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Essays & Personal Statements

Many colleges require students to submit written essays or personal statements as a part of their application. These writings give an applicant an opportunity to personalize his/her application and should be written in the student's voice and exemplify something about the student that sets him/her apart from his/her colleagues--something that exhibits that students uniqueness and "fit" for college life, or a particular college (if applicable). 

UC "Personal Insight" questions - UCs require applicants to select 4 of 8 insight questions to reply to as a part of the application process.   Each response will be limited to a maximum of 350 characters. 


Colleges want to know what students do with their non-school time, what drives them to do what they do, who benefits from what they do and what they learn from that experience.  Let your story come out in your are unique, so share your unique perceptions!  


COVID 19 question:  To share or not to share...  everyone is navigating today's pandemic in a different way.  Some students have been affected by fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and more.  If YOU feel that sharing your experience with any of these situations, please DO share on your application.  An application reader will not know the context of your situation, if you don't share it.  

College Essays/Personal Statements 

College Essays/Personal Statements - This type of writing may hold various forms. Students must read each application (institutional, common application or coalition application) and determine the type of response that the college is requesting.   The Common Application and the Coalition Application each have a single essay that goes to each school, and in addition, many have institutional questions (via supplements) for each of these applications.  

In all cases, students should put focused effort into  writing their essays and personal statements as it can be their only chance  to "personalize" an application beyond the numbers  (GPA, test scores,  etc.).  See the attachment below for "Top 10 Tips  for Writing Essays"  provided by your SRVHS counselors.