List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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rolark
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List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby rolark » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:56 pm

For everyone starting to work on their personal statements but unable to access the actual applications since we're in the off-season, I thought it might be helpful to post the prompts. This any applicant can focus on a piece of writing that hits the major bases of the schools s/he is most interested in.

If you have any, post them below and I'll add them. I'll try to keep them in US News ranking and put the length stipulations in bold. I think I only copied what I found to be most important, so if anyone has the full length prompts for the schools below, that would be great.

Yale
Personal Statement — Don't have the exact wording, but think it was something along the lines of "use the essay you sent to other schools."

250 Word Essay — Most applicants to Yale Law School have outstanding academic records and LSAT scores. Faculty readers look to the two required essays to obtain a nuanced picture of each applicant. The 250-word essay helps readers to evaluate an applicant’s writing, reasoning, and editing skills, as well as to learn more about the applicant’s intellectual and personal interests and ability to think across disciplines. The subject is not limited; the choice of topic itself may be informative to the readers.

Columbia
Personal Statement — Candidates to Columbia Law School are required to submit a personal essay or statement supplementing required application materials. Such a statement may provide the Admissions Committee with information regarding such matters as: personal, family, or educational background; experiences and talents of special interest; reasons for applying to law school as they may relate to personal goals and professional expectations; or any other factors that you think should inform the Committee's evaluation of your candidacy for admission. This statement should be printed on a supplementary sheet or two and should be returned to the Law School with other application materials. If applying electronically, you must submit an electronic attachment.

Q: How long should my Personal Statement/Essay be?

A: While there is no official page limit, a good guideline is two double-spaced pages, using readable fonts and margins. Your personal statement/essay should be clear, concise and an example of your best writing. It should also be free from spelling and grammatical errors

Berkeley
Personal Statement — Please provide more information about yourself in a written personal statement. The subject matter of the essay is up to you, but keep in mind that the reader will be seeking a sense of you as a person and as a potential student and graduate of Berkeley Law.

Berkeley Law seeks to enroll a class with varied backgrounds and interests. If you wish, you may discuss how your interests, background, life experiences and perspectives would contribute to the diversity of the entering class. If applicable, you may also describe any disadvantages that may have adversely affected your past performance or that you have successfully overcome, including linguistic barriers or a personal or family history of cultural, educational or socioeconomic disadvantage.

Your personal statement should be limited to four double-spaced pages. Please include your name and LSAC account number on each page of the statement. If you are applying electronically, use an electronic attachment, and include your name on each page, instead of your signature.

Michigan
Personal Statement — Don't have the exact prompt, but I think it was pretty open.

Optional Essays — Supplemental essays allow you an opportunity to provide us with relevant information that you were not able to include elsewhere in your application materials. If you wish, write one or two essays (but no more) on the following topics. Each essay should be about one page.
1) Describe your current hopes for your career after completing law school. How will your education, experience, and development so far support those plans?
2) If you do not think that your academic record or standardized test scores accurately reflect your ability to succeed in law school, please tell us why.
3) What do you think are the skills and values of a good lawyer? Which do you already possess? Which do you hope to develop?
4) How might your perspectives and experiences enrich the quality and breadth of the intellectual life of our community or enhance the legal profession?
5) Why Michigan?

Penn
Personal Statement — The admissions committee requires that every applicant submit an original example of written expression. The purpose of this personal statement is to provide you with as flexible an opportunity as possible to submit information that you deem important to your candidacy. You may wish to describe aspects of your background and interests--intellectual, personal, or professional--and how you will uniquely contribute to the Penn Law community and/or the legal profession. Please limit your statement to two pages, double spaced.

Optional Essays — If you wish, you may write an additional essay on any of the following topics. These optional essays allow you an opportunity to provide the admissions committee with additional relevant information that you were not able to include in your personal statement. Please limit optional essays to one page, double spaced. When transmitting electronically, use the electronic attachment option.
1) Why are you interested in pursuing your legal education at Penn Law?
2) Describe how your background or experiences will contribute to or enhance the diversity of the Penn Law community (e.g., based on your culture, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, ideology, age, socioeconomic status, academic background, employment experience, etc.).
3) If you do not think that your academic record or standardized test scores accurately reflect your ability to succeed in law school, please tell us why.
4) Discuss a time when you voiced an unpopular opinion.

