Barbara P
Barbara P

Personal Statement Prompts: Topics & Ideas for Students

10 min read

Published on: Apr 7, 2021

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

personal statement prompts

Crafting a compelling personal statement is a crucial step for students seeking admission to educational institutions. However, the task of selecting the right topic or idea to focus on can often be a daunting challenge. 

To help students navigate this process, we have compiled a list of 40+ personal statement prompts, covering a wide range of topics.

In this blog, we will explore these prompts and provide valuable insights to inspire and guide students in writing their personal statements. 

Let's dive into this collection of personal statement prompts and unlock your potential for crafting a standout personal statement.

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Common App Personal Statement Prompts 2024-2025

Here are the most common personal statement prompts along with tips on how to address these prompts! 

1. Reflect on a significant experience or achievement and its impact on you:

  • Choose an experience or achievement that has had a profound influence on your personal growth or perspective.
  • Clearly describe the experience and explain how it has shaped your values, goals, or character.
  • Reflect on the lessons learned and the lasting impact it has had on your life.

2. Describe a challenge or obstacle you have faced and how it has shaped you:

  • Select a challenge that showcases your resilience, determination, or problem-solving skills.
  • Discuss the specific actions you took to overcome the obstacle and the lessons learned from the experience.
  • Emphasize how the challenge has contributed to your personal growth, maturity, or changed perspective.

3. Discuss a problem you'd like to solve or a global issue you find important. Explain its significance to you:

  • Identify a problem or global issue that genuinely matters to you and aligns with your interests or values.
  • Clearly articulate why this problem or issue is significant and what motivates you to address it.
  • Describe any steps you have taken or plan to take to make a positive impact in relation to this problem or issue.

4. Share an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others:

  • Highlight a specific accomplishment, event, or realization that had a transformative effect on your personal development.
  • Explain how this experience challenged your beliefs, assumptions, or perspectives.
  • Reflect on how this newfound understanding has influenced your interactions with others or your future aspirations.

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College Personal Statement Prompts

In order to provide a direction, the following are some of the prompts to write an exceptional personal statement for college:

  • Provide an explanation of your favorite film or book in which the character made an important and life-changing decision. Shed light and your opinion on the character’s decision and its significance.
  • Share a story or an incident that reflects your true personality and the type of person you really are.
  • If you can travel through time, in which historical period you will you go and why?
  • Write about a personality who admires you the most. Share the reasons and significance of admiration.

Personal Statement Prompts for Graduate Schools

Following personal statement prompts can be used when applying for a reputable graduate school:

  • Discuss a topic, idea, or concept that you find is interesting and worth sharing. Present different reasons that make the idea interesting.
  • Talk about a problem you solved or a problem solved by someone that inspired you. The problem can be of any nature. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, or an ethical dilemma. Anything that is of personal importance no matter how small or big it is, explain the significance and measures you took.
  • Students have a background identity, interest, or talent that differentiates them from other people. Discuss those elements sharing interesting details.

Common App Personal Statement Prompts 2024

The common app personal statement prompt demands the applicant to share a story. Colleges often require students to submit a personal statement along with their documents to examine their creative skills. Moreover, a personal statement also provides a chance to impress the committee with your personality, qualities, and knowledge.

The following are some prompts for your common app personal statement. Select one and draft an effective piece.

  • The lessons and consequences of the difficulties we encounter can be fundamental to overall success in life. Portray the time you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. Share what did you learn from the experience.
  • Narrate a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What factors provoked you to speak up or change your mind, and what were the outcomes?
  • Discuss an accomplishment event or realization that contributed to personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

UC Personal Statement Prompts

The UC application can be tricky. In this, students are required to draft 4 essays out of 8 provided prompts. Each essay that you draft not only asks for the answer of the prompt but also an interesting incident or story.

Below are some examples of personal statement prompts for your UC and CSU applications:

  • Describe your greatest skill or talent that differentiates you from other applicants. How did that particular skill develop over time? Perks you received because of having that skill or talent.
  • Share your leadership experiences that influenced your team positively. What steps did you take to resolve disputes?
  • Talk about the challenges you faced in your life and the measures you took to survive them. How the challenge or difficulty influenced you?

Stanford Personal Statement Prompts

Here are a few prompts that you can chose to write on: 

  • Reflect on an experience or achievement that has had a significant impact on your life. How did this experience shape your perspective, values, or future goals? 
  • Describe a time when you encountered a challenge or faced adversity. How did you handle the situation and what did you learn from it? How has this experience influenced your personal growth and resilience? 
  • Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. What excites you about learning? Share a specific example or project that demonstrates your curiosity, passion, or willingness to take intellectual risks. 
  • Stanford's motto is "The wind of freedom blows." Reflect on a time when you had to make a difficult decision or take a stand for something you believe in. How did you navigate this situation, and what did you learn about yourself and your values? 

Law School Personal Statement Prompts

Students are to write personal statements when applying for law schools as well. This provides them with an opportunity to inspire the law admission committee. Sharing ideas like who you actually are and what you are passionate about.

The following are some good prompt examples for your law school personal statements:

  • Write about the law school you are applying to. Share why did you choose that specific law school and how you are a perfect choice for it. Moreover, provide personal, professional, and academic reasons for studying in law school. Share your goals and objectives as well.
  • Share your proudest personal achievement and details about how you felt about it. Also, state how you achieved the goals. The accomplishment can be of any sort. Just discuss how the achievement led to personal growth and showcase your qualities.
  • Introduce yourself to the law admission committee. State details such as what made you, who you are, and what makes you unique from others.

University of Chicago Personal Statement Prompts

Here are four brief personal statement prompts for the University of Chicago:

  • How does UChicago satisfy your desire for a unique learning experience, community, and future?
  • Share a few of your favorite books, films, or artists that inspire you.
  • What excites you about your intended field of study, and how will UChicago fulfill your academic interests?
  • Pose a thought-provoking question or choose a past prompt to showcase your originality and creativity.

Personal Statement Prompts medical schools 

Here are four personal statement prompts commonly used by medical schools:

  • Reflect on a personal experience that motivated your decision to pursue a career in medicine.
  • Describe a challenging situation you faced in a healthcare setting. How did you navigate this situation, and what did you learn from it?
  • Medical schools seek applicants with a strong sense of empathy and cultural competency. Share an experience in which you demonstrated empathy and understanding toward a patient from a different background or culture. 
  • Discuss a healthcare or medical research project you were involved in. How did this experience contribute to your understanding of scientific inquiry, evidence-based practice, and the importance of research in advancing medical knowledge?

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CUNY  Personal Statement Prompts

Here are a few personal statement prompts for City of New York University. Have a look at them! 

  • Reflect on a significant personal experience or achievement that has shaped your educational journey and goals. How has this experience influenced your decision to pursue higher education at CUNY?
  • Describe a time when you faced a challenge or obstacle in your academic or personal life. How did you overcome it, and what did you learn from the experience? How will this resilience contribute to your success at CUNY?
  • CUNY prides itself on its diverse student body and inclusive community. How have your experiences with diversity, equity, and inclusion shaped your perspective and prepared you to contribute to the diverse campus culture at CUNY?
  • CUNY values community engagement and social responsibility. Describe a community service project or involvement that has had a meaningful impact on your personal growth and understanding of social issues. 

Answering Personal Statement Prompts - Example

In order to address the prompts professionally, it is advised to go through a plethora of interesting personal statement prompts. This is to get an idea about the overall structure and formation of your personal statement.

The expert personal statement writers of have provided an example of a strong personal essay. Read the sample provided to learn who to answer the prompt in the best possible way.

Personal Statement Example for Jobs

Here's an example of a personal statement for a job application:

"As an experienced marketing professional with a passion for creating impactful campaigns, I am excited to apply for the position of Marketing Manager at ABC Company. With a proven track record of driving brand awareness and increasing customer engagement, I bring a strategic mindset, creative flair, and strong analytical skills to deliver measurable results.

Throughout my career, I have successfully developed and executed comprehensive marketing strategies for diverse industries, ranging from technology startups to established consumer brands. My ability to blend creativity with data-driven insights has consistently resulted in increased market share, revenue growth, and enhanced brand reputation.

One of my notable accomplishments was spearheading a highly successful digital marketing campaign that propelled our brand to the forefront of the industry. By leveraging innovative social media strategies and targeted content, we achieved a 30% increase in website traffic and a 20% boost in lead generation within just three months. This accomplishment not only showcased my ability to think outside the box but also my proficiency in utilizing analytics to optimize campaign performance.

Collaboration is at the core of my work style, and I thrive in cross-functional teams where diverse perspectives drive innovation. As a natural communicator, I excel in building strong relationships with stakeholders, both internally and externally, to ensure seamless execution of marketing initiatives. I believe in fostering a collaborative environment that encourages open dialogue, creative thinking, and a shared commitment to achieving exceptional results.

In addition to my professional expertise, I am driven by a continuous learning mindset and stay updated on the latest marketing trends and emerging technologies. I am always seeking opportunities to refine my skills and leverage new strategies to stay ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

I am thrilled about the opportunity to join ABC Company and contribute to its continued success. With my passion for marketing, strategic mindset, and demonstrated ability to deliver impactful campaigns, I am confident in my ability to drive growth and elevate the company's brand positioning. I am eager to bring my skills and enthusiasm to a dynamic team and make a meaningful impact.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of discussing how my qualifications align with the goals of ABC Company and how I can contribute to its future achievements."

Following the sample provided will let you draft a perfectly structured personal statement. Impress the admission committee with your college essay and get an opportunity to study in your dream college.

Writing an impressive and impactful personal statement can be really daunting. If you are scared and cannot risk your chance, get help for your college essay from our AI essay writer. is a "write my college essay" service that provides services for all your academic assignments and papers. Be it a simple essay or a complex research paper, writers on our team can help you draft an amazing document.

Contact our college admission essay writing service today for a top-notch personal statement!

Barbara P


Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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