Taking a look at some college interest statement examples will help you develop your own and figure out how to write a college essay. You could spend a lot of time looking through style guides and taking expert college essay tips to heart – and we recommend doing all of that – but there is an extra layer of knowledge to be gained by observing the work of those who have gone before.

Even how to start a college essay can be daunting, so reading college interest statement examples will help improve your own ability to write your personal statement or college interest statement and will boost your application with slicker, more confident writing. In this article, we present you with three separate college interest statement examples for your perusal, so that you might better write your own material.

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Article Contents
10 min read

Introduction College Interest Statement Examples Conclusion FAQs


The primary goal of a statement of interest is to show why you are the perfect fit for the program to which you are applying, that is, why you are the right person. Your high school resume, extracurriculars for college, and letter of recommendation cannot stand on their own; you need to say something in your own words to provide insight into who you are in the bigger picture.

Many colleges use the Common App or Coalition Application, with a mandatory personal statement. These serve a similar function to a college interest statement but tend to focus on who you are and why you are perfect for the field you want to study; they will not mention specific colleges or programs because they will be sent to all of the several schools you are applying to through the Common App. However, if you encounter a statement of interest, either in the secondary application or with a school that does not employ the Common App, you will want to tailor your statement to highlight programs or opportunities afforded by the specific school to which you are applying.

College Interest Statement Examples

First Statement

Brushstrokes in anger dispel the emotion. I tear at a canvas, my brushes and palette knives smearing out something dark inside me, and while I rend my art, I stitch my soul. Art therapy was the best thing that ever happened to me.  

I lost my mother in a traumatic event when I was still a little girl. She could swim, but I could not when I was seven years old and curious about the fish off the dock. She saved me, but the undertow pulled her away. My survivor’s guilt left me depressed and angry.  

My father tried putting me in traditional therapy, but I didn’t respond. However, when a paintbrush was put into my hand, I would talk about what I was painting, and art therapy saved me.  

In my teenage years, I took as many art courses as I could and began to help out at my old art therapy center. In fact, I taught some basic painting courses to help kids who, like me, needed to express themselves in ways that were extraverbal.  

Ironically, I was following what I now know to be my “calling,” but without realizing it. My therapist pointed out the good work I was doing and asked if I had considered a career in the therapeutic professions. I immediately knew that this was what I wanted.  

Now, I spend some of my time with my therapist asking her questions about her profession. She has, in many ways, become a mentor as well as a healer. She helps me with my psychology courses and has introduced me to alternative healing methods for people who are traumatized, as I was.

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I hope to study therapy, psychology, and art, and achieve as much of a mastery as I can in these fields. With that expertise, my dream is to open an art therapy center – a non-profit, community-driven organization that can bring healing and growth to communities without costing them any money at all. I believe that this is achievable. 

My father works as a fundraiser for a local charity, and so I have a certain amount of knowledge in this area as well. He has taken me to his work several times, even letting me help organize a fundraiser with him so that I can learn how to go about maintaining a not-for-profit when it comes time to realize my dream. 

I know that I am dreaming big. The prospect of healing souls by reknitting the harmed, traumatized areas of their lives is a daunting challenge. Accomplishing this at no cost to the patients is exponentially more difficult – because the building in which to practice, the materials for art, and earning a living while doing so are all expensive. However, thanks to my therapist, my history, my practice of artistic expression, and my father’s guidance and support, I believe that this big dream can become a reality. 

Your institution is my top choice because of precisely this aspect of my application. Vandelay University has a reputation for its social justice orientation and activism. Not only are the programs informed by social change endeavors, but the faculty are participants, and the student body are active in such matters as well. Vandelay will give me the training I need as a therapist, artist, and change-maker; without this triumvirate of skills, it would be a struggle to make my dream a reality.

I am including a link to some of my art in my application, and you can view the images that I have used to come through my darkest times. I didn’t drown, thanks to my mother, nor did I drown in depression, thanks to my art. 

Brushstrokes once made in anger are now made in love. I owe my mother my life, and I will pay her back by restoring the lives of others, one brushstroke at a time.

Second Statement

I was sullen on the ride home from the science fair. We were getting home late because we couldn’t leave right away. My exhibit was still smoldering an hour after the exhibit, despite the fire extinguisher’s timely deployment. Needless to say, I had not won a blue ribbon. I had accomplished very little, outside of greatly reducing the moustache of Mr. Worczyk, my science teacher.  