Virginia
Personal Statement — PLEASE ATTACH TO YOUR APPLICATION A PERSONAL STATEMENT that will give the Admissions Committee any information you believe relevant to the admissions decision that is not elicited elsewhere in the application. (Use an electronic attachment if applying electronically.) The statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself; it may address your intellectual interests, significant accomplishments or obstacles overcome, personal or professional goals, educational achievements, or any way in which your perspective, viewpoint, or experiences will add to the richness of the educational environment of the School of Law.

What sort of information do you like to see in a personal statement?
Include with your application a personal statement that will give the Admissions Committee any information you believe relevant to the admissions decision that is not elicited elsewhere in the application. The statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself; it may address your intellectual interests, significant accomplishments, obstacles overcome, personal or professional goals, educational achievements, or any way in which your perspective, viewpoint, or experiences will add to the richness of the educational environment of the School of Law.

Do you put a word limit on the length of personal statements?
No, we invite applicants to write essays that are long enough to express whatever they think the Admissions Committee should know. That said, applicants should remember that succinctness is a virtue.

Duke
Personal Statement — You are required to submit a personal statement. The statement is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions committee and should include (1) what you think have been your significant personal experiences beyond what may be reflected in your academic transcripts and on your resume, and (2) your personal and career ambitions. There is no required length.

Optional Essays: You are welcome to supplement your personal statement with optional essays. You may submit a Duke-specific essay by letting us know why you want to go to law school and why you have decided to apply to Duke. You may also choose to submit an essay that describes how you will enhance the educational environment of the Law School and contribute to the diversity of the student body. Because we believe that diversity enriches the educational experience of all our students, Duke Law School seeks to admit students from a variety of academic, cultural, social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. If you choose to submit the diversity essay, tell us more about your particular life experiences with an emphasis on how the perspectives that you have acquired would contribute to the intellectual community of the Law School.

Georgetown
Personal Statement — You may write your personal statement on any subject of importance that you feel will assist us in our decision. (please double-space)

UCLA
Personal Statement — Please provide a separate essay not to exceed two double-spaced typed pages, no less than 12 point font (or use an electronic attachment). In this essay you may discuss any attributes, experiences or interests that would enable you to make a distinctive contribution to the law school and/or the legal profession.

Public Interest Essay — Please write an essay of no more than four double-spaced pages responding to the following: We are interested in knowing about the concept and vision for your future public interest practice. This can derive from your personal or professional experience, your philosophy of how public interest practice relates to contemporary issues, your approach to problem solving, or some other relevant criteria of your own choosing. How do you hope that your public interest career will develop, and what are the means by which you expect to achieve your public interest goals?

Vanderbilt
Personal Statement — Please present yourself to the Admissions Committee by writing a personal statement. You may write about your background, experiences, interest in law,
aspirations, or any topic that you feel will help readers of your application get a sense of you as a person and prospective law student. If you are applying
electronically, please attach your statement to the electronic application form. Please limit your statement to two pages and provide your name and LSAC
number (if available) on each page.

USC
Personal Statement — The admissions committee gives careful attention to your personal statement. We are particularly interested in your motivation for studying law, your academic background, and qualities you possess that may enhance the diversity of our student body. If you are a college senior or recent graduate, you may wish to mention your work history and extracurricular activities. If you have spent a year or more in the work force after college, tell us about your employment experience; enclose a resume to illustrate your chronological work history.

There is no specific word or page requirement or limit for your personal statement. However, the committee values carefully crafted essays that are clear, concise, and compelling.

Boston University
Personal Statement — What significant personal, social or academic experiences have contributed to your decision to study law? Please respond in two pages.

Optional Essay — In addition to your Personal Statement, you may wish to provide information regarding your ethnic, cultural or family background that is relevant to your development. You may also choose to discuss particular achievements, including obstacles overcome, that have not already been addressed in this application. Please respond in one page.

