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Four Reasons Why A Personal Statement Still Matters

by Adrianne Greth

An admission committee seeks to clearly understand who you are, what’s important to you, and what type of community member you might be on campus. College applications provide an overview of your accomplishments with the personal statement illuminating unique and relevant information about you. Do not underestimate the importance of the personal statement - here are four reasons why a personal statement still matters.


Reason #1: Personal statements are an important piece of contextual information for sharing a multidimensional view of who you are.

Colleges that include essays want to clearly hear your voice and get to know you beyond your grades and test scores. Your insights and honest reflections of your experiences, perspectives, and values are important for a committee to consider. This is an opportunity to add your voice. Show your personality! Without a strong personal statement, the true spirit of an applicant might be missed or overlooked.

Reason #2: Essays help admission committees assess fit for their school.

An essential question every committee seeks to answer is, “what will this student bring to our campus?” Colleges are looking for students who will be the best fit in terms of academics and community engagement. They are crafting a class of individuals – show your true character, motivations, and passions. That’s invaluable information to have when assessing fit and finding students who will be most successful at their school. 

Reason #3: Reading your words and the stories you choose to share adds depth to your application.

Sharing meaningful stories that provide new information or give further understanding to what’s already in your application adds depth that can only be found in this unique aspect of the process. Your personal statement should reflect what you want to show and tell the committee, not what you think the committee wants to hear. (Go ahead, read that line again.) Authenticity is key, don’t be afraid to be you!

Reason #4: The personal statement is one aspect you can control in this process.

The college application experience has become very complex and unpredictable. And sometimes it feels good to have something in your hands that you can own, in the present. The essay is often one of the last aspects to be polished and perfected, providing an opportunity to share the most relevant and genuine pieces of information. Think about it– your application is a summary of what you’ve accomplished and completed over the past three years. The essay is the “here and now” -  it’s the last piece of the puzzle where you should let yourself shine! 

Keep in mind– an amazing personal statement is not the sole reason you will gain admission, although a poor one with minimal effort could negatively impact your decision. Essays are an opportunity to showcase your best qualities or most meaningful moments which can positively impact a committee’s understanding of who you are, alongside everything you do. Best of luck!  

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