Personal Statement Examples for College - All-in-One Guide (2023)

Personal Statement Examples for College - All-in-One Guide (1)

Table of Contents

  1. Personal Statement Writing – Questions to Answer.
  2. Personal Statement Writing – Start with Drafting a Structure
  3. Paragraph #1: Introduction
  4. Paragraphs #2, 3, 4: Body
  5. Paragraph #5: Conclusion
  6. What’s Important in Personal Statement Writing?
  7. Do Not Be Lazy to Proofread
  8. 8 Tips to Write Personal Statement like a Pro
(Video) How to Write an OUTSTANDING Personal Statement for College: A Crash Course

Personal statement is one of the key prerequisites for entering a university. It is your motivation letter that makes an admissions committee decide on whether to admit, reject, or waitlist your application. The question of personal statement writing is critical for most entrants who apply to the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. It can help them succeed in their professional career. Personal statement writing requires a lot of time and in-depth preparation from a student to make it sound effective, persuasive, and unique. A lot of students also find it challenging and look forcollege admission essay help.Personal statement examples for college can be of great service to you.

The way you write a motivation letter college will decide on your education, career, or even future life. Reading personal statement examples, the admissions committee makes up the idea of you. And your mission is to look successful, educated, experienced, and self-confident in every word you write. In this post, we will cover all the aspects of personal statement writing and will help you stand out from the crowd of other applicants!


Personal Statement Writing – Questions to Answer.

Writing any kind of text requires preparation. When it comes to working on personal statement examples, things become even tougher. We do not recommend putting this task away for later. It is impossible to write a stunning application essay overnight. You will need several days to come up with the ideas on paper contents; at least one week will be necessary for you to shape all your ideas into the text and proofread it. The earlier you will start working on your college motivation letter – the better. You will have plenty of time for edits.

Before drafting college personal statement, consider the content you are going to cover in it. Prepare a list of questions to be answered in the text:

(Video) How to write a PERSONAL STATEMENT for university or college

  • Who are you? What are the merits of yours; what biggest results/ achievements have you reached during your studies or other activities - get all these answered. When claiming anything in the text, confirm it with specific examples. Instead of writing that you are smart and hardworking, tell your reader how you managed to solve a complex problem. Stating that you are single-minded is no better than describing the goal that you have set and achieved.
  • Why did you choose this faculty; what attracts you to it; why do you want to dedicate your life to this profession - an admissions committee should be aware of what motivates you? Strong and well-thought-out argumentation matters here. Writing that Chemistry is your favorite subject will never convince a committee to admit you. It is a way better to tell a reader a story: what impression the first experiments made on you or how you were carried away by a specific idea or phenomenon.
  • Why did you choose this university? Equip yourself with the maximum information about the educational establishment (program) you are applying to - learn everything about the university. Determine what exactly makes this university special in the world. Avoid writing clichés – specify exact academic strengths you are attracted to, for examples, name the professor who is doing research in the field of your interest.
  • What are your professional goals? It is recommended to be the maximum concrete here. Instead of saying that your goal is to get a degree from the university, demonstrate how the education you want to receive corresponds to the logic of your personal and professional development. Years you are going to spend in the university will be a continuation of what you have already started and will help achieve your goals.

It is impossible to fully cover the above questions in a few hours. You will need several days to build your argumentation strategy, or you will fail.

Click here to read about contents that shouldn’t be in your admission essay examples.

Personal Statement Writing – Start with Drafting a Structure

Following a clear and easy-to-perceive structure is important in personal statement writing process. It helps you build a strong argumentation strategy. The more logically your motivation letter examples are built, the easier it will be for you to persuade a reader, convincing him step-by-step.

Start by writing down your answers to the above questions and organize your ideas in a logical sequence. Write an outline.

Paragraph #1: Introduction

Attract the reader's attention with something exciting - formulate the main idea you are going to prove at the beginning of the college motivation letter.

(Video) 3 Awesome Personal Statements That AREN'T on Challenges

Paragraphs #2, 3, 4: Body

Give evidence in support of your main idea. Provide specific examples from your life, study, or work. Here, you can write about your family, country, or someone you admire; the body part of your personal statement examples is critically important. Use it to win over the reader.

Paragraph #5: Conclusion

The last paragraph of your college personal statement is a good place for you to repeat and strengthen your main idea. It would be a great idea to link the conclusion with the intro of your motivation letter examples. By duplicating the thesis in the concluding part of your writing, you increase the chance that it will be remembered by the reader.

If you are searching for effective admission essay topics, find them here.

What’s Important in Personal Statement Writing?

