Personal Statement vs. College Essay: Requirements for Writing

Personal Statement

As an applicant who is willing to receive the chance to get a seat in the class in the college of your dream, you may know that the admissions process determines the success of your aim. The thing is that the application process includes not only your grades, test scores but also several essays. It can be either college personal statement or any other type of essay. However, people can get confused when they see the point of an essay for college on the list of requirements for a successful application. So, in this article, we have decided to provide you with a complete explanation of the difference between personal statement vs. college essay.

Is there a Difference between a Personal Statement and a College Essay?

Basically, when talking about differences between personal statement vs. college essay, there is approximate equality between these two terms.
However, a personal statement is a term that is used in cases when the hopeful has to provide several essays for the application. So, it simplifies the understanding of the points that must be provided in the essay due to the fact that there are also such essays as statements of purpose or any other supporting statements. Therefore, the criteria for such essays change, and by emphasizing the fact that the essay is termed a personal statement, the candidate understands that they must prepare themselves for a process that will be entirely committed to the personal statement creating. Therefore, you have to read the articles on how to start a personal statement and how to end a personal statement but not about the features dedicated to the statement of purpose.
Also, when talking about personal statement vs. college essay, the second term is usually used in the case when the applicant is supposed to provide only one essay. Therefore, it is called a college essay as it is a paper for college admissions. It is also typical for an essay for a Common App application to be called a college essay. One more point that differentiates personal statement vs. college essay is that college essays usually have a topic that must be uncovered. For example, you can be supposed to write something about a particular decision or event in your life that made you fall in love with the specialization you want to pursue, but in the personal statement, you can combine these points altogether.

Are there Specific Requirements for College Essay or Personal Statement Writing?

No matter you are supposed to submit a paper called a personal statement or college essay, you have to stick to the main requirements of essay writing.
As we have already found out that there is no cardinal difference between personal statement vs. college essay. Therefore, we have found and gathered the main features of these essays.
1. Stick to the requirements
It is crucial to follow the provided guidelines. It regards personal statement length, structure, and topic specifications. If the college you’re applying to invites you to write about a life-changing experience, do so. There is no need to describe something imaginative. Keep in mind that a thorough understanding of the requirements can simplify the whole process. If specific requirements are not provided, check some samples and guidelines on writing personal statements.
2. Be yourself and be unique
Essays are usually required to observe your personality from the perspective that hides behind numbers written in your transcripts and from opinions provided in your recommendation letters. No matter, what title is written in the requirements, personal statement vs. college essay, these papers aim the same. You have to stand your ground, tell the reader sincere thoughts, and provide realistic and deliberated perspectives. Provide reliable and trustworthy information regarding your life and experience as lies can be simply uncovered during the face-to-face application interview.
3. Check everything thoroughly
The most crucial step before essay submission is polishing your paper. You can refer to the proficient essay editor if you feel that language and its features are not something that you are good at. Pay special attention to lexis as it shouldn’t be overcomplicated or, vice versa, too simplistic, like slang expressions or colloquialisms. Also, check grammar and sentence structure. Look through some college personal statement tips and find the perfect balance between complexity and simplicity.

Differences in Submitting Personal Essays and College Essays

Application to colleges necessitates your undivided attention to every point mentioned on the list of application requirements. You have to pay extra attention to the requirements of the essays you are supposed to submit. Therefore, you have to title the document with your essay in an appropriate way.
However, everything is not that simple. When submitting the essay through the Common App, you are required to fill in a particular text field after choosing the topic of the essay. As we have found out, an essay you submit through the Common App is usually called a college essay, so here is the difference between personal statement vs. college essay. When submitting an essay other than the Common App, you must send a text document. The essential criterion is that it be an essay that adheres to the theme if one is specified, or that displays your personality and discloses all relevant facts about yourself.
Also, the thing is that you have to create an outstanding essay in both cases, no matter how it is called. Therefore, take the process seriously and get ready to spend time and put effort into the work to get an outstanding result. If you are doubtful about the essay and the result you will receive, we highly recommend referring to college essay editing, where professional editors will help you cope with polishing part of essay preparation, which is extremely important.

The approaches to writing both papers are rather similar. As a whole, it’s hard to say that these papers differ too much. No matter what type of paper you need to submit: there’s a way to get help with both. Our editors can do a college application essay review or proofread your personal statement, so feel free to place an order.

You may also find this article helpful and interesting: How to Write a Personal Statement for Grad School.

Is a personal statement or essay required?
What are the requirements for a college essay?
What are the requirements for a personal statement?
Do all colleges require a personal statement?
Do college essays have a length requirement?
Do universities look at personal statements?
Do you have to write a different essay for each college application?
Do essays matter for college?
Do personal statements need a title?
Robin W.
Professional essay editor and proofreader with 10+ years of experience. Education: Cornell University. PhD in English Studies and M.F.A in Creative Writing.
Update: August 22, 2022.

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