You are required to complete a Personal Statement as part of your freshman application. This is a critical part of your application, both for admission and scholarship consideration. Here are some tips on how to write a great college essay.
Personal statement (max 600 words)
Content, as well as form, spelling, grammar, and punctuation, will be considered. You should write your statement first in a word processing program (such as Word) or a text editor, and then copy/paste it into the application text box. Formatting such as italics and underlines may be lost.
The Personal Statement is our best means of getting to know you. The Personal Statement is a very important part of the application for admission to UW Tacoma.
Students must choose one of the following prompts:
1.) Tell us a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.
2.) Describe a time when you made a meaningful contribution to others in which the greater good was your focus. Discuss the challenges and rewards of making your contribution.
3.) An essay topic of your choice. If you have written another admissions essay that captures what you want the UW Tacoma Admissions Committee to know about, feel free to share it with us. Be sure to include the topic or question you answered.
Other comments (optional)
If there is anything else you think we should know, you can include that in the "Other Comments" section of the application.
The personal statement should be a comprehensive narrative essay outlining significant aspects of your academic and personal history, particularly those that provide context for your academic achievements and educational choices. Quality of writing and depth of content both contribute toward a meaningful and relevant personal statement.
I. Address the following topics:
A. Academic Elements (required)
- Academic History
- Tell us about your college career to date, describing your performance, educational path and choices.
- Explain any situations that may have had a significant positive or negative impact on your academic progress and/or curricular choices. If you transferred multiple times, had a significant break in your education, or changed career paths, explain.
- What are the specific reasons you wish to leave your most recent college/university and/or program of study?
- Your Major and/or Career Goals
- Tell us about your intended major and career aspirations.
- Are you prepared to enter your intended major at this time? If not, describe your plans for preparing for the major. What led you to choose this major? If you are still undecided, why? What type of career are you most likely to pursue after finishing your education?
- How will the UW help you attain your academic, career, and/or personal goals?
B. Personal Elements (required)
- Cultural Understanding
- Thoughtfully describe the ways in which culture had an impact on your life and what you have learned about yourself and society as a result. How has your own cultural history enriched and/or challenged you?
- NOTE: Culture may be defined broadly. Cultural understanding is often drawn from the ethnic background, customs, values, and ideas of a person’s immediate family, community, and/or social environment in which they live.
- Educational Challenges / Personal Hardships (if applicable)
- Describe any personal or imposed challenges or hardships you have overcome in pursuing your education.
- Examples: a serious illness, a disability, first generation in your family to attend college, significant financial hardship or responsibilities associated with balancing work, family and school.
- Community, Military, or Volunteer Service (if applicable)
- Describe your community, Military, or volunteer service, including leadership, awards, or increased levels of responsibility.
- Experiential Learning (if applicable)
- Describe your involvement in research, artistic endeavors, and work (paid or volunteer), as they have contributed to your academic, career or personal goals.
Additional Comments (optional)
Do you have a compelling academic or personal need to attend the Seattle campus of the University of Washington at this time? Is there anything else you would like us to know?
II. Personal Statement Format
Content as well as form, spelling, grammar, and punctuation, will be considered. Suggested length is 750-1000 words.
- Online: You should write your statement first in a word processing program (such as Word) or a text editor, and then copy/paste it into the text box provided. All line breaks remain. However, some formatting may be lost, such as bold, italics and underlines. This will not affect the evaluation of your application!
- PDF: Type or write your statement on 8.5×11” white paper. Double-space your lines, and use only one side of each sheet. Print your name, the words “Personal Statement,” and the date at the top of each page, and attach the pages to your application.