I’m hoping you or your readers could offer some insight on this situation. One of my friends is a recent graduate of Syracuse’s MFA program, which happens to be my top choice. Should I mention in my personal statement that one reason I’m so excited about Syracuse is because I know [insert friend’s name here] and she had a very positive experience? I’m well aware I won’t be selected just because I dropped the name of a recent grad, but this is a legitimate reason for why I favor the school. I just don’t want to come across as someone who thinks she can get in based on who she knows versus how she writes.
Obsessing Over Personal Statement (OOPS)
Oops, I'd include the person's name. It's part of your story of "Why I want to attend Syracuse." As long as you're reasonable about it. As long as you don't write, "I know you accepted Stacey, and I'm an even better writer than her!" or the like. :)
If I were on the committee, I'd actually like to know this information. Rock on.