Personal Statement Limits

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DBishops
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:17 am

Personal Statement Limits

Postby DBishops » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:45 pm

I know this topic has been covered quite a bit on the forum, but still thought I'd throw the questions out there. I already submitted apps to Cornell, Stanford, Penn, Notre Dame, and Vanderbilt, and upon looking at my application preview my personal statement is about 1 word and 1 sentence into the third page, where these schools tend to have a 2 page limit (Cornell says "please try", and Stanford says "about," however). This really seems like splitting hairs, but people seem to say that this reflects to the adcomms an inability to read directions. In my case, I think it reflects my inability to use word on a Macintosh, which I've been forced to do as I have been borrowing a friends computer to do my apps. Nonetheless, the apps have already went into completed status; will this really have any effect on my admissions chances you think, and should I seriously consider updating my apps for being a little over a sentence into the third page?

Thanks!

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mrtoren
Posts: 733
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:43 pm

Re: Personal Statement Limits

Postby mrtoren » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:56 am

Unless you run into a mega-bitch adcomm, it shouldn't be enough to overturn your numbers. The page limits are there so that applicants don't write 10 page memoirs. Personally, I think there's some wiggle room. Although, one sentence carrying over looks so much more annoying than several..

DBishops
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:17 am

Re: Personal Statement Limits

Postby DBishops » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:40 pm

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Last edited by DBishops on Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PersuasiveCharm
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:41 pm

Re: Personal Statement Limits

Postby PersuasiveCharm » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:55 pm

Don't lose sleep over it...But for anyone else reading this, don't make the same mistake. I doubt that they'll toss your application on account of this. But it is always better to be on the safe side. That being said... Once again, don't lose sleep over this.

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amc987
Posts: 568
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:58 am

Re: Personal Statement Limits

Postby amc987 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:00 pm

I just called Stanford and Penn today because I was curious about the strictness of their page limits. I'm sure that it won't be a problem that you went over. The Penn lady I talked to said that as long as you're within a paragraph or 2 of their limit, there's no issue. The Stanford lady said that they ask that you don't submit more than FOUR pages, but barring that, exceeding the limit isn't a cause for concern. Even Harvard, which has the most specific requirements and therefore might be the most draconian if people exceed them, said that you won't get penalized even if you write 3 pages for a 2 page maximum. So no worries at all! As someone else said, I think the limits are there because the schools are trying to encourage concise writing and admissions officers have a lot of applications to read.




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