Ok, so I have been working on my personal statement for a few weeks now, and I am having this dilemma. Some of the schools I am applying to have a less than 500 word limit, while others do not specify a limit (and others have a limit of more words, about which I am not really concerned). So for a long time, I thought it would be impossible for me to trim my PS into less than 500 words. However, with the help of a savvy English professor, I came to realize that a sizable portion of my essay was really unnecessary, and by removing it I was able to add more substance to what remained. Now, I am at about 500 words exactly (about a page and a half double spaced), and I really like how my essay flows how it is. My question is this: If a school has a limit of, say, 1000 words, would a personal statement of 500 words be frowned upon at all? Would a school, figuring that it was written for another limit, consider this lazy? So the bigger question is, can I submit this statement to all schools, regardless of their word limit, or should I tailor the essay to each school's length requirement specifically?