The statement of purpose has never been more important if you’re applying to any type of educational program. With standardized test scores on the rise, high GPAs common, and many applicants boasting impressive resumes, applicant pools are full of great candidates. This makes it hard for admissions committees to decide who to accept and who to reject. It’s much more than just picking the individuals with the highest numerical qualifications.
This is important to understand because as an applicant, you must now focus on differentiating yourself from other applicants rather than just showing your accomplishments. It’s not enough to be highly qualified; instead, you also need to be a unique applicant who brings something to the table that other, similarly qualified applicants do not. When they review your statement of purpose admission committees want to learn why you’re a better candidate than the hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of others who are also competing for a spot.
Statement of Purpose Admission Decisions
So how does the statement of purpose work when it comes to reviewing applications? At many schools, particularly those that are highly competitive, the process works like this:
- The admissions committee uses things like GPA and test scores to separate applicants into larger general groups: those who are qualified for admission and those who are not.
- If you’re firmly at the far end of either group, you have a good chance of either being accepted or rejected. However, this is not guaranteed.
- Applicants who are more in the middle of the pack or who boast numerical qualifications similar to many other applicants must be sorted somehow. That’s where the statement of purpose comes in.
- Admissions officers read your statement of purpose admission essay. If it makes you seem like a unique, qualified applicant that would fit will in that program, your application gets a substantial boost. If it is poorly written, clich’d, or otherwise unremarkable, you are likely to fade into the crowd.
- While a great essay or statement can’t guarantee admission by itself, it can have an enormous impact on your chances, especially if you’re a borderline applicant in any way.
Understanding this, it’s in your best interest as an applicant to make your statement of purpose as strong as it can be. If you neglect this vital component of your application, it could have a significant negative impact on your chance of admission.