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Personal Statement

Why "personal statements"?

College applications are a way for admissions representatives to evaluate if you are the kind of student that will thrive in their environment, but grades, test scores, and even lists of extracurricular activities do not give them a full picture of who you are as a student.

Personal Statements* are a way for you to shine! These prompts give you the opportunity to tell your story to admissions representatives and demonstrate why you are a great fit for their school.

*Note that not all colleges/universities require them. Those that do require statements will ask you to respond to different prompts and provide specific word limits.

Below are videos to help you get started working on your personal statements, admissions essays, and "Personal Insight Questions" (aka P.I.Q.s). Make sure your work with teachers, school staff, and other mentors to fine tune your writing before you submit.

Come in to the College and Career Center for additional support!

Personal Statement video playlist


How to answer PIQs for UC Admissions


Quick Links

Personal Statement Requirements

California State Universities (CSU)

  • No essays required

The Common Application

  • 1 essay is required
  • No more than 650 words
  • There are 5 essay prompts to choose from

Community College

  • No essay required

Independent schools

  • Research to learn about essay requirements

University of California (UC)

  • Applicants are required to answer 4 personal insight questions
  • No more than 350 words each
  • There are 8 questions to choose from