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Guideline for preparing a personal statement

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

Parami University undergraduate degree programs require the submission of a personal statement in the application. The personal statement allows the admissions committee to learn more about the applicant, their life story, significant life experiences, achievements, characteristics, and other details that are not captured in the academic record or CV. It is the opportunity for the admissions team to get to know the applicant on a personal level, and evaluate whether the applicant has the traits to excel academically at Parami University and become a contributing member of the university community.

This guide has been prepared for prospective students who are not familiar with the preparation and submission of personal statements, and require more guidance. Please note that the guidelines here do not constitute a guarantee for admission. Successful admission of any applicant to Parami University’s programs will be contingent upon satisfactory fulfillment of admission requirements.

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement is essentially an essay about the applicant, highlighting a significant part of the applicant such as his/her unique qualities, academic skills, ambitions, and passions, or community service experience.

What is typically included in a personal statement?

A personal statement typically shares a story about the applicant, showing what makes you who you are. It DOES NOT need to list down the academic achievements or extracurricular experiences already described elsewhere in the application or the CV. Often, it tells a narrative of a significant life event or experience that has a profound impact on the applicant’s sense of self. From the story, the admissions team should be able to learn about a significant part of the applicant, such as his/her -

  • Background

  • Academic or other interests

  • Role in his/her community such as volunteer experience or engagement in the community

  • Unique traits, skills, and talents such as intellectual curiosity, love of learning, or open-mindedness

  • Identity, or

  • Motivation for future studies or career

Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and the applicant may highlight anything that is important to them and to their potential studies at Parami University. The most important advice for drafting a personal statement is that your personal statement should be about you.

How do you share your story?

Rather than describing everything, a story may highlight one or two significant events/experiences from the applicant’s life. It may be a time the applicant faced significant challenges and how he/she handled the situation, the experience of growing up in certain circumstances, the experiences that shaped the applicant’s passion, life lessons, or the experiences that shaped the applicant’s identity.

An important rule of thumb in preparing a personal statement is to “show, but not tell.” Rather than simply saying “I am passionate about teaching” without describing why, the applicant could describe in rich detail the experiences that made him/her interested in teaching, how this interest grew, and how this passion would be incorporated into future studies and career, etc.

What is the format for the personal statement for Parami University undergraduate admissions?

The applicants may write up to 500 words for their personal statement. Please use simple fonts, such as Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, or Garamond, with font sizes 11-12. The spacing should be 1.5.

The name of the file should be formatted as follows: Full Name-Personal Statement (Eg. Jane Doe-Personal Statement). The document should be submitted in a Word document or a PDF file.

What are the things to be aware of when writing?

  • Do not copy other people’s work! Personal experience and story should be in one’s own words. Parami University does not accept plagiarized work and uses plagiarism check software to review the applicants’ submissions. For more information on plagiarism, please check here [link to plagiarism resources].

  • Use appropriate tones and vocabulary for the essay. Informal usage is fine, but it is an essay, not a conversation or a text message. This means that students should avoid using contractions such as “don’t,” pronouns such as “I, he, we, they,” and informal words typically used in everyday language.

  • Profane language and curses should also be avoided in personal statement

  • Take time to write a draft and double-check the essay before submitting it.

As Parami University does not provide an essay topic, what should the essay be about?

Parami University does not provide a specific essay question since personal life experiences and details differ for every individual. For the applicant who requires more guidance, here are a few prompts. However, the admissions team encourages the applicants to explore their own topics.

  • What are you passionate about? Is there a subject or a topic that captures your interest?

  • Describe a time when you faced a challenge or a failure. How did you overcome it and what lessons did you learn along the way?

  • How do other people see you as a person? How did you know?

Are there specific qualities the Parami University admissions committee looks for in an applicant?

Parami University looks for students who have the drive to improve themselves, exhibit intellectual curiosity and leadership potential, and show potential and grit to succeed in a rigorous liberal arts and sciences program over 2–4 years. Students from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply, and the University looks forward to getting to know its prospective students better through their personal statements, as well as later in interviews.

Parami University values the following attributes in its students and looks for them in both the personal statement and interview: aspiration to contribute to one’s community and society; civic engagement; competency to thrive in a college program; English level; intellectual curiosity; leadership potential; perseverance against challenges.

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