Your personal statement, or admission essay, can make or break your chances of getting accepted into your dream school.
While you want to make sure to stand out from the crowd, you don’t want to be too different and come off as unbelievable or unappealing.
Here are admission essay examples that got students accepted into top schools.
Admission essay examples for College
Admission Example 1: University of California, Berkeley
The Importance Of Family
This sample speaks about how family plays an important role in shaping who we are and molding us throughout our lives. It highlights the values and love they showed while growing up, which made them appreciate their loved ones even more. Here is the essay :
Family has always been a large part of my life. I have grown up surrounded by parents and grandparents, aunties and uncles, siblings, and cousins. I was raised in a tight-knit community where everyone looked out for one another. With so many people around, it wasn’t hard to find someone to talk to when I was feeling down or just need someone there to share an experience with. But no matter how many people were there for me, my mother was always the person I went home to when things didn’t go as planned. My mom was my best friend – she taught me how a woman should behave and carry herself like a lady. She would take care of her children all day before heading back out to her job as president of her own company; however, she still found time every night to cook dinner together with Dad. Overall, my family set the tone for what kind of person I wanted to be.
As the only boychild among three sisters, I grew up listening to my grandfather’s advice and doing whatever he told me to do. At the end of each visit, he would give me a dime. He would tell me to save it until I could buy myself something nice, but most importantly not tell anyone he gave it to me so that nobody else knew how much money he had given away. My grandfather passed away when I was 10 years old and his death changed my perspective on what being a man meant. He helped shape who I am today by teaching me valuable lessons through storytelling. His words will live forever through this essay.
My mother’s wise guidance equally shaped who I am today. Growing up, I was never afraid to express my thoughts and opinions, or to defend myself against a wrongdoer. It was my mom who first taught me how to handle adversity, as well as how to empathize with others and reach out for help when needed. After watching the strength of my mom throughout my childhood, I now strive to be a compassionate and self-confident person. My mom always supported my love for soccer and my goal of playing professionally. She was my number one fan in the stands, the person I would call to celebrate after a win, and the shoulder I cried on when I suffered a loss. My dad also played a huge role in shaping who I am today. He always stressed the importance of education and taught me how to be a leader, as well as provided for me financially. My mom and dad always made it clear that anything I wanted to do was possible with enough hard work and dedication. I am fortunate enough to say that I’m following in my father’s footsteps by pursuing a career in medicine so that one day, hopefully, I’ll make him proud.
Today, my family continues to play an important role in shaping who I am. My sister, who is five years younger than me, is my best friend and confidant. My mother continues to be a guiding force in my life by giving me wise advice when necessary. And my grandfather’s influence can still be felt as I pursue a career in medicine so that one day, hopefully, I’ll make him proud. My family may not always be physical with me, but I know that they’re always with me in spirit and that is the greatest gift I could ever ask for. To be honest, I didn’t always know what I wanted to do for a career. When I was younger, my interests were all over the place. During elementary school, I loved to draw and would often complete class assignments in art instead of the written word. Throughout middle school and high school, my interests took a different turn; I enjoyed history and science classes because they both had to do with learning about how things work.
While my passions may have changed throughout childhood and adolescence, one thing remained constant: studying hard in order to get into college. Though there are many paths that I am considering exploring in college (as evidenced by my course selections), the two majors that stand out the most to me are international relations and business. The International Relations major attracts me due to its focus on global issues, which has been a topic of interest for me since elementary school. The Business major attracts me because it teaches students about how businesses operate and gives them tools for success. The University of California, Berkeley is the perfect school for me. UC Berkeley is one of the most prestigious schools in the world and offers a diverse and challenging academic environment. I am confident that I will be successful at this university because I am hardworking, determined, and motivated. I will bring these traits to my studies, extracurriculars, community service projects, internships, future employment endeavors, etc. In addition to these attributes, I believe that I have some other qualities that set me apart from other applicants. Finally, the lessons I have learned from my family and my journey to this point have helped me realize that I can take on any challenge that is thrown my way.
Admission Essay Sample 2: John Hopkins University
A Unique Life Path
This example talks about their time spent volunteering at hospitals and how it prepared them for a career in medicine. They also talk about their personal experiences with illness and how they used those experiences to help others.
