How important is it to place a line break between each paragraph. My PS is exactly one page without line breaks. It looks better (and I think is easier to read) with the line breaks, but is that worth cutting out 4 lines of content?
How are you checking the length of the PS? Using print and view as pdf?
First, I'm not how accurate that is.
Second, I just did mine which I considered to be on the longer side with 750 words...and it is one page. So I would really go by word count. I think 500-750 is reasonable, but if it's closer to 1000 it's probably too long.
Most people go by the margins aProgDirector had posted a few years ago. 0.3" on the sides and 0.8" above and below, font Courier New 10pt. That's supposed to be accurate to +/- 1 line.
There is some talk that the new web based PDWS will change this, but not everyone has signed up for that so I guess the old guidelines would still hold. Some people use a line break, others put in 3-5 spaces as a paragraph indentation (some might do both).
Personal preference: I'd rather have no break between paragraphs that have the personal statement go over by 4 lines. When I print out applications for my reviewers/interviewers who prefer paper to computer screens, those 4 lines (and sometimes 4 words) end up killing a lot of trees.