|Kelly M. Rawlings, Associate Director, |
Undergraduate Admissions, Virginia Tech
- Don't introduce yourself in your essay. I'm holding your application that has, believe it or not, your name, high school, list of extra-curricular activities, etc. No need to review what I already know.
- Note the word limit. There's a reason we prefer personal statements of 250 words or less. Reference above the size of the applicant pool. And each should answer at least one essay. Many will choose to respond to the maximum of three. So let's say on average we get two from each applicant. That's 42,000 personal statements. That's a lot of reading; almost as much as your AP English teacher. So we appreciate brevity, clarity, individuality, and poignancy. And entertainment, but that brings me to my next point…
- This is not the time or place to try to be funny if you're not naturally a funny person. Enough said.
- Similarly, this is not the place in which to demonstrate your extraordinarily colossal lexicon undeniably facilitated by the overemployment of the thesaurus option on your computer. Translation: don't use a thesaurus. Remember: we want your voice.
- Lastly, proofread. This should go without saying. But every year I am reminded how apparently trivial this step is for many applicants. I'm often regaled with stories of how you "can't wait to walk the Lawn following in Jefferson's footsteps" or how you were "born to wear purple and gold." Copying and pasting from another application is frowned upon. Really, that's just in poor taste. And it doesn't stop there. Please remember that THIS IS YOUR APPLICATION TO COLLEGE! Capital letters, spellcheck, the avoidance of acronyms, and punctuation are all, in fact, still greatly appreciated.
- In all seriousness, we do look forward to your personal statements. It is the highlight of my day when I come across a personal statement that makes me laugh out loud, shed a tear, or run down the office hall sharing that, "I just read the best personal statement. Listen to this!" (And yes, we do that.) Personal statements are what make application review bearable; even enjoyable I daresay. So please, help me help you. Give some thoughtful reflection to your personal statements and make them just that, reflections of who you are as a person.
Application Dates & Deadlines
- Early Decision Deadline: November 1
- Early Decision Notification: December 15
- Regular Decision Deadline: January 15
- Regular Decision Notification: April 1
- Deadline: February 15
- Notification: June 1