The only people pleased by the evening were my siblings, who thought my humiliating failure was hilarious. Mr. Worczyk was nonplussed, my parents were apoplectic, and the fire department – who were called prudently, if unnecessarily – were not happy with my experiment either. None of them could have been as miserable as I was, however, because I loved science, and I felt the door was closed to me forever.  

I wanted to skip class and never have to look Mr. Worczyk directly in his minimally mustached face again, but I was in enough trouble as it was without adding class skipping to my offenses, so I attended on Monday. Mr. Worczyk asked to speak with me after class. Once my instinct for self-preservation overcame my brief impulse to jump from the window, I glumly approached his desk.  

“Let’s fix that experiment, Dylan. Shall we?”  

This was the real start to my love of science. My experiment – intended to show how different gasses diffused light – had gone up in smoke, but thanks to Mr. Worczyk, its failure shed real light on what failure could be: a true opportunity to learn.  

The scientific method thrives on failure. A hypothesis without counterexamples yields unreliable and inaccurate results. How could you know what was missing? How could you be sure of your conviction that you were right? In the true scientist, failure is to success what a rung is to a ladder: just another step up.  

Now I fail gleefully. Science experiments in my chemistry lab go wrong, and I get the opportunity to find out why. Thanks to those failures, I have passed many tests and quizzes, and I have received several blue ribbons at other science fairs, including third place at a national event last year. If I hadn’t learned how to fail better, I could never have gained the knowledge, skills, and experience to accomplish any of that.  

“Why?” is the most effective question for advancement that we possess. It is at the core of science and central to failing properly – in such a way that knowledge is gained.  

My studies in chemistry have led me to many fascinating places. I have moved from light diffusion to heat dispersal and how energy moves. I am currently in the middle of failing at trying to find out more efficient ways to move electrical currents from one place to another. Failing is, I know now, creeping success.  

Someday, I will work in a laboratory and ask “why” over and over again, and I will fail until I succeed – as the two are blended together so neatly that I don’t see a reason to distinguish one from the other.  

With some of the finest laboratory facilities in the country – certainly in any educational institution – the obvious choice for my future studies is your school: the Varnsen Institution is my dream school. In particular, I appreciate the current research being conducted by faculty about states of matter, including the exploration of dark energy. These fascinating, cutting-edge research areas are exciting and inspiring and will prepare me for my curious life in science.

I owe this bright tomorrow to my failures of yesteryear. Mr. Worczyk taught me to try again and regenerate my failure into success. Thus, my experiment never truly failed at all. As a side effect, by the way, Mr. Worczyk finally shaved his moustache off. He tells me that Mrs. Worczyk considers this a success, too.

Third Statement

My intro to philosophy course was Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which includes a gleeful sketch about a fictional faculty in Australia singing a drinking song about besotted intellectuals. Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and Aristotle are all name-dropped in the raunchy lyrics, and I laughed my head off.  

But I was also curious: I knew of these philosophers – enough to giggle at the sketch – but I didn’t know what they actually believed. Therefore, I set off to read some of the greatest minds that our civilization has come across. What I found altered my worldview several times, opened my mind, and charted my academic course.  

Friends of mine were fellow Python fans, but they didn’t want to talk philosophy as often as I did, so I found myself seeking out other, like-minded persons. I found them in two places at my school: the school newspaper and the debate club.  

The former allowed me to write op-ed columns in which I could expound on the work of whatever great thinker I had “discovered” that week, while the latter honed my skills of dialectic. I appreciated both for what they allowed me to do.  

In the case of journalism, I learned to articulate my viewpoints and apply philosophy to the real world. Many people believe that the study of philosophy is a dusty way to trap oneself in the perpetual motion machine of academia. I came to understand that this is not the case. My column attempted to find reason in madness. We live in a society that is constantly evolving new threats to itself, whether on an existential level with nuclear armaments, in the political sphere with factionalism, or on a day-to-day level with work-life balance.  

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I believe that philosophy helps us find a path forward in our lives, no matter how chaotic. I attempted to carve out some of those pathways through my column. I don’t think I always succeeded, but to be fair, this was a high school newspaper.  

Debate club gave me the chance to argue as the Greek philosophers of old did. More importantly, debate club kept me on my toes, putting me into a position where I had to defend my position by understanding my opponent’s. This saved me from my own potential echo chambers and forced me to contemplate one of the greatest philosophical questions of all time: “What if I’m wrong?”

One of my part-time jobs is tutoring younger kids. We live in an affluent neighborhood, so I have several clients who want a good grade boost for their children. While teaching math and history, I found I could also throw in some philosophy from time to time, and it has been a delight to see these kids “get it.” They understand quite a bit, and although they might not know words like “teleological,” they can grasp many philosophical concepts – utilitarianism, for example – in principle, if not by rhetoric.  