Here is the sample essay:
The first time I felt that I might want to pursue a career in medicine was during my freshman year of high school. One of my best friends, Leticia, started experiencing some health problems and began seeing several specialists. My experience with her illness taught me how different physicians approach treatment and how important it is to be able to communicate with your doctor. It also showed me how stressful medical situations can be for patients and their families and made me realize how rewarding it is when you are able to help someone else through difficult times. Later on in high school, I decided I wanted a career in medicine so that I could give back like many people have given back to me over the years. Volunteering my senior year of high school and my summers off during college provided me with the opportunity to shadow doctors and nurses, as well as work with children who are battling cancer. These experiences gave me a deeper understanding of how medicine works.
Volunteering in the hospital is a great way to see the field of medicine firsthand. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work and shadowing in the hospital setting, and I can honestly say that it has reinforced my decision to become a physician. There are always new opportunities to learn in the hospital and I am always eager to pick up new skills or try something new. Sometimes, we are just helping people with their medications or keeping them company while they wait for test results – but sometimes we have the opportunity to offer more tangible assistance with tasks such as assisting doctors with surgery.
As an intern last summer, I had the opportunity to assist with surgery by holding retractors, putting clamps on vessels, cutting sutures, and passing instruments to surgeons. Seeing a surgeon perform surgery may seem daunting at first glance; however, the surgeon explained everything he did before he did it and what each tool was being used for which helped make everything easier. Surgery isn’t easy but having an intern around provides support not only for the patient undergoing surgery but also for other staff members who are working very long hours. Whenever there was a break between cases, I was happy to get some food or drink from the cafeteria. Whenever I wasn’t sure what tools needed sterilizing after surgery, one of the nurses would take care of it right away. Having an intern around really helps lighten the load!
I have always believed in giving back, and I feel lucky to be in a position where I can do it. John Hopkins University for me is the perfect place to further my efforts to heal and help others. In my life, I have been the recipient of tremendous kindness. I will never forget how my family and friends came together to keep me strong during a difficult time. When I am a physician, it is my goal to provide that same kind of comfort and solace to my patients in need. I know that I have the compassion, integrity, and dedication to help others in their time of need. This is why I am proud to be applying to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and hope that you will consider me for admission.
Admission Essy Example 3: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Brilliant Work and Inventions
This sample admission essay for MIT describes a student’s experience with invention and innovation. As a child, the student had many ideas for new inventions but never pursued them due to a lack of time and resources. That changed when she took part in the Invention Convention in her junior year of high school, where she found the motivation to pursue her inventions. Since then, she has spent time refining and patenting her ideas. Here is the essay:
“Necessity is the mother of all invention.” This famous quote can be applied to my life more than ever before. My parents have always been very supportive in my endeavors, but they often lacked understanding of what was going on in my head during creative moments. When I was little I would run around the house making up games or putting together contraptions out of random objects from around the house. They would watch me play and think I was just being crazy until something caught their attention and I would show them how it worked. It wasn’t until later in middle school that I started pursuing these interests further by taking part in the Invention Convention at my school. It was there that I finally found someone who understood what I wanted to do with my creations and motivated me to take action.
MIT takes pride in the fact that students’ curiosity leads to discoveries, which aligns well with my own personal philosophy. Even though I’ve only taken basic classes in engineering so far, I’m confident this school will help fuel my creativity and push me beyond what I thought were my limits. In addition, I know that whatever happens in my future career as an engineer, it’ll be worth every bit of hard work because I want to make a difference in people’s lives. The first time I realized I could potentially use my creativity to save lives was when I got to see one of my inventions put into practice. One day after school, we went over to one of the neighbors’ houses and found he had accidentally plugged his space heater into his electricity supply line instead of his extension cord. We quickly unplugged it and went back home without giving it another second thought, but weeks later we got a call saying that he nearly died because he forgot about plugging in the space heater while still running appliances in his house. After seeing this happen firsthand, I decided not only did I want to learn more about electrical safety but also to prevent anyone else from suffering such consequences again if possible.
Countless times in my life, I’ve come across a problem that seemed unsolvable. Then I simply stop trying to solve the problem and start focusing on what I need in order to get past the hurdle. For example, when I was eight years old and living in Shanghai, China, my family moved to America and settled in Pennsylvania. I didn’t speak any English, so it was incredibly difficult for me to communicate with my peers or participate in school activities. This struggle made me feel like an outsider for a long time, but eventually, I found ways to adapt and make friends. Language became less of a barrier as my vocabulary grew and reading comprehension improved. Eventually, I was able to converse with my classmates and began participating in extracurricular activities. I had originally joined an ESL club but later switched to clubs that would interest me more, like the math club or robotics team. The knowledge and skills I gained in those clubs helped me to become better prepared for college-level courses and make it easier for me to transition from life in a foreign country to life in the United States.
