What is a Personal Statement?

Are you applying for a college program or graduate school? If so, you are not alone. Enrollment in college is on the rise—between 1985 and 2010, it spiked 78 percent. That means programs are more competitive, admission is more coveted, and applications have to be more spot-on than ever before. The Numbers 21 million – The number of students expected to enroll in American universities in 2014, a 6 million increase since the year 2000. 5.5 million – The number of people who will attend private colleges. 4 million – The 18 to 24 year old U.S. population increased by 4 million (from 27 million to 31 million) between 2000 and 2010. 2.6 million – During the 2012 to 2013 academic year, schools awarded over 900,000 associate degrees, 1.8 million bachelor degrees, 750,000 master degrees, and 175,000 doctoral degrees. How can applicants stand out among the countless others who may have similar academic credentials? The key is the personal statement. This portion of your application is where the test scores, the grades, and the lifeless facts stop speaking for you. This is where you get to describe, in your own words, why you are a strong college program or graduate school candidate. What is a Personal Statement? The personal statement is an essay that tells the admission committee members details about the applicant. What’s more, it is an opportunity for you to explain the details of your resume and academic experience. The individual composition should explain why you are suited for this profession, what qualities and qualifications will help you succeed in this field, and how you can cope with the demands of the course study. Why is the Personal Statement Important? What’s the big...

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3 Email Templates for Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

3 Email Templates for Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

So by now you’ve read my earlier post, 5 Rules for Requesting a Letter of Recommendation via Email. If you follow the rules laid out there, you should have no problem getting your professors to agree to write you a letter of recommendation. But I know that some people want a little more help. Asking for a letter of recommendation can be intimidating. That’s why I’ve created a few sample emails for different scenarios.  All of them follow the 5 rules. Please share some of your successful email templates in the comments. One last thing before we get started. I wrote another article specifically for Premed students on my new blog Premed Revolution. Check it out here: Socially Awkward Premed Part 2 – Request a Letter of Recommendation Over Email.   1. The Standard This template is designed for classes in which you did fairly well and had at least minimal contact with the professor either by email, after class, or during office hours. Professor [Xavier],   My name is [Ben Frederick]. I took your [organic chemistry] course [last semester]. You may remember me [coming to your office hours after every test to go over some of my wrong answers.] [Organic chemistry] was a very challenging subject for me and I was proud of the [A-] I received in your class.   I know you are busy so I’ll get to the point. I am currently in the process of applying to [medical school] and I am trying to gather a few letters of recommendation.  Because I enjoyed [your class and teaching style so much], I decided to start...