Law School Discussion

How should I start my NYU scholarship letter?

How should I start my NYU scholarship letter?
« on: November 14, 2005, 11:37:12 AM »
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RocketBot

Re: How should I start my NYU scholarship letter?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2005, 12:15:23 PM »
I'm applying for the Fruman and I'm wondering if the letter should more officially (i.e. "I am writting this letter to express my interest in the Furman scholarship...") or should it have more of a PS feel to it ("My desire to puruse a career in academia stemms primarily from...")

Any suggestions would be much appreciared.

Hehe, those two examples you gave both sound pretty stiff and official.  I definitely wouldn't consider the second one as having a PS sort of feel.  Personal statements intros are usually interesting and creative.  That more sounds like a "Why Penn" or "Why Michigan" essay intro.

JPhilmore

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Re: How should I start my NYU scholarship letter?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2005, 12:18:40 PM »
What is the Fruman? 

Re: How should I start my NYU scholarship letter?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2005, 12:31:27 PM »
I'm applying for the Fruman and I'm wondering if the letter should more officially (i.e. "I am writting this letter to express my interest in the Furman scholarship...") or should it have more of a PS feel to it ("My desire to puruse a career in academia stemms primarily from...")

Any suggestions would be much appreciared.

Hehe, those two examples you gave both sound pretty stiff and official.  I definitely wouldn't consider the second one as having a PS sort of feel.  Personal statements intros are usually interesting and creative.  That more sounds like a "Why Penn" or "Why Michigan" essay intro.

Correction: Personal statements usually sound like the people writing them THOUGHT they were being interesting and creative. I'll take stiff and official over pretentious and grandiose any day.

JPhilmore

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Re: How should I start my NYU scholarship letter?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2005, 01:06:20 PM »
I'm applying for the Fruman and I'm wondering if the letter should more officially (i.e. "I am writting this letter to express my interest in the Furman scholarship...") or should it have more of a PS feel to it ("My desire to puruse a career in academia stemms primarily from...")

Any suggestions would be much appreciared.

Hehe, those two examples you gave both sound pretty stiff and official.  I definitely wouldn't consider the second one as having a PS sort of feel.  Personal statements intros are usually interesting and creative.  That more sounds like a "Why Penn" or "Why Michigan" essay intro.

Correction: Personal statements usually sound like the people writing them THOUGHT they were being interesting and creative. I'll take stiff and official over pretentious and grandiose any day.

You are completely right about this.  Good luck with the Fruman, that sounds like a really great program. 

Re: How should I start my NYU scholarship letter?
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2005, 01:56:14 PM »
I applied for this as well, and treated it like a supplementary personal statement.  I kept it pretty informal though.

Re: How should I start my NYU scholarship letter?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2005, 02:19:41 PM »
Does anyone know how competitive these programs are?  I'm planning on applying for the International Law one but I wonder if it's even worth it?

Re: How should I start my NYU scholarship letter?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2005, 02:28:02 PM »
Does anyone know how competitive these programs are?  I'm planning on applying for the International Law one but I wonder if it's even worth it?

I have no idea how competitive it is, but given that it takes at most a day or two to write the extra essay, it's probably worth a shot.

JPhilmore

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Re: How should I start my NYU scholarship letter?
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2005, 02:47:22 PM »
Does anyone know how competitive these programs are?  I'm planning on applying for the International Law one but I wonder if it's even worth it?

I think I am going to apply for that one as well.  Considering this is NYU, I'm sure these programs are going to be extremely competitive.  However, you should still apply.  Writing a 500 word statement is no big deal, and entirely worth a shot at that program. 

RocketBot

Re: How should I start my NYU scholarship letter?
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2005, 06:26:49 PM »
Hehe, those two examples you gave both sound pretty stiff and official.  I definitely wouldn't consider the second one as having a PS sort of feel.  Personal statements intros are usually interesting and creative.  That more sounds like a "Why Penn" or "Why Michigan" essay intro.

Correction: Personal statements usually sound like the people writing them THOUGHT they were being interesting and creative. I'll take stiff and official over pretentious and grandiose any day.

LOL, as if there is no such thing as a generally-laudable creative effort, and as if every creative effort is pretentious and grandious.  And is it just me, or does everyone like to throw around the word pretentious these days?  Meh.  Every reliable source, including the adcomms themselves, indicate that illustrating your life, goals, or ideas rather than merely stating them at face value show much more about who you are.

Countless applications and adcomms say the personal statement is their only chance to get to know you as a person, and the "stiff and official" mindset is precisely what should be avoided.  To back that up, this viewpoint is alluded to in most T14 PS prompts, outright asserted in Montauk and Ivey, and is emphasized in Kaplan's free personal statement workshop (which, while I'm in general not a fan of Kaplan, was more than excellent).

I know this goes beyond the bounds of this thread, but there is nothing to indicate that a stiff, goal-oriented essay is superior to an interesting, attention-grabbing essay that says the same things through subtlety.  This is why PS prompts are so open-ended in the first place.

edit: I see your point about "usually" though ;)