Many REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) require a personal statement or related essay as part of the application. I am wondering, how long is too long? My essay is right now 1000 words (but it could be ~1300), and my worry is that the people reading it will lose interest in an essay that long.
It's worth noting that the personal and research statements for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship are restricted to two pages each. So if you're writing more than that for a REU, you're probably writing too much.