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College Essay Personal Statement
October 3, 2011
Your college essay personal statement should not be filled with quotes. College admissions counselors don’t care what Benjamin Franklin had to say. They care what you have to say.
How many quotes do you have in your college essay personal statement? Seriously. Count them. If you’re like a number of college applicants – even ones with terrific grades, SAT scores, and extracurriculars that make college admissions counselors drool – you may have a few quotes from famous folks in your essay. Maybe you quoted Benjamin Franklin on the importance of saving money or maybe you quoted FDR on the topic of infamy. It’s time to rethink these quotes and consider taking them out of your college essay personal statement.
Is it ok to use a quote from a famous person you respect in your college essay? Yes. Is it ok to use a couple? Well, how many do you define as a couple? We consider two a couple. Three or four marks a few. Six or seven, several. The point is — college admissions counselors don’t want to hear what Benjamin Franklin had to say about whatever it is you’re quoting him on. If they wanted to hear from Benjamin Franklin, they’d read his biography.
The purpose of the college essay personal statement is to gain insight into you, the applicant. Show college admissions counselors what’s going on inside your head. Show what makes you tick. Show them just who you are and what you’re all about. Notice we didn’t say show them what Benjamin Franklin is all about!