College Essays and Personal Statements

College essays or personal statements that are required for college admissions are an important component of the application.  The Counseling Office encourages students to make an appointment with the CHS Writing Center (located in the IMC) for assistance with college essays. The followng website and article provide the do's and don'ts and sample essays:

Advice for Writing Successful Application Essays (article from Purdue University)

UW-System Personal Statement Prompts

Blog From the University of Wisconsin System Regarding Statements/Essays:

Many of our campuses want to know what you bring to the campus community. A way to begin to gather your thoughts about this is to think about your experiences with work, volunteering, classes, and other ways that you spend your time. What is meaningful about these experiences? What have you learned, and how have you changed? When you think about these types of topics, you can develop ideas over the summer for your personal statements on your application. Colleges want to know what makes you unique.

The Common Application Has Released Their Essay Prompts for 2016-2017: 
1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

Letters of Recommendation:

Letters of recommendation may also be an important piece of a student's college application.  If a letter is required, the counseling office has a "letter of recommendation request" form available for students to complete and provide to a letter writer. This information helps an evaluator write a better informed letter for a student.

Last Updated: 9/6/16

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