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University Admission Application Letter (with Samples & PDFs)

I have listed sample templates to help you craft an effective and professional university admission application letter.

Also, I would like to point out that you can also download a PDF containing all the samples at the end of this post.

Successful Application Letter for University Admission

First, find the sample template for university admission application letter below.

To, The Admissions Committee, [Name of the University], [Address of the University], [City], [State], [Postal Code]

Subject: Application for Admission to [Name of the Course]

Respected Sir/Madam,

I, [Your Full Name], resident of [Your Address], am writing this letter to show my keen interest in applying for the [Name of the Course] at your esteemed university for the academic year [Year].

I have recently completed my [last educational qualification] from [Name of School/College] with an aggregate of [Your Percentage/CGPA], and I am eager to further my studies in the field of [Field of Study]. I believe that studying at [Name of the University] will provide me the right knowledge, skills, and exposure to excel in this field.

I am particularly drawn to the [Name of the Course] at [Name of the University] because of its reputation for providing high-quality education and its focus on practical learning. I am confident that this course will help me achieve my academic and career goals.

Enclosed with this letter are my mark sheets, certificates, and other required documents. I kindly request you to consider my application and provide me with an opportunity to prove my potential and contribute to the university.

I am looking forward to being a part of your esteemed institution and assure you that I will put in my best efforts in all my endeavours.

Thank you for considering my application. I am eager to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

[Your Full Name] [Your Contact Information] [Your Email Address]

Below I have listed 5 different sample applications for “university admission application letter” that you will certainly find useful for specific scenarios:

Crafting a Persuasive University Application Letter to Showcase Leadership Skills

Crafting a Persuasive University Application Letter to Showcase Leadership Skills

To, The Admissions Committee, [University Name], [University Address].

Subject: Application for Admission to [Desired Course Name]

I, [Your Full Name], a student of Class XII from [Your School Name], am writing to express my keen interest in applying for the [Desired Course Name] at your esteemed university. I believe that my strong leadership skills, coupled with my academic accomplishments, make me an ideal candidate for this course.

I have consistently excelled in my studies, but more importantly, I have taken the initiative to lead and guide my peers through various activities. As the Head Boy/Girl of my school, I’ve learned to inspire and motivate my fellow students, organize events, and address issues efficiently. These experiences have honed my leadership abilities and have taught me how to balance my academic commitments with extracurricular responsibilities.

I played a pivotal role in initiating a ‘Clean Campus Drive’ in my school, where I led a team of students to maintain cleanliness and fostered a sense of responsibility among them. This initiative not only improved the school environment but also instilled a sense of community and teamwork among the students.

Moreover, I represented my school at the [Local/State/National] Leadership Summit, where I had the opportunity to interact with other young leaders and share innovative ideas to improve our communities. This experience broadened my perspective and reinforced my desire to lead and make a difference.

If given the opportunity to join [University Name], I assure you that I will bring these leadership qualities to contribute positively to the university community. I am eager to leverage my experiences to participate actively in student-led initiatives and further develop my leadership skills.

I am confident that [University Name] is the perfect platform for me to grow not just acadically but also as a leader. I humbly request you to consider my application favorably. I look forward to the opportunity to be a part of your esteemed institution.

Thank you for considering my application.

Yours Sincerely, [Your Full Name], [Your Contact Information].

Writing a Compelling University Application Letter Highlighting Athletic Achievements

Writing a Compelling University Application Letter Highlighting Athletic Achievements

To, The Admissions Committee, [Name of the University], [Address of the University]

Subject: Application for Admission and Highlighting Athletic Achievements

I hope this letter finds you in the best of health and spirits. I am [Your Name], a student from [Your School Name], [Your City], intending to apply for the [Course Name] at your esteemed university.

Academically, I have consistently performed well, securing a GPA of [Your GPA] in the previous year. However, I am not just a diligent student in the classroom, but also a passionate sportsperson. I believe my athletic achievements will contribute to the vibrant sports culture at your university.

Over the last few years, I have been an active participant in athletics and have had the honour of representing my school at various district, state, and national level competitions. In the recent [Name of Sports Event], I clinched the gold medal in [Name of the Sport], making my school and family immensely proud. Additionally, I was also the recipient of the prestigious [Name of the Award] given for outstanding performance in sports.

My commitment to sports has not only honed my physical abilities but has also helped me develop leadership skills, team spirit, and resilience. I believe that these qualities will not only aid me in my academic pursuit but also contribute to the overall diversity and vitality of your university’s student community.

I am enthusiastic about bringing the same dedication and spirit to your esteemed university and contributing to its athletic teams. I am certain that the comprehensive education and diverse opportunities provided by your university will help me grow, both acadically and athletically.

I am hopeful that you will consider my application favourably. Thank you for considering my application. I am looking forward to the possibility of becoming a part of your prestigious university.

Yours sincerely, [Your Name] [Your Contact Information]

Articulating Academic Excellence in a University Admission Application Letter

Articulating Academic Excellence in a University Admission Application Letter

The Dean of Admissions, [University Name], [University Address], [City], [State], [Pin Code]

Subject: Application for Admission

Dear Sir/Madam,

I, [Your Name], am writing this letter seeking admission to the [Course Name] course at your prestigious institution for the academic year [Year]. I have recently completed my [last academic degree/course] from [Your School/College Name] in [City, State].

