10 Tips to Write a Personal Statement for College: A Step-by-Step Guide to Nailing It

by Rosemarie Hardison
write a personal statement for college

Joining college is one of the most exciting events in any student’s life. After working so hard in junior and high school, it’s finally time to mingle with peers and develop life-long friendships. But this isn’t always the case for all learners. A few, out of personality, experiences, and other factors, find it terrifying. We hope you’re not among the few to whom a mention of college strikes unparalleled fear.

So, let’s hope it’s the chance you’ve been waiting for eagerly. And it’s all pegged on writing an excellent personal statement. What would you do and where would you start? This isn’t an essay question to answer, given the magnitude of what could be at stake. The truth of the matter is that your ability to write a personal statement for college application has a strong bearing on your acceptance. In this article, we’ll share a few tried and tested tips to improve your chances of securing entry into your chosen course and college. Read on to learn more!

How Important Is Writing a Personal Statement for College Application?

Why do you think those in academia emphasize the importance of writing a personal statement for college? It’s because they know the significant role it plays in your acceptance, especially in highly competitive courses. While your grades and family’s resources can take you far, some doors can only be opened through your creativity, ingenuity, and ability to craft stellar communication pieces.

A personal statement is a powerful weapon that can be used to share personal experiences with admission boards and committees, improving your chances of acceptance. If you’ve had the privilege of watching “The Pursuit of Knowledge,” you’ll understand the impact of personal experiences in life. In the movie, Alex, a young boy from an underprivileged family but thirsty for knowledge, secures a placement in a prestigious university after beating all odds. Everything that could’ve conspired to stop him did. However, by crafting an amazing personal statement, he was able to catch the attention of the college committee, sponsors, and well-wishers. Alex was able to demonstrate his willingness to succeed and invaluable experiences that made him a better human being. Someone else could share your story in the future.

A personal statement is also useful for sharing your background and how it makes you deserving of an opportunity. In Alex’s case, belonging to a minority group, growing up in a rough neighborhood, within an underprivileged family, fighting against drug and substance abuse, and bracing violence daily, were enough grounds for consideration. Sometimes, your background isn’t worth hiding. Instead, you can build upon it as a constant reminder of where you’ve come from and use it to spring to a better future.

Lastly, you can use a personal statement for college to share your dreams and aspirations. Qualifying and expressing a desire to join an institution of higher learning isn’t enough. Most often, admission committees and boards want individuals who can demonstrate an aspiration to change the world for the better. Show them that you have a solid plan to better yourself and others.

Crafting Your Path: 10 Essential Tips to Write a Good Personal Statement for College

Now that we’ve covered the importance of a personal statement to your college admission, what next? Well, it’s time to share a few tricks and tips for making yours stand out. In this section, we’ll only share the fundamentals of a captivating college personal statement:

1. Authenticity

Whenever there’s stiff competition, you must expect a few people to use unscrupulous techniques to get a head. To say it’s human nature won’t be too far-fetched. You must avoid the desire to lie or exaggerate your achievements, experiences, passions, and dreams to win. Instead, be modest and authentic.

2. Conciseness

You might have a lot to say or describe, but remember that the admission committee scans thousands of applications per day. So, it’s important to be clear and concise, avoiding wordiness and unnecessary details. A few sentences are better than a long, boring and meaningless paragraph.

3. Positivity

While we agree that your negative experiences can build your case before the committee, always stay positive. It would be best if you dwelt on your strengths and achievements rather than negative experiences. Remember you’re not seeking sympathy, but a deserved chance to further your studies.

4. Adhere to instructions

Colleges have different demands for personal statements. Some provide templates to be followed, while others have strict word limits. You must read the instructions carefully and adhere to them strictly. Failing to do so might get your application tossed aside even without reading.

5. Be proactive

You might be a procrastinator who dives into all tasks at the last minute. While this might have worked in the past, don’t take chances with such a momentous event. Start early and give yourself enough time to brainstorm, write, and revise your personal statement. Rushing the process at the tail end of the application can result in a less impactful statement. But if, for some reason, you fail to start early, consider seeking assistance from experienced writers. A company like CustomWritings can help in no time. They’ve saved thousands of students in the same situation.

6. Highlight challenges

We all encounter setbacks in life. While some are minor, others can be life-altering. It’s crucial to share relevant ones with the admission committee to show your resilience and the ability to overcome obstacles. Moreover, include the vital lessons you learned from the ordeal.

7. Uniqueness

What sets you apart from other applicants? Why do you deserve the slot? If you want a strong and impactful document, you need to identify your unique selling points. These could include your skills, qualities, and experiences that could improve the college community.

8. Editing and proofreading

Even the most accomplished writers make mistakes. Their final documents, the ones you consider flawless, are products of multiple edits. Learn from them and invest time in your document to make it great for a university application.

9. Seek feedback

A second or third opinion hurts no one. Talk to someone you trust to help you go through the document. Their input might turn out to be invaluable. You can ask trusted teachers, mentors, or family members to read it and provide constructive criticism.

10. Mail it early

So, you’ve finished your document early, right? Then why wait? Anything can happen, making you miss the deadline. So, don’t take any chances. Mail it!

Be Authentic and Creative to Win a College Application

As you’ve read above, there are a few tips to help you write a personal statement for college. But not all of them are the same. If you truly want to hack it, then be authentic and creative. Stand out, not by saying too much, but by saying what is relevant and important. Good luck on your college application journey!

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