Lester Arnold High School
     6500 East 72nd Avenue
     Commerce City, CO 80022
  303.853.3301    303.289.7167
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Personal Statement Tips

Personal Statement

Personal statement — an essay you write to show a college admissions and scholarship committee who you are and why you deserve to be admitted to their school or receive their scholarship.

Tips for you to write a great scholarship or college personal statement!

1. Know your audience: Although we're looking at scholarship essays as a whole, it's important to realize that every scholarship provider is looking for a specific student who meets unique criteria. When you get your application, look closely at the questions, the organization giving the scholarship, and any past recipients you can find.

2. Plan far in advance: You can also avoid the "one-size-fits-all" essay by getting an early start on each application. Begin your research and planning a week or so before you think you should, and you'll be able to take enough time to turn out something great.

This will also give you time to craft an outline, which can help your essay stay concise and on target. Think of two or three main points you want to make in response to the essay question, add some supporting information under each of them, and consider a sentence or two of introduction and conclusion. Before you know it, you'll have built the structure and thesis of your essay, and you won't have to rush to write it.

3. Make it personal and passionate: When you do start writing, don't forget that the main purpose of your essay is to convince the scholarship provider that you're the student they've been looking for. Answer the questions you've set out in your outline, but make sure every point you make is illustrated with a specific detail that shows you care about the subject.

4. Find an editor: Last but not least, make sure you have time to run your essay by a good editor, whether it's a parent, teacher, or grammar-nerd friend. Even a well-researched and passionately written essay can be derailed by spelling mistakes or awkward sentences, and if you've spent a lot of time looking at your words, it's easy to miss basic mistakes.

Click on the images below to get more tips on how to write a great personal essay.

Personal Statement

Personal Statement Powerpoint (PDF)