How To Write An Application Letter

Some colleges ask that you submit an application letter. This could be in addition to a personal statement or college entrance essay, or it could replace that document when you apply to college. In either case, if you have to write an application letter, make sure that you write a strong piece, as this could be the reason you’re accepted or rejected. Even with poor SAT scores, you can get into college with a great application letter; if you send something written without care, few test scores or transcripts will save you from rejection. Check out this application letter sample and follow the steps below to write your own.

Step One: Write the salutation.

A salutation is the part of the letter that addresses the reader by name. In general, it is not a good idea to just address the letter to “Dear Sir or Madam” or “College Entrance Committee.” Be more specific. If the college doesn’t come out and tell you who will be reading the letter, call and ask. They’ll give you the name of the person to whom the letter should be addressed. Make sure your salutation is formal.

Step Two: Introduce yourself.

Think of the first few sentences of your application letter as an opening paragraph. Avoid wording like “I am writing because…”, and instead just come out and say why you are writing. A strong beginning will set the tone for the rest of the letter. You want your reader to be interested in learning more about you.

Step Three: Talk about why you want to attend their school.

Do a little research and then flaunt what you know in the second paragraph of your application letter. Be sure that this section emphasizes that you’re a good fit for the school due to the school’s characteristics. Be honest and avoid sounding like you’re sucking up.

Step Four: Talk about yourself in depth.

In the third paragraph, you really want to make your achievements shine. Application letters are only one to two pages long, so you don’t have a lot of room to talk about yourself. Focus on things that aren’t found elsewhere in your application packet. You can use examples to highlight how you’ve displayed these characteristics in the past.

Step Five: Be unique.

Before you close, have a paragraph that tells the reader why you are unique as compared to other students. In essence, you want to convince the school that you are not just a good fit, but will also add something to the college that they don’t already have. After all, every college wants alumni who are successful. Talk about your educational and career goals, highlight talents that you hope to expand upon in college, and point out you academic achievements.

Step Six: Say thanks.

Close out your letter with a reminder of what you’ve covered, and always thank the reader for his or her time. Finish the letter with your name, bother printed and signed. Don’t forget to sign – many students do every year.

Step Seven: Edit, edit, edit!

Your last step should be to edit the letter. Carefully review the text for typos and make sure that the content really makes you shine. You might want to consider having teachers, parents, or friends read over the letter to help you make it stronger.


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