Minnesota
Personal Statement — The University of Minnesota’s award-winning legal writing program recognizes that written communication is vital to the success of our graduates. All first-year students receive intensive individual instruction and writing credits are required during all three years at Minnesota. In making admissions decisions, Minnesota carefully considers the applicant’s writing ability as demonstrated by the personal statement and other submissions.

This application requires that you present yourself in a personal statement. This essay may be on a subject of your choice and may be used to assess not only your writing skills, but your judgment, passions and analytical abilities. Your decision about what to present and how will assist us in evaluating you as a potential student and alum of the University of Minnesota Law School.

We suggest that your essay be at least two and not more than five typewritten pages long. No single spacing please. If there are ancillary matters that you wish to explain, such as breaks in your education or any other particular issue, please submit a separate essay or electronic attachment

Fordham
Personal Statement — Every year we receive many applications with similar academic credentials. In order to get a better sense of our applicants, we require a “personal statement” on a topic of your choosing. This allows you to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively and concisely through your writing. Sharing this information provides another opportunity for us to get to know you beyond your academic record. Your personal statement should not exceed two pages double spaced.
Last edited by rolark on Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:45 am, edited 6 times in total.

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maximus32
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Re: Personal Statement Prompts

Postby maximus32 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:59 am

*

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rolark
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby rolark » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:08 am

No one else is interested?

If so, I will just let it die . . .

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pleasetryagain
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby pleasetryagain » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:18 am

rolark wrote:No one else is interested?

If so, I will just let it die . . .


good thread.. ill add some once I get started..for now:

Vanderbilt

Please present yourself to the Admissions Committee by writing a personal statement. You may write about your background, experiences, interest in law,
aspirations, or any topic that you feel will help readers of your application get a sense of you as a person and prospective law student. If you are applying
electronically, please attach your statement to the electronic application form. Please limit your statement to two pages and provide your name and LSAC
number (if available) on each page.

Penn
Personal Statement

The admissions committee requires that every applicant submit an original example of written expression. The purpose of this personal statement is to provide you with as flexible an opportunity as possible to submit information that you deem important to your candidacy. You may wish to describe aspects of your background and interests--intellectual, personal, or professional--and how you will uniquely contribute to the Penn Law community and/or the legal profession. Please limit your statement to two pages, double spaced.

Optional Essays
If you wish, you may write an additional essay on any of the following topics. These optional essays allow you an opportunity to provide the admissions committee with additional relevant information that you were not able to include in your personal statement. Please limit optional essays to one page, double spaced. When transmitting electronically, use the electronic attachment option.

Why are you interested in pursuing your legal education at Penn Law?

Describe how your background or experiences will contribute to or enhance the diversity of the Penn Law community (e.g., based on your culture, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, ideology, age, socioeconomic status, academic background, employment experience, etc.).

If you do not think that your academic record or standardized test scores accurately reflect your ability to succeed in law school, please tell us why.

Discuss a time when you voiced an unpopular opinion.

protokurios
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby protokurios » Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:54 pm

Info is from last year's applications + law school websites' FAQs for those with little guidance in the apps themselves.

Columbia
Candidates to Columbia Law School are required to submit a personal essay or statement supplementing required application materials. Such a statement may provide the Admissions Committee with information regarding such matters as: personal, family, or educational background; experiences and talents of special interest; reasons for applying to law school as they may relate to personal goals and professional expectations; or any other factors that you think should inform the Committee's evaluation of your candidacy for admission. This statement should be printed on a supplementary sheet or two and should be returned to the Law School with other application materials. If applying electronically, you must submit an electronic attachment.

Q: How long should my Personal Statement/Essay be?

A: While there is no official page limit, a good guideline is two double-spaced pages, using readable fonts and margins. Your personal statement/essay should be clear, concise and an example of your best writing. It should also be free from spelling and grammatical errors

Berkeley
Please provide more information about yourself in a written personal statement. The subject matter of the essay is up to you, but keep in mind that the reader will be seeking a sense of you as a person and as a potential student and graduate of Berkeley Law.

