Personal Statement Character Count


USAFA ‘25 | USNA & USMA Appointee
Jul 11, 2020
Personal statement for USNA says "In a well-organized essay of a total of 300 to 500 words...," but the box to write the statement says "Limited to 3000 characters." I have 500 words written, but only 2500 characters (with spaces). Can I write 1000 more characters? I think my statements would sound better if I could write more.
I would follow the instructions. The word limit and character limit do not contradict each other, there’s simply two constraints.
Understood, thank you. Some people have longer words with the same word count, so a higher character count ensues.
Forget about word count. Write your best statement up to 3000 characters. MS Word will tell you how many characters you have in the lower left hand frame.

1. Avoid double spaces
2. Avoid too many [CR][LF] ... eg new paragraphs
3. Use widely understood Acronyms judiciously to save characters.

Take your time. Write ... Sleep on it ... Write ...Sleep on it .... Only until you are happy, then submit
I've haven't seen the new software, but often when the box says "limited to xxx characters" it literally will not let you put anymore characters into the box.
(Pure speculation, but the " 300 to 500 words" language is a carry over from the wording of the old application, and the 3000 characters limit is a function of the new system).
The limit is definitely the number of characters where even blanks are counted as characters. The limit has to do with how the data is stored on the mainframe computer.
We learned from experience with our daughter doing her “drafts” in her online college applications. That is generally a no-no. A few times after hearing her scream and shout that she had lost all her work, it took a few coaching sessions to get her to draft all her work in MS Word (or similar), and then copy/paste to the college entry form, whatever and wherever that was.

This way, it got her to archive her work for reuse purposes.