Structuring examples in a logical sequence is one aspect of personal statement writing; sharpening skills of choosing the right tone and vocabulary are of no less importance here. When writing motivation letter examples, pay attention to the following:

  • Find a convincing, sincere tone of writing, not formal or conversational – try to find the balance. Remember that your style reflects your personality.
  • Strive for concreteness. Avoid choosing general facts, give preference to private arguments. Instead of saying that you love philosophy, name the philosopher who had a great influence on you.
  • Avoid common words and false emotions. Remember that personal statement is not a tool to talk to your friends; it is intended to be read by people who decide your future life. Do your maximum to appear in the best light.

A comprehensive guide for writing common application Essay prompts will help you prepare a winning essay.


(Video) how to write the PERFECT personal statement for top universities!!!

Do Not Be Lazy to Proofread

The presence of grammatical mistakes, run-on sentences, and contextual errors will make any paper sound unprofessional. It is important to proofread your piece with a critical eye before submitting it. Pay special attention to the following aspects when re-reading your college personal statement:

  • Structure – is there a logical connection between the paragraphs?
  • Sincerity of the tone – does the text reflect your personality?
  • Unity of the style – does the text sound professional; is it colloquial?
  • Word count – is the piece long/ short? Avoid unnecessary words and expressions, unless they are a part of your writing “strategy.”
  • Interestingness - is it interesting to read? Check personal statement examples for college to get inspired.
  • Uniqueness - do your motivation letter examples sound unique and catchy; will it make you stand out from the crowd of other students?

Improve/ rewrite your examples as many times as necessary to attain perfection.

8 Tips to Write Personal Statement like a Pro

There no general do’s and don’ts in motivation letter writing; personal statement essays may be different – all aimed at catching a reader’s attention and persuading him. If you want to prepare a high-quality piece, consider following the below tips.

  1. Official style. Personal statement is an official document, and it must be designed with that in mind - jokes and spoken language are inappropriate. The motivation letter examples should be done in an official writing style.
  2. Finish all your thoughts. Paragraphs should not be terminated, and all the theses should be justified. If you write that you have studied well in school, indicate what it says about your diligence and ambition.
  3. Write individually. College personal statement examples should be unique; it must be compiled individually for each institution or organization. Universal personal statements are recognized and “blacklisted”. The admissions committee should understand that the letter is written for them.
  4. The length of the motivation letter should not exceed one page. If you have a solid professional experience that does not fit within one sheet, you can slightly exceed the limit.
  5. Write on the case. Do not write about your hobbies and interests if they do not concern your goal (even if this is very important to you personally).
  6. Do not overcomplicate the text - avoid complex and long words and phrases; simple presentation often looks more attractive and professional. Reread your text to divide long sentences into shorter ones.
  7. Do not use banal and famous quotes. It is better to pick something interesting and unknown to the general public.
  8. Write truth only. It is not a good tone to lie and exaggerate in your personal statement writing. People in admission commissions have long learned how to recognize lies.

Personal statement is a kind of recommendation to oneself; it must be restrained and concrete, containing no general phrases and clichés. Instead of writing that you have a great organizational experience, provide real and specific proof. Your writing should serve you as an advertisement! Promote yourself, interest the reader - create the impression of an educated person with great potential a college cannot miss. Only in this case, your applications will be considered and accepted.


What should I write in my personal statement for college? ›

The personal statement should demonstrate the qualities, skills, and values that you've cultivated over your life and how those skills have prepared you for attending college.

How do you fit everything into a personal statement? ›

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Personal Statement Fit the Character...
  1. Avoid clichés and quotes. ...
  2. Make sure everything is relevant. ...
  3. Make use of colour coding. ...
  4. Watch your language. ...
  5. Still need to shave off the last few characters? ...
  6. 8 Common Personal Statement Mistakes to Avoid.
25 Aug 2020

What should I answer in a personal statement? ›

The most successful personal statements will answer the questions that admission tutors are asking from prospective candidates: who you are, what you are aiming for, why you want to study that degree course or at that university, and what you can offer.

Do universities fact check personal statements? ›

The answer is a resounding no. In fact, with some exceptions (hi MIT), admissions officers at elite universities rarely fact check much of anything. And why? They simply don't have the time to do so.

How do I begin my personal statement? ›

Start with why you chose it, then try and summarise this in one or two sentences. Be original and refer to personal experiences as a way to draw attention. Avoid overused opening sentences, quotes and clichés like 'when I was young…' They want to know about you now, not your childhood or Shakespeare!

