The Minimal Value of the Personal Statement

It came as no surprise to me that the Rhodes Scholarship folks have become queasy about the authorship of their application essays. They now ask students to cross their hearts and swear to the following statement: “I attest that this essay is my own work and is wholly truthful. Neither it nor any earlier draft has been edited by anyone other than me, nor has anyone else reviewed it to provide me with suggestions to improve it. I understand that any such editing or review would disqualify my application.”

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