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Applicants have questions…the best questions. Here are a few.

Q: “Last summer I build a house with Habitat For Humanity. Can I write about that?”

A: “No. You can not. Let me explain why – there may be no more popular personal; statement essay topic. And that is not a good thing. Admissions officers see this ALL THE TIME! It’s sort of become a joke actually. So, thanks for doing this. You must feel great about your accomplishment. But you should find another topic, something admissions officers haven’t seen before.

Q: “Can I use the same “Why” supplement for multiple schools?”

A: “Unfortunately, you can’t. Here’s the reason: why you want to attend Penn is and should be completely different than why you want to attend Cornell. Each essay must have specifics about: the school, the classes, the professors, etc. So, unfortunately, you need to write a new essay for each “Why” supplement.

Q: “When do you give up on a personal statement essay topic and find something else to write about?”

A: “Great question! You will know when the story you have isn’t working. And, if you’re really not sure, ask someone you know and trust.”