Module 9: Personal Statements

The objective of Module 9 is to define why many colleges require a personal statement as part of the application. Know how to write a personal statement. Draft a personal statement, revise it and upload to your portfolio.

What is it and why do I need to write one?

Many colleges (including the University of Arizona) require a personal statement as part of the application. The admissions committee wants to know about you, as a person. What qualities set you apart from others? What are you passionate about? Aside from your GPA, your clubs, sports and volunteer activities, your scores on standardized exams and the like who are you? This is what the admissions committee wants to know. They also want to see your writing skills.

Why is writing a personal statement difficult for most people?

It can feel like a lot of pressure to try to describe who you are in the space of a few short paragraphs. If you’ve never done it before, it can feel strange and awkward to describe yourself. So, if it seems difficult to do, know that you’re not alone! Most people find it a bit unnerving to write about themselves. That said, here’s a plan to draft a personal statement that really reflects who you are.

Reflect on Your Major Life Experiences*

  • Draw a timeline of your life and make note of the most meaningful experiences.
  • Circle the top five.
  • Which ones reflect how your strongest attributes either developed or were used in an important way?

*(Adapted from