One of the toughest parts of filling a college application is the personal statement. Also known as the summary of purpose, the application essay can make or break your chance of admission. Colleges ask for the personal statement to gather an insight on the applicant. It helps them to gauge how eligible the candidate is for admission. Thus, utmost care and due diligence should be taken while crafting a college application essay. The post below outlines some tips to write an inspiring college application.
Study the college, department and the course
Before you sit down to pen your college application essay, take some time out to study the college, department and course. It will get you a fair idea on what kind of students the institution and the department are looking for. The research will also help to summarize what areas of your previous academic background align with the course, so that you can highlight them on your personal statement.
Study a few samples
The virtual world is flooded with a wide range of personal statements written by previous college applicants. You might able to locate college application essays written for your chosen college online. Study them, observe how the statements started, notice the flow and check what points have been highlighted. Find out which of the samples are easier to read and comprehend and try to follow their style in your own essay.
Make an outline
Don’t just rush to the final copy. Experts always advise to proceed with an outline beforehand. It will help you map out how you will arrange the entire essay layout. Decide how many paragraphs you need and what each paragraph would highlight. Just write a brief of each paragraph on the outline, which you can elaborate on in your final copy. Keep the word and character count in mind while framing the outline.
Be careful about the opening sentence
The opening sentence is the first thing the college will notice in your application. And you have to make your best impression here. Write something that will compel the reader to know more about you and delve further into your essay. Start with an inspiring line that hits the reader at a glance. It should be interesting and meaningful and show that you are a student of substance.
Align your experience and/or background with the course
This is one of the most important parts of your college application essay. Professors generally prefer a student with some degree of background or experience pertinent to their course. So, try to find what elements of your past academic background align with the course you are applying for. If there is any personal experience that strongly relates to the course, you should highlight that as well.
Stress on strengths
Ask yourself what makes you fit for the course? For example, if you are known for your great people skills, you are an amazing candidate for a public relations or public policy course. Highlight the achievements, skills and training you hold and those that make you a potential candidate for the chosen department.
Be precise and to the point with your essay. Do not over-inflate a minor point. Make sure the piece is a breeze to read and understandable right from the first line to the last.
Consult a college application writer
It is wise to consult a college application writer like Forward Pathway before you send the application essay to any college. College application writing professionals are well articulated in the nuances of formulating a college application and can help with the right.
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Next, detail your accomplishments and experience in this field — remember to show more than tell. Provide evidence of your interest through your actions during a research project or an extracurricular activity. For example, instead of saying “I like both science and art,” illustrate the year you spent researching the brain’s ability to store memories through Dali’s paintings, and how this caused you to view the process of recollection as more of an art rather than a hard science, leading to your desire to study both neuroscience and art history. Not only does this show your interest in both fields, it also implies you are curious and innovative.
This paragraph is also a chance to portray your ability to grow and conquer challenges in your given field. So, rather than writing “I won state for Mock Trial,” describe the struggles you overcame and the growth you experienced in your role as president of your school’s mock trial team. By weaving narration throughout the paragraph, you will be able to portray a more authentic and unique story.
Lastly, connect your aspirations to IU. Specificity is key here. Avoid being vague and general with sweeping statements like “Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business is perfect for me” or “As a student at IU, I could study abroad.” Vague statements demonstrate a lack of interest and lack of effort. Research and learn about the qualities and programs that make Indiana University unique and special to your needs. What are unique programs or extracurriculars at Indiana University, and what will they teach you? What is a quality of IU that is important to you? Avoid generic responses that could apply to any other university.
If you want to be an investment banker through Kelley, describe the focused skillset you will gain from the school’s investment banking workshop, or the network you will create from the small classes and tight-knit community of the Kelley Business Honors Program. An aspiring global correspondent could describe the IU’s worldly approach towards learning and interning in London through the Media School’s “Summer in London” program.
Your primary goal is to connect your accomplishments and aspirations with the opportunities that await you at IU; however, avoid listing every possible activity you could participate in and stay focused.
- Start with a personal, vivid anecdote conveying your interest in a single field.
- Share a narrative of you overcoming an obstacle in this field; provide evidence of your experience in this interest.
- Describe the essence or quality of a program or activity at IU that would help you grow in this area.
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