So, for a classical philosopher, the question is, “Why?” Why do I want to study specifically at the University of Milford? The answer could easily be because of the fascinating and trendsetting philosophical papers published by the faculty, or it could be the beauty and history of the campus. But, in my case, it is because of the robust interdisciplinary focus of the coursework, which will allow me to explore how philosophy connects to other subjects and areas of our post-post-modern world.

I think that teaching philosophy has been relegated to dustiness and dismissal because we teach it “in-and-of-itself,” as a means to its own end. I believe philosophy is dynamic and alive. One need only look to the thriving podcast market to surmise that opining about the world is not only necessary for the human condition, but also a desirable pastime. We crave conversation, connection, and understanding, and I believe the study of philosophy will allow me to provide this, in a classroom or podcast – or both.


You can see how these essays have presented their subjects, from engaging opening hooks to closing statements that neatly wrap everything up. Expertly written samples will help you a lot, particularly if bolstered with college essay tips. This should help you break down your own college interest statement when you set out to apply to any program at your dream institution.


1. How long should my interest statement be?

Interest statement lengths will vary from school to school. Some schools will measure by word count, others by character count, and some by page count. Check with your institution and program to see your limits.

Most personal statements will sit between 500 and 650 words, which comes to about a page, if you’re using a 12-point font and have average-sized paragraphs. If no word count is given, aim for 500, allowing for a little room on either end.

That’s more than enough room to make a good statement but do make sure that you respect any specified limits. 

2. What’s the difference between a personal statement and a statement of interest?

Functionally, very little. This section of your application might be called a statement of interest, letter of intent, personal statement, or other similar terms. The purpose remains largely the same.

Do note that when an institution uses the specific phrase “statement of interest” or “interest statement,” they will be looking for a connection to the university or college that you are applying to. Make sure to include that connection in the statement by linking their specific programs or opportunities to your plans and vision for your future.

3. What is the purpose of a statement of interest?

It is a way for you to introduce yourself, your uniqueness, and your individuality to the admissions committee while connecting those qualities to the school you are applying to.

Your primary goal should be to give a quick “snapshot” of yourself. You will present your background, reveal some of your personality, and describe what led you to apply to the institution and program you chose. You could do this by talking about academics, hobbies, your personal life, or any other facet of yourself; just make sure that you showcase the essential “you.”

This is best accomplished by revealing just enough to intrigue the admissions committee and make them curious about who you are. Leaving them wanting more – in a good way – will make them want to bring you in for an interview.

4. Do all colleges and universities require an interest statement?

Most require some form of short essay to introduce yourself in a personal way. It might not be called an interest statement, but a similar text will be required in virtually every application.

5. What should I include in an interest statement?

Mostly, you should connect yourself to the program you are applying to and tell your “story.” Anything is on the table, with the sole exception of repeating information that can easily be included elsewhere. Don’t recite your resume, don’t brag about academic accomplishments, and don’t just list a bunch of general information.

You should also avoid answering any other essay questions that can be answered elsewhere in your application. For example, if another required essay at your institution is, “Why did you apply to this school/program?” you don’t need to talk too much about that in your statement of interest because you can answer that question elsewhere. In such a case, you would focus more heavily on your personal story while only touching on “why this school?” in your interest statement.

6. Do I need one interest statement for each school I apply to?

As only certain schools will require an interest statement, particularly at the undergraduate level, chances are you will need to create one for each school. Moreover, the focus of an interest statement is the specific school and program, so aside from a brief introduction to yourself and your background, most of the interest statement will discuss the school itself. 

Many institutions utilize centralized application systems, such as the Common or Coalition Applications, which require that you write one personal statement to be sent to multiple institutions. With secondary essays and supplemental material, you will be able to create individualized essays for schools you are applying to.

7. How long should I spend writing my interest statement?

Approximately two to three weeks should be spent writing your interest statement, although keep in mind that you won’t be writing constantly; it won’t be a full-time occupation. However, working on the statement daily will help you accomplish all of the planning, writing, re-writing, and editing that you will need to deliver a perfectly polished piece.

8. Am I penalized for spelling and grammar errors in an interest statement?

Yes. Although interest statements aren’t assessed the same way as standard college essays, they are still being evaluated and giving the admissions committee members a good idea of who you are as a person and as a student. If you fail to write coherently and skillfully – including spelling and grammar – you may leave a negative impression of your skills and academic capabilities.

You have tools like spellcheckers and grammar checking apps at your disposal. Use what you must but produce an error-free paper.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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