However, there a few rules you can follow that will ensure that you are at least keeping within what will make admissions officers happy: Things like colored or patterned paper, computer graphics, attached photos of you as a toddler, videos, or DVD essays do nothing but attract attention–the kind of attention.
The admissions committee wants to read a clear, well-written, well-though-out statement that demonstrates you are a serious candidate for a degree from their school; they don’t want to have to squint at odd graphics, or wonder why you had that haircut when you were two years old.
They also want to see if you can effectively articulate your reasons for wanting to attend a particular program or institution, and how your background will help you succeed there.
Finally, the application essay helps the admissions office determine the degree of efficacy with which you can create and develop logical ideas while also reaching out and connecting with an audience.
You can’t really get to know someone in 250 words or less.
On the other hand, do ramble on for 10 single-spaced, 8pt font pages.
Also, keep in mind that schools, unless they specifically request it, don’t want to receive your 300-page novel manuscript, life-sized copies of your artwork, or a CD of your band playing live.
If you really want to send any additional materials, make sure to contact the admissions office first to see if they want them and, if they do, how you should send them.
Use the personal statement to anecdotally show them who the person who did all those things and had all those accomplishments is.
Write about something that touched you, something you can be passionate about, something that you know embodies you and what you believe in, even if it seems a little unorthodox.