Successful Essays for College Admissions

The transfer from high school to college is an exciting and fulfilling event in the life of a student. It represents a very significant step in a person’s formal education, but it is all too easy to forget that gaining admission into the college of choice can also be very demanding as well. Preparation is required, and students need to plan ahead. This is particularly true of the personal statement essay that most colleges and universities require of new students as an integral component of their application for admission.

The statement essay cannot be rushed, and serious students will begin to work on it some weeks ahead of the deadline. Post secondary institutions tend to be well prepared for their entry procedures, and they will distribute application packages well in advance, giving potential new students plenty of time to complete their essay fully and effectively. A few simple strategies will ensure that the personal statement covers the requirements.

Applicants should begin by reading all directions carefully. Colleges want to know something about their new students, and they expect to receive statements that give some useful and honest information. The directions and instructions contained in the application package will clearly indicate what kind of information is required.

It is crucial to be keenly aware of the statement’s audience. A selection committee will be responsible for reading personal statements, and the committee members will have to make decisions based on what they read. Any insincerity or pretence will be quickly detected. Whining and begging will be viewed as irrelevant. They want to read simple statements of honest facts and true details about the applicant that will help them to make rational decisions in the selection process.

The opening sentence and the first paragraph of a personal statement are most important as they provide the committee with an initial impression of the applicant. This first statement should indicate what will be contained in the body of the letter, and it will ideally contain an underlying proposal of why the applicant should be accepted.

The committee members will already possess information about past academic performance, but they will want to know about high school involvement in sports and social events as well. The statement will be much more impressive and acceptable if it gives a clear outline of the applicant’s experiences in leadership, community work, or volunteer commitments. Colleges and universities are looking for well-rounded individuals who can contribute to the life of a dynamic post-secondary institution.

Conclusions should be fairly short and to the point. Insincere clichés must be avoided, but the summary can conclude the personal statement by suggesting that the strengths, successes, and experiences discussed make the applicant a viable choice. The committee must be convinced that the applicant is sincere in his or her desire to make a real contribution to their post-secondary institution.

When personal statements are completed well in advance of the deadlines, there will be plenty of time to make sure all the details are accurate and complete. The directions will usually indicate the required length of the paper, in terms of the number of pages, or perhaps the number of words. This detail must be strictly followed. An appropriate font must be chosen for effective presentation, and finally, it will be necessary to do a complete and thorough review of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. With care and attention to directions and details, there is every reason to expect that the personal statement essay will be well received.