Berkeley Law seeks to enroll a class with varied backgrounds and interests. If you wish, you may discuss how your interests, background, life experiences and perspectives would contribute to the diversity of the entering class. If applicable, you may also describe any disadvantages that may have adversely affected your past performance or that you have successfully overcome, including linguistic barriers or a personal or family history of cultural, educational or socioeconomic disadvantage.

Your personal statement should be limited to four double-spaced pages. Please include your name and LSAC account number on each page of the statement. If you are applying electronically, use an electronic attachment, and include your name on each page, instead of your signature.

Virginia
PLEASE ATTACH TO YOUR APPLICATION A PERSONAL STATEMENT that will give the Admissions Committee any information you believe relevant to the admissions decision that is not elicited elsewhere in the application. (Use an electronic attachment if applying electronically.) The statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself; it may address your intellectual interests, significant accomplishments or obstacles overcome, personal or professional goals, educational achievements, or any way in which your perspective, viewpoint, or experiences will add to the richness of the educational environment of the School of Law.

What sort of information do you like to see in a personal statement?
Include with your application a personal statement that will give the Admissions Committee any information you believe relevant to the admissions decision that is not elicited elsewhere in the application. The statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself; it may address your intellectual interests, significant accomplishments, obstacles overcome, personal or professional goals, educational achievements, or any way in which your perspective, viewpoint, or experiences will add to the richness of the educational environment of the School of Law.

Do you put a word limit on the length of personal statements?
No, we invite applicants to write essays that are long enough to express whatever they think the Admissions Committee should know. That said, applicants should remember that succinctness is a virtue.

Duke
Personal Statement: You are required to submit a personal statement. The statement is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the admissions committee and should include (1) what you think have been your significant personal experiences beyond what may be reflected in your academic transcripts and on your resume, and (2) your personal and career ambitions. There is no required length.

Optional Essays: You are welcome to supplement your personal statement with optional essays. You may submit a Duke-specific essay by letting us know why you want to go to law school and why you have decided to apply to Duke. You may also choose to submit an essay that describes how you will enhance the educational environment of the Law School and contribute to the diversity of the student body. Because we believe that diversity enriches the educational experience of all our students, Duke Law School seeks to admit students from a variety of academic, cultural, social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. If you choose to submit the diversity essay, tell us more about your particular life experiences with an emphasis on how the perspectives that you have acquired would contribute to the intellectual community of the Law School.

USC
The admissions committee gives careful attention to your personal statement. We are particularly interested in your motivation for studying law, your academic background, and qualities you possess that may enhance the diversity of our student body. If you are a college senior or recent graduate, you may wish to mention your work history and extracurricular activities. If you have spent a year or more in the work force after college, tell us about your employment experience; enclose a resume to illustrate your chronological work history.

There is no specific word or page requirement or limit for your personal statement. However, the committee values carefully crafted essays that are clear, concise, and compelling.

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neverknow
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby neverknow » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:26 am

This is good. Thanks.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby pleasetryagain » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:26 am

this was a good idea.. but pretty useless now with nancy botwin's site.

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rolark
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby rolark » Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:47 am

Thanks protokurios, I updated it with those schools.

KIM_SAYS:
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby KIM_SAYS: » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:12 pm

Does anyone know what the length requirement is for the BU PS?

Here are some more:

Emory
Emory Law requires the submission of a Personal Statement. You should describe any skills or traits that you have had an opportunity to develop to an unusual level and discuss any significant activities or work experience that might enrich your study of law. You may choose to write about any topic(s) you believe would be most helpful to the Admission Committee as it reviews your application for admission. The Personal Statement should not exceed two typed pages. Applicants will disadvantage themselves by disregarding this limit.

Cornell
Personal statement. Part of your application is the separate personal statement in which you may discuss any matter you feel is relevant to our admission decision. The choice of subject is left to you, but our desire is to learn something about you that we may not be able to learn from the other elements of the application. You can use the enclosed personal statement form, or attach a separate sheet of paper. Try to limit your statement to two pages.

