SIX-STEP GUIDE

When it comes to writing personal statements for college applications, it's important to de-stress and tap into your creativity. But how do you do that? As a writing coach, I believe it's essential for you to connect to your story.

No one else on the planet shares your background, history, experience or point-of-view.

Follow the Six-Step Guide so you can connect to your story

and write essays with impact.

Writing is a process -
commit to your vision.

The Six-Step Guide refers to the 2021-22 Common App Essay Prompts. If you're new to the college application process, it's helpful to learn some distinctions.

The Common App Personal Statement (a.k.a. Common App Essay) - this is the main 650 word essay, also known as a personal statement, that is required for students applying to college via The Common Application platform. This essay is non-college specific, which means it is viewed by all colleges.

The Coalition Application - both public and private colleges use this platform. Students write a personal statement based on its prompts.

Supplemental Essays - these are the college-specific essays students write when they apply to colleges that require them. Often referred to as the "why us" essays, students need to research and reflect on their potential college experience. They generally have a word count between 200-350 words, but beware, these little essays are an important element in your application.

University of California Personal Insight Questions (PIQs) - notice that the PIQs are not called essays. They require a specific approach that sets them apart from other college essays. Students write 350 word responses to four (out of eight) PIQ prompts which are non-university specific.

Note - some colleges and universities utilize their own application platform and are not part of a shared application platform.