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Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How personal should my college app essay be?

So, as I'm brainstorming for college app essays, I'm kinda at a crossroads. How much of my personal life and feelings should I actually dive into? I want it to be authentic, but is there a line between personal and TMI (too much information)?

7 months ago

Navigating the balance between personal and TMI can indeed be challenging, but remember, the essay is your opportunity to give the admissions committee a glimpse of who you are beyond your transcripts and test scores. It should certainly be authentic and reflect your experiences, thoughts, and aspirations.

The key is to ensure that your personal story is not only genuine but also relevant to your application and resonates with your academic and career goals. While it should be personal, it's essential to maintain a level of professionalism — your essay isn't a diary entry, but a crafted narrative that conveys your perspective and gives context to your academic journey.

For example, if you've undergone a particularly tough challenge that's shaped your worldview or academic interests, sharing that story can be incredibly powerful. However, steer clear of overly graphic details or anything that may make the reader uncomfortable. The rule of thumb is to ask yourself if each detail included serves a purpose in illustrating your point or character. And of course, always feel free to seek feedback from a teacher, counselor, or trusted adult who can help you strike the right balance.

7 months ago

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