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Five Steps to Writing a Personal Statement for College

Posted by Sara Giboney Tuesday, Mar. 29, 2022

A woman sitting in front of a computer writes in a notebook.A well-written and impactful personal statement can boost your chances of being accepted into college.

What is a Personal Statement for College?

As part of the application to Nebraska Methodist College (NMC), a written personal statement is required. 

“A college personal statement is a tool that gives an applicant the opportunity to tell the admissions committee a little about themselves, their passions, who inspired them and why they are pursuing a healthcare program,” said Michelle Olson, recruitment and admissions coordinator.

The statement is your chance to speak directly to the admissions team to share who you are. An effective personal written statement will make a good first impression and improve your chances of being accepted into college.

What Should Be Included in a Personal Statement for College?

In your personal statement, make sure you include:

  • Your name in the document title
  • Your first and last name at the top of your statement
  • The name of the program that you’re applying to

Your personal statement is a crucial component of the application process, so taking the time to plan, write and edit is important. Follow these five steps to write a dynamic statement:

1. Your personal written statement should reflect your personality and be authentic to you.

“Applicants should include their personality in their writing. We want to get a sense of who they are,” Olson said. “The admissions committee wants to learn about your successes and struggles. We ask that you show evidence of your resiliency in your life experience.”

According to US News and World Reports, a college admissions statement is thoughtful and tells a story that offers insight into who a student is as a person.

Before you begin the writing process, think about what aspects of your personality and your life would be valuable to share.

Consider writing about lessons learned because of a difficult situation, being resilient when faced with obstacles, or overcoming hardship.

If you’re currently working to overcome a struggle, write about how you’re getting through your situation.

2. When writing your personal statement, develop thoughtful and organized responses to each question.

Unlike many college admissions essays that require you to come up with a topic, NMC’s written statement includes writing prompts specific to each program. 

The personal written statement is your chance to address why you want to attend college, how you use logical reasoning and critical thinking skills, examples of your strong communication skills, why you want to enroll in your preferred program and the ways you created effective change.

It’s also a chance for you to address low grades on your transcripts or withdrawals from previously enrolled courses.

You may want to read through all of the questions first, then create an outline for each prompt before starting the writing process.

An outline will allow you to organize your writing and reduce redundancy in your answers.

3. Your written statement should include specific examples and anecdotes.

Sharing specific examples or stories from your own experiences allows the admissions team to know you better and discover what kind of communicator and learner you are.

Your anecdotes and reflections will let the admissions committee know if you have a growth mindset, whether you’re capable of developing the skill set necessary to work in healthcare and if you exhibit compassion and caring.

4. Using appropriate style and grammar is important when writing your statement.

While the admissions team learns about students through their written statements, they also look at writing skills. 

Get spelling and grammar assistance with resources like Grammarly. You can also have someone, such as a teacher, look over your writing.

“We highly recommend having two or more people proofread your work before submitting,” Olson said. “You do not have to lose points on your score because of simple errors.”

5. The admissions committee will look for responses that are well supported. 

When citing sources, use APA style

Instances of plagiarism within an applicant’s written statement will disqualify them for acceptance to college.

How Long Should a Personal Statement for College Be?

The written statement can be composed as an essay or by answering each question individually.

Each program has specific requirements for length. Make sure you read through the written statement guidelines for your preferred program for length requirements.

If you have questions about the requirements of the written statement, contact the admissions office at admissions@methodistcollege.edu.

How to Submit Your Personal Statement

Submit your written statement to the Enrollment Services Office at admissions@methodistcollege.edu.

You can call the Enrollment Services Office at (402) 354-7200 or email admissions@methodistcollege.edu with questions. If you're interested in contacting your admissions coordinator directly, please visit the Enrollment Services contact page.

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Topics: healthcare education, admissions, healthcare career

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Healthcare Career Guide