Maintaining high grades and getting strong scores on the SAT are great ways for a student to make themselves attractive to top schools. There’s an extra requirement for many colleges, though, that is equally important: the personal statement.
With this statement, students are expected to describe themselves, outline their motivations for applying for college, and make a strong case for their admission—no small feat. By understanding what personal statements are meant for and making good use of professional assistance, however, it’s possible for your child to craft a statement that does an excellent job of explaining exactly why they should be admitted.
Here’s what you need to know to get started.
Grades and SAT scores don’t offer a complete picture of who an applicant is. Colleges want to know who students are as people, what they dream of, how well they might serve as representatives of the school community, and other details that can’t be gleaned from academic records. In a close matchup between two prospective students, a personal statement could be the deciding factor.
What do colleges want to see? As suggested by the name, they want the personal statement to be personal. Interesting details from your child’s life and background should be shared, as should goals or aspirations that are relevant to their future studies. There is no precise recipe for the statement, so it should end up totally unique. Did your child have any obstacles to overcome in their academic career? Do they have particularly ambitious or unusual plans for after they graduate? This kind of information can be great for inclusion in a genuine and effective personal statement.
Whatever content your child decides to use for their statement, the main restriction is that it should all tie into the programs and universities they are applying to. The school needs to be able to understand why it should be the next stage of your child’s journey, and how they can set up your child for future success.
Some schools will provide specific questions to be answered in the personal statement. In these cases, the above advice still applies, but there is additional structure and guidance to help with the writing process. When this type of guidance is not offered, it’s important that young scholars take the time to brainstorm ideas for the kind of story they want their essay to tell and find ways to tie that story into what the school can offer them and what they can offer the school. Students having difficulty coming up with something can consult The Common Application’s Essay Prompts as a good starting point.
Writing the personal statement is a challenging task that will require a lot of work. For students eager to ensure a high quality essay, seeking professional help through a college admissions preparation program is an excellent strategy for shaping a statement into something that universities will love. In all cases, though, it is best to take plenty of time to ensure a statement is in great shape before sending it off.
A personal statement can be a challenging thing to get right, so many ambitious scholars wisely seek additional support to help them achieve the best results. College admissions counseling services are great for reducing the stress of crafting an excellent personal statement, as professional, personalized feedback is offered throughout the writing and editing process.
This helps students get a better sense of what their statements are really saying and receive guidance for how to tweak and adjust them as they go. It’s a process that can help young scholars produce eloquent work that is representative of their personal journey and ambition. With today’s incredibly crowded and competitive university application field, having this kind of asset in the development of the personal statement—and the rest of the college application—can make a real difference.
Is your child getting ready to apply to college?
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