UC Hastings
What should I include in my personal statement?
UC Hastings does not require that your personal statement be about a specific topic, nor do we specify a page limit. We ask that you write about information and views that are important to you, and that you believe should be weighed in considering your application for admission. Remember that we are not asking you to reiterate your resume or explain test scores or grades that would be more appropriate in an addendum. Your personal statement will be evaluated for clarity, content and skill of presentation.

University of Washington
Personal Statement - The primary goal of the admissions process is to enroll students who demonstrate outstanding academic and professional promise and whose background and experience will enhance the diversity of the student body, thereby enriching the law school educational environment. An applicant will be regarded as potentially contributing to student diversity if his or her background or experience would not ordinarily be well represented in the student body. Factors that indicate this diversity include, but are not limited to, the following: persevering against substantial obstacles such as economic disadvantage, family or personal adversity or other social hardships, disability, prejudice or discrimination; having lived in a foreign country or spoken a language other than English at home; career goals (with particular attention paid to the applicant’s commitment to public service); employment history; educational background (including graduate study); evidence of and potential for leadership (perhaps demonstrated by extracurricular, school, civic or community service achievement); special talents or unique life experiences; or geographic diversity. Applicants are invited to describe these and other aspects of their backgrounds that would benefit the diversity of the law school community. Please limit your response to 700 words (two double-spaced pages).

rearden2007
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby rearden2007 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:34 pm

Please keep this link up. Thank you for posting it. I wanted to start my personal statement, but I had no idea what the topics were and the structural requirements.

So,yeah, your efforts are appreciated.

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hapas
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby hapas » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:00 pm

ASU

One of the goals of the Admissions Committee when making decisions is to admit a diverse student body that will contribute to a dynamic, interesting learning environment. Academic background and strength of performance, though important, are not the only criteria evaluated in the application process. For this reason, a personal statement, written by you and no longer than three double-spaced, typed pages, is required as part of the application. In this statement we seek information about you. Statements about law in general or law and society will not be useful. The statement should illustrate the life experiences and talents that make you unique. You are invited to write about significant obstacles that you have overcome and events in your life that influence your perspective.

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capitalacq
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby capitalacq » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:35 pm

--LinkRemoved--

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hapas
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby hapas » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:37 pm

capitalacq wrote:http://appreqs.com/lawschool/

Wow I'm impressed, what a great aid.

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rolark
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby rolark » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:54 pm

capitalacq wrote:http://appreqs.com/lawschool/

Well, this sure helps. There goes the need for this thread!

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Ken
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby Ken » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:59 pm

This article was created with the inspiration of the TLS Content Context (where TLS members get up to $500 for creating content for the site) and is definitely one of the best entries yet. Very valuable.

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natalie123
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby natalie123 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:40 pm

excellent thread and very helpful site, thank you. :D

James2010
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby James2010 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:14 pm

This is a great thread - very helpful! :D

005618502
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby 005618502 » Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:33 am

I know it is a year later from when this was first posted.... do prompts stay about the same from year to year?

jebinles
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby jebinles » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:56 pm

I was also wondering whether these prompts change from year to year. I was hoping to get started on my essays for Fall of 2014.

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bluepenguin
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby bluepenguin » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:27 am

It depends. Deans of admissions don't consciously change them every single year (whether for variety or just to eff up your prep). They do change on occasion, though, and obviously the more schools you plan on applying to the more likely it is that one prompt will change. The main prompts are fairly consistent, the optional/supplemental ones change more often.

If you start writing now for the fall it's doubtful that you'll have much revising to do when they release the apps.

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SteelPenguin
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby SteelPenguin » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:50 pm

Is there an updated version of this anywhere? I keep getting errors on LSAC trying to access my old applications.

ajl17
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby ajl17 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:11 pm

Thank you!
FYI appreqs doesn't work anymore

OliveTree
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby OliveTree » Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:41 pm

Are there schools that usually have more than one main personal statement topic, either by having various topics one can choose from or an optional essay?

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cdotson2
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Re: List of Personal Statement Prompts by School

Postby cdotson2 » Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:46 am

bump




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