What to avoid doing in a personal statement? ›

The ten biggest mistakes when writing your personal statement
  • Telling a story. ...
  • Repeating information already contained in your application. ...
  • Spending too long discussing personal issues. ...
  • Making simple grammatical errors. ...
  • Failing to demonstrate capability of university-level study. ...
  • Using clichés.
15 Sept 2022

What phrases to avoid in a personal statement? ›

Try to avoid overly using words such as "also", "as well as", "additionally" and so on. These make your personal statement read more like a dispassionate list of things you've done rather than making it flow nicely.

What is a good opening sentence for a personal statement? ›

For as long as I can remember… I am applying for this course because… I have always been interested in… Throughout my life I have always enjoyed…

Should I talk about myself in a personal statement? ›

Don't be afraid to talk about yourself

"Those things that make you different are what they need to know. They make you who you are, so tell us about them." This is your personal statement, it's not an essay on why you think physics/English/geography is great.

Can you talk in first person in a personal statement? ›

In your personal statement, you can use third person or first person narrative. I have highlighted in bold the different between the two. Just be sure to choose one over the other, and to keep this consistent from the beginning of your personal statement right up until the end.

Can you get rejected because of personal statement? ›

If your writing is flagged as unoriginal, the universities you are applying to will be alerted to this and are unlikely to make you an offer. If your statement is entirely unoriginal, then your application stands a good chance of being rejected entirely, leaving you without any options.

What should you not do in a personal statement for college? ›

DON'T write your statement with the goal of telling schools what you think they want to hear. Sincerity is important and recognizable. DON'T use quotes or give a title to your statement.

What happens if I lie on my personal statement? ›

If you lie on your personal statement, then your application becomes fraudulent. If you get caught out in the lie as described above, you could lose your offer (or place).

Can I use the same personal statement twice? ›

It's OK to reuse your previous statement if you have applied before. However, if you are now applying in a different name, make sure you fill in the 'Previous Name' box in UCAS Apply. We will then know it's you when we process your personal statement.

How do you nail a personal statement? ›

Here are some tips on how to write a truly outstanding piece.
  1. Make a draft without a character counter. ...
  2. Take your time. ...
  3. Find the perfect words and expressions. ...
  4. Concentrate on your strengths. ...
  5. Find the perfect opening sentence. ...
  6. Make it your own work, voice and ideas. ...
  7. Be honest. ...
  8. Get someone to proofread your statement.

Do I put my name on my personal statement? ›

In the absence of any guidelines provided by the graduate school, your heading should include the name of the document you are submitting (e.g., “Personal Statement”), the school and department for whom you are writing it (e.g., “Ohio University College of Education”), and your name.

How do you sound unique in a personal statement? ›

Take your time to make that list of reasons to form the perfect introduction (remember – you're introducing yourself as well as your personal statement).
  1. Add your transferable skills to your personal statement. ...
  2. Include some anecdotes. ...
  3. Don't leave out your difficulties. ...
  4. Vary your language.
16 Nov 2021

What can I say instead of passion in a personal statement? ›

Some common synonyms of passion are affection, emotion, feeling, and sentiment.

What is a catchy opening sentence? ›

Start with the chase. A good hook might also be a question or a claim—anything that will elicit an emotional response from a reader. Think about it this way: a good opening sentence is the thing you don't think you can say, but you still want to say. Like, “This book will change your life.”

How can I improve my opening sentence? ›

6 Tips for Writing a Great Opening Line
  1. State your theme. ...
  2. Begin with a strange detail. ...
  3. Establish your character's voice. ...
  4. Introduce your narrative style. ...
  5. Convey the stakes. ...
  6. Set the scene.
12 Nov 2021

What not to say when asked tell me about yourself? ›

What not to say
  1. Don't tell them your entire career history, or life story. It might seem to make sense to start from the beginning and walk the interviewer through your career history, but Lambart advises against this. ...
  2. Don't complain about the job search, or your boss. ...
  3. Don't get too personal, or bring up risky topics.

What words can be used in first person? ›

First-person point of view

We, us, our,and ourselves are all first-person pronouns. Specifically, they are plural first-person pronouns. Singular first-person pronouns include I, me, my, mine and myself.

Is it OK to use I in statement of purpose? ›

It's perfectly normal to use first person pronouns in your statement of purpose.

How do you say I without saying I in an essay? ›

Using the third-person or “it” constructions can be used to replace personal pronouns like “You” and “I”. Such words also help to reduce the word count of your essay and make it short and precise. For example, if you are writing “I conclude that”, replace those words with “it could be concluded that”.

Why do colleges reject good students? ›

If they've already accepted people who fill out certain niches and you fill that same niche, you might get rejected because your app was read after someone else's. Other factors that can influence your admission include the state that you are from, the high school you attended, and/or your economic background.

