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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Defining a personal essay for college applications

Hey friends, I'm a bit lost on what constitutes a 'personal essay' when it comes to college apps. Can someone explain how it's different from the other essays and maybe share some examples of what topics work best for this type of essay?

8 months ago

Hello there! It's great that you're seeking clarity on the personal essay. It's essentially your chance to tell admissions officers something about you that isn't found anywhere else in your application. Unlike other essays that may answer specific questions about your academic interests or extracurricular activities, the personal essay is more open-ended.

Think of it as a spotlight on your character, experiences, or values. For instance, you could write about a challenge you’ve overcome, a personal accomplishment, or an event that led to personal growth. It's important that whatever topic you choose, it reflects something significant about who you are. A student I worked with shared a story about how baking with their grandmother taught them the value of patience and creativity, which turned out to be a delightful read for admissions and showcased their personal depth wonderfully. Hope that helps!

8 months ago

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