I have always been passionate about [subject(s) related to the course], and I am confident that my academic achievements reflect this. I have consistently maintained a high academic standing in my schooling years, ranking in the top [percentage/rank] of my class. My teachers have commended me for my dedication and commitment to learning, which is evident from my grades and participation in various academic competitions.

Moreover, I have been an active participant in various extracurricular activities that have helped me develop a holistic understanding of the world. I have led [mention some leadership roles], worked on [mention any projects or initiatives], and engaged in [mention any community service or volunteer work]. These experiences have taught me the importance of teamwork, leadership, and responsibility, and have fuelled my desire to further my learning.

Your institution, with its exemplary faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, stands as the ideal platform for me to deepen my knowledge and broaden my horizon. I am particularly drawn to the [mention specific aspects of the course or university that attract you], and I am confident that these will provide the right environment to nurture my academic and personal growth.

I am committed to maintaining my academic excellence and contributing positively to the university community. I am hopeful that I will be given the opportunity to bring my passion, dedication, and academic prowess to your esteemed institution.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of contributing to and learning from the [University Name] community.

Yours Sincerely, [Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, Pin Code] [Email Address] [Phone Number]

Tailoring a University Application Letter to Highlight Community Service Experiences

Tailoring a University Application Letter to Highlight Community Service Experiences

The Admission Committee, [University Name], [University Address], [City, State, Zip Code]

I hope this letter finds you in good health. I am [Your Name], a student of [Your School Name], seeking admission to your esteemed university for the upcoming academic year.

I am writing this letter to express my keen interest in the [Course Name] program at your prestigious institution. I have always been intrigued by [Subject Name], and I am eager to explore this field under the guidance of the accomplished faculty at [University Name].

During my time at high school, I have actively participated in various community service programs that have not only enriched my life but have also enhanced my understanding of society and its needs. I was a part of the ‘Clean-Up Drive’ in my local community, where we focused on maintaining cleanliness and educating people about the importance of hygiene.

In addition, I volunteered in the ‘Joy of Giving’ initiative, aimed at providing essential supplies to underprivileged children. This experience truly humbled me and made me realize the value of giving back to society. I believe these experiences have shaped me as an individual and have taught me the importance of empathy, teamwork, and leadership.

I am certain that these experiences will enable me to contribute to the diverse community at [University Name]. I am eager to bring my commitment to service and dedication to learning to your campus, and I look forward to the possibility of contributing my skills and experiences to your distinguished institution.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of discussing my application with you further.

Yours faithfully,

[Your Name] [Your Contact Information]

Penning a University Application Letter Expressing a Deep Passion for a Specific Field of Study

Penning a University Application Letter Expressing a Deep Passion for a Specific Field of Study

To, The Admissions Office, [University Name], [University Address],

Subject: Application for Admission in [Specific Field of Study]

I, [Your Full Name], a resident of [Your City Name], am writing this letter to express my deep interest in applying for the [Specific Field of Study] program at your esteemed university for the academic year [Year of Admission].

My passion for [Specific Field of Study] was kindled during my school years, when I found myself fascinated by [Mention something specific about the field that fascinated you]. Since then, my curiosity and interest in this field have only grown. I have spent countless hours learning and honing my skills, and now I aspire to take this passion forward and delve deeper into this field at a university level.

Your esteemed university, with its excellent faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and a rich history of producing exceptional talent in the field of [Specific Field of Study], is my dream institution. I am especially drawn to the [mention a specific aspect/feature of the university’s program that appeals to you], which I believe would greatly enhance my learning experience and provide me with a holistic understanding of the subject.

I have consistently excelled in this field during my school years [mention any achievements, awards, or recognition received]. I am confident that my dedication, coupled with the guidance of the exceptional faculty at [University Name], will equip me with the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute positively to this field.

I assure you of my utmost commitment and dedication towards my studies, and I am eager to make the most of the opportunities offered at your prestigious institution. I am hopeful that you will consider my application favorably.

Thank you for considering my application. I am looking forward to the opportunity of being a part of [University Name].

Yours Sincerely,

[Your Full Name] [Your Contact Information]

How to Write University Admission Application Letter

Some writing tips to help you craft a better application:

  • Start with your personal information including your full name, address, the date, and the recipient’s address.
  • Open the letter with a formal salutation, addressing the admissions committee or specific admission officer, if known.
  • Introduce yourself, your current educational status and the program you’re applying to.
  • Describe your academic interests, why you chose this university, and how it aligns with your career goals.
  • Highlight your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and any relevant work or volunteer experience.
  • Explain any gaps or anomalies in your academic record, if applicable.
  • State how you could contribute to the university and its community.
  • End with a strong closing statement expressing your enthusiasm and gratitude for being considered.
  • Include a formal sign-off, your full name and signature.
  • Proofread your letter multiple times for any grammatical errors, spelling mistakes or typos.

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I am sure you will get some insights from here on how to write “university admission application letter”. And to help further, you can also download all the above application samples as PDFs by clicking here .

And if you have any related queries, kindly feel free to let me know in the comments below.

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Sample Letter Of Interest For University Admission: Free & Effective

This article provides a detailed guide, including a customizable template and examples, to help you write a compelling university application letter based on my experience.

Key Takeaways Understanding the Purpose : Learn what a letter of interest is and why it’s crucial for your university application. Starting Strong : Tips for Crafting an Engaging Opening. Personalizing Your Story : How to weave in your unique experiences and aspirations. Structuring Your Letter : A step-by-step breakdown of each section. Finishing with Impact : Strategies for a Memorable Conclusion. Proofreading and