At this point, MIT seems like a perfect match for me because of its unique blend of creativity and technical education. I’ve always had a fascination with electronics and mechanics, and I love to create new things. When I was growing up in China, my father encouraged me to pursue practical subjects like accounting or law rather than subjects like art or music because he believed they would be more lucrative careers. But as I continued my education here in the U.S., it became clear that the arts are just as important as the sciences because of all the different fields it overlaps with. The Arts and Humanities department at MIT is an excellent example of this, so it has attracted me for that reason alone. Another thing that excites me about MIT is the opportunity for hands-on experience with labs and equipment. Finally, MIT provides a strong sense of community. The diversity of thought and culture creates a space for everyone to be themselves, no matter where they came from or what their background is. Everyone in my class shares the same goal of being an engineer, but we’re so much more than that. I think this would be the best environment for me to grow as an individual and find myself in the company of other ambitious individuals who share my drive and passion.
Admission Essay Example 4: Stanford University
Likable Leadership Skills
In this admission essay sample, the applicant shares his leadership skills and how he earned them.
He explains how he grew as a leader, from his first position in the army to where he is today. The applicant makes it clear that he will continue to be an outstanding leader, making him a perfect fit for Stanford University.
Here is the sample :
I have always been a natural leader, but my time spent in the army has helped me grow into the person I am today. When people need help or guidance, they know they can count on me. From childhood through high school, I have always been one of those kids who never wanted to disappoint anyone – not my parents or teachers, or teammates – and being responsible for other people made me feel good about myself. My parents always told me I could do anything I put my mind to and if someone needed something done, then there was no one better to do it than me. And so when the time came for college applications, there was no question which university would best support me in meeting my goals: Stanford.
My desire to lead started with my involvement in sports, both as an athlete and a coach. As captain of the soccer team during my junior year, I was faced with some tough decisions that required me to think strategically and act quickly while still taking care of all my responsibilities. For example, we were once tied 1-1 against our arch-rival. Our season depended on us winning the game, so we had to get more aggressive. After going down 2-1, I called a time-out and reminded everyone that they played their hearts out and should not give up. We got back in the game, tying it 2-2 before finally winning 3-2 in overtime. Even though soccer was just a game to most people, for me it represented years of hard work towards one goal; leading my team gave me the confidence to apply those same principles outside of athletics too. I’ve served as president of the student council, editor-in-chief of the literary magazine, and senior class vice president. Now, I’m applying these skills to become a cardiothoracic surgeon in order to bring my patients joy by giving them a new lease on life. I’ll continue using my experience, values, and love of learning to create a future in which every patient gets the best possible care.
At home, I volunteer weekly with Habitat for Humanity and teach basic math to low-income elementary students who are struggling in school. Giving back is what gives me purpose, whether it’s restoring health or building communities. I believe Stanford will provide me with the resources and opportunities to become a successful leader in the future. I also believe Stanford is a place where I can challenge myself and make the most of my unique set of strengths
For me, success means doing what I love and helping others along the way. Whether it’s out of my own experience or from other people who have been there before me, Stanford University has made itself into an institution I can trust to help me become a successful student, surgeon, and leader. When it comes down to making one of life’s biggest decisions – finding an education path – I know Stanford is right for me. With your support, I know my future will be just as great as my past. As I prepare to take on a very meaningful and rewarding career, I realize that my time at Stanford will play a huge part in preparing me for it. I have been an excellent leader throughout my entire life, and with the opportunities provided to me at Stanford, I will continue to be one. It is important to me that people know they can rely on me as they always have, and Stanford is the type of environment that will allow me to meet their needs.I want my future to encompass everything I’ve learned from the past – from my family’s encouragement of anything you put your mind to the lessons of responsibility learned in schools and on the playing field – including success in fields such as medicine or business. I want to use my knowledge and skills to improve the lives of others. I am confident that Stanford will provide me with the tools I need to reach my goals and do what I love, and I’m excited about this next step in my journey. Every day, I strive to be a person that anyone would be lucky to have as a friend, co-worker, classmate, or teammate. If accepted, I hope that Stanford will feel like the perfect match for me because of its focus on producing graduates who demonstrate leadership in all aspects of their lives.