What happens if no university accepts me? ›

Universities don't have to give you a reason, but if the rejection has left you wondering you could contact the university to ask for feedback. Try not to take it too personally. Admissions tutors will be sifting through hundreds of applications and it might not always be obvious why it's not good news for you.

What skills are universities looking for? ›

Colleges want to see more than just good grades and test scores on your college application.
Here are 9 character traits that colleges often cite when they describe what they are looking for in students.
  • Curiosity. ...
  • Persistence. ...
  • Risk-taking. ...
  • Compassion. ...
  • open-mindedness. ...
  • Social Consciousness. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Collaboration.

What topics should I stay away from in a college essay? ›

15 Topics to Avoid in Your College Essays
  • Inappropriate Topics.
  • A Rehash of Your Activities List and Transcripts.
  • Relationships, Romance, and Breakups.
  • Writing About Your Hero.
  • The Sports Story.
  • Tragedies.
  • Highly Personal Topics.
  • Controversial Topics: Politics, Religion, and More.
6 Oct 2022

What scares the most about college admission process? ›

Rejection: As a High school student one of my biggest fears about the college application process is rejection. Coming from a very competitive college prep school, going to college has never even been a question. And on top of that, getting accepted to a prestigious college is expected.

What are three big mistakes commonly made on college application essays? ›

3 Common College Application Essay Mistakes
  • Not Providing Any New Information. Every component of your application should add new information to the picture. ...
  • Stifling Your Voice and Personality. Students often ask if a particular talent or activity will make them stand out. ...
  • Not Tailoring Essays.

How do you prove you are lying? ›

While not an exhaustive list, these verbal and non-verbal signs of deception are more common than some of the others we've seen.
  1. Premise. ...
  2. Verbal Indicators. ...
  3. No Response/Non-Responsive. ...
  4. Delayed Response. ...
  5. Repeating the Question. ...
  6. No Denial. ...
  7. Overly Specific/Overly Vague. ...
  8. Protest Statements.

Can you copy your own personal statement? ›

Your personal statement is an account that you have written yourself. Therefore, you are able to reuse it for different UCAS applications because it is about you and written by you. There are copy catch systems in the personal statement library, owned by UCAS.

How do you prove your not lying? ›

Provide evidence of what happened.

The best way to prove to someone that you are not lying is to offer the person evidence that directly contradicts the claim. If you can think of any way to demonstrate your truthfulness, do so by backing up your statements with credible proof.

Do you have to use all 47 lines in a personal statement? ›

A maximum of 4,000 characters (or 47 lines of text) is to be used in the personal statement so you must ensure that you structure your personal statement sensibly to include all of the key areas. As your word count is limited, everything you write should be relevant and add value to your statement.

Can you talk about 2 subjects in a personal statement? ›

In general we'd recommend avoiding dividing the personal statement into one half on subject A, the other half on subject B. Even for joint courses, we want to see how you can combine perspectives and apply your knowledge, so try to do this throughout the personal statement. Answer published: December 2020.

Can you exaggerate On a personal statement? ›

Don't exaggerate – if you do, you may get caught out in an interview when asked to elaborate on an interesting achievement. Don't use quotes from someone else, or cliches.

How do you start a personal statement for college? ›

Start with a short sentence that captures the reason why you're interested in studying the area you're applying for and that communicates your enthusiasm for it. Don't waffle or say you want to study something just because it's interesting. Explain what you find interesting about it. '

What should you not write in a personal statement? ›

7 Things to Avoid in Your Personal Statement
  1. Whining. Don't whine in your essay! ...
  2. Someone else is the hero. ...
  3. Reads like a resume. ...
  4. Lack of focus. ...
  5. Leaves out personal growth. ...
  6. Overcomplicated language. ...
  7. Incorrect grammar or spelling.

How do you write a simple personal statement for college? ›

Most successful college essays do at least 3 things:
  1. Mention at least one anecdote or story. (“Show, don't tell.”)
  2. Explain why that anecdote or story is important to who you are.
  3. End (or begin) by connecting this information, to why you are applying to this specific college.
10 Oct 2019

What is the best opening sentence for a personal statement? ›

The 10 Most Common Opening Lines in Personal Statements
  • From a young age, I have (always) been [interested in/fascinated by]…
  • For as long as I can remember, I have…
  • I am applying for this course because…
  • I have always been interested in…
  • Throughout my life, I have always enjoyed…
25 Sept 2019

What if you lie on your personal statement? ›

If you lie on your personal statement, then your application becomes fraudulent. If you get caught out in the lie as described above, you could lose your offer (or place).

Should I brag in my personal statement? ›

Do Brag About Yourself. It's a personal statement—it's okay to write about your strengths and accomplishments. Most people aren't comfortable bragging about themselves. But that is exactly what to do in your personal statement.


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