be very stressful & overwhelming. But you can do it. Just remember to take your time & try your best. Most importantly be yourself. Good luck! J
Click the link for tips from a student who got accepted into all 8 Ivy League Schools: