Personal statements and essays provide students with an opportunity to convey something about themselves that goes beyond objective data. This component of the application is the most important, requiring the most time and attention. The essay should be well written, carefully edited, and limited to the prescribed length. Students should write 500 to 600 words maximum if no length is specified. Students should consider their audience and keep the piece short, lively, and insightful. The essay should reveal something interesting and unique about the candidate, which is not disclosed elsewhere in the application. The essay or personal statement should discuss topics important to the student (i.e., family, neighborhood, a particularly moving, amusing, or enriching experience, or intellectual growth).