A personal statement is a special type of essay that you write usually when you are applying to school or applying for scholarship or grant programs. Personal statements are intended to tell a little bit about who you are and usually explain to the admissions committee why you might be a good fit for their academic program.
When You Write Personal Statements
There are many examples of personal statements that you might have to write. For example, some personal statements include:
- A personal statement for an application to a special gifted and talent program at your school
- A personal statement for an application for admission to college
- A personal statement for an application for admission to graduate school
- A personal statement for an application for admission to business school
- A personal statement for an application for admission to law school
- A personal statement for an application to teach ESL that shows your philosophy of education
Sometimes, you will be given a topic that your personal statement is supposed to discuss. In other cases, you'll just be asked to talk about yourself or why you would be a good fit.
Personal Statements About Why You Want to Attend
One type of personal statement that is commonly written is a statement explaining why you would be a good fit for a specific academic program or about why you would want to attend that program.
Some examples of personal statement ideas that you might use include:
- For admission to a graduate program in education: "When I was a child, I was always looking for role models and my fourth grade teacher stepped up to fill the role. My fourth grade teacher took a personal interest in me and her belief that I could be successful changed my life. I want to be able to give back and provide other children with the same inspiration that I received."
- For admission to a medical school program: "I believe that doctors can shape a society and help a society to grow. Healthcare is the most basic and fundamental of human rights and my goal is to become a doctor so I can work to make sure no one is denied access to the healthcare they need."
- For admission to a law school program: "My first encounter with the legal system was when my friend's parents were wrongfully evicted from their apartment. A lawyer helped them to get their money back and to get back into their home, and the lawyer gave them hope. I, too, want to be able to pursue a noble profession that allows me to give the average person a voice within the legal system."
- For admission to a particular college: "It has always been my dream to study journalism, and College X has the course program that will allow me to pursue my passions and to develop my skills."
Personal Statements About Who You Are
In some cases, your personal statement will be focused not on why you want to attend a school program but instead on who you are and why you would be the right fit. For example, some people might focus on the struggles they overcame in order to be in a position to attend the school. Others might discuss how their unique perspective would make them a valuable addition to the class.
Some examples include:
- As the first person in my family to have the opportunity to attend college, I will value the opportunity to attend your school because I know how important education is in opening doors."
- As an immigrant who came to the United States when I was 15, I believe I have a unique perspective on social issues that will allow me to make valuable contributions in my law school classes.
These types of personal statements are focused on showing that you would be a valuable addition to the class so the admissions committee will be eager to have you attend.