Can I change the format of the personal statement?

We have received numerous emails from applicants asking if it is okay to rearrange the personal statement requirement.  As a reminder, the personal statement is broken into three questions, each with an associated word limit.  Examples of questions submitted recently include:

  • Is it okay if I answer the three questions but change the word limits to fit my needs?
  • Can I just substitute one long statement in place of the three questions that are asked?

One thing that interests the Committee is an applicant’s ability to follow instructions.  Thus the Committee expects to see the personal statement fit the format that has been set by the Committee.  We therefore ask that each applicant follow the associated word limits and respond to the questions that are set forth in the application.  Not following the instructions set forth may be negatively viewed by the Committee.

For more information on composing a compelling personal statement, please review this past blog entry.