The college application process can be stressful and frustrating – especially when hard-working students fail to be admitted into their dream school. Future college students should be extra vigilant when submitting complete applications, and work to ensure their letter of admission will get them ahead of the competition. When it comes to writing and drafting your own, keep these tips in mind.
Be Personable, yet Professional
A letter of admission must find the right balance between being personable and engaging, but also intelligent and professional. In other words, a letter of recommendation is a one-sided interview that allows you to formally present yourself to a panel. Like a job interview, pleasant agreeableness must equally match your academic competency. Students should take advantage of this opportunity to include relevant and meaningful information about themselves. For example, they can share previous experiences that shaped their background, and transition into how they hope that the college program will positively benefit them. This can briefly include real-world problems, such as a family member with a health problem, and how the student hopes that their education will improve this problem, such as being able to help others receive medical care.
Like a resume or job application, a letter of admission is a snapshot of the candidate’s professional competency. That being said, a letter that is awkwardly designed and poorly written indicates a candidate that is neither organized nor clear-minded. A succinctly written letter creates a positive impression of a sensible and logical person. In order to maximize efficiency, students should consider creating an outline and carefully branching out to main points. The letter should also be visually appealing with a proper balance between content and white space. Be sure to ask a few friends with critical thinking skills to review and provide feedback.
Be Unique and Specific
Admissions coordinators must frequently sift through hundreds of generically written letters of admissions at a time. As a result, predictable content usually gets passed over. Students should consider presenting distinct content with a personal story that ends with future hopes and goals. Students can use factual information to support their claims and aspirations, and should cite their high GPA levels throughout high school to illustrate their academic consistency. Include relevant personal information, such as important volunteer work or extracurricular activities, which specifically points out their skills and demonstrates their candidacy for the target college program.
As a final note, students should clearly demonstrate how their degree will improve themselves and others as well. For example, students getting a degree in library science can share how their education will allow them to inspire young students. Make sure that overall, your letter shows who you are, and what you hope to become. Colleges will be more likely to choose you if your letter is written well.
This article was contributed by guest author Brooke Chaplan.