PS question: Family and location tie-ins - Yes/No?

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PS question: Family and location tie-ins - Yes/No?

Postby bmathers » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:45 pm

If you have a current family tie-in to a school's med/fellowship program (not the law school) AND family tie-ins to an area far from where you live right now, do you think that they should be mentioned in a school-specific personal statement? Keep in mind, it is for a reach school, so I am pulling out anything that may help me be considered.

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Re: PS question: Family and location tie-ins - Yes/No?

Postby thelawschoolproject » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:19 am

It depends.

Assuming by family tie-in, you mean you have a family member in the med school and a family member in the area of this school; then I think it really depends on how you make that information fit into your personal statement. If it flows naturally from the story you share in your PS, then it might be an effective addition.

However, if you throw it into your last paragraph you run the risk of lessening the effectiveness of your overall story.

That said, explaining why you want to go to a school is important--especially if there's reason for the school to be suspect as to why you're applying to it. Are you applying to a T14 school? Probably not as important to show ties to the area (unless you have a fiance who is in X town and you need to be with him/her, etc. etc.)

I'm not sure how against conventional wisdom this currently goes, but when I was applying I wrote a very well-crafted PS and to the schools I most wanted, I also submitted a "Why X" essay--even if they didn't ask for one. How much of a difference did it make? Hard to tell. But if you keep the "why X" short (<250 words) you have a better chance of them reading it and making the best use of your PS. I mostly sent these after sending the initial application packet, as sort of an "update" to the file--so the school would know I was still interested.

Good luck!

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