Your Personal Statement Application Essay (PSAE) can be the difference between gaining admission or being denied. It is your only opportunity to present yourself as a person, rather than as a set of numbers. You need to put your best qualities out there in your PSAE for the admissions committee to see. They need to LOVE it, as admissions personnel are trying to assemble an interesting assortment of students in each year's entering class.
We encourage homeschooled students to submit their applications in time for us to arrange an alumni interview in the student's local area. An interview report provides the admissions committee an additional source of information and perspective about a student’s potential fit for the Duke community.
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If you have information that you need to share with us that will not be reflected elsewhere in your application, you may add it to the Additional Information section of the application.
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**Important note: Expectations for application essays vary widely. The answers below are meant to give some general guidelines, but may not be applicable to the particular program to which you are applying.
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Most colleges will have an application form to complete online. You will be asked to attach your essay and other information to the application. Your guidance department will submit your transcripts, so it is critical that you allow enough time for the guidance department to submit your transcripts before the due date of your application. Make sure to have a family member or friend review your application to make sure all sections are completed. It is easy to miss or skip a section. Applications must be fully completed to be accepted.
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Each college application will provide guidance and instruction regarding your personal essay. Some colleges will ask you to write on a specific topic or will ask a series of questions for you to answer. Others will have a more open approach, allowing you to write on a specific topic of your choice. The essay is a way for a college to see a more personal side of you in addition to your application. All essays involve choice and your choices will reflect your preferences, values and thought processes. It is recommended that your essay be focused and specific. Your writing can reflect your organizational skills, your power of persuasion and your general mastery of standard written English. For more information, visit the .
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Expect to write several drafts of your personal essay. This essay provides an opportunity to briefly express who you are, highlight your strengths, ambitions and values, and convince the readers that you would be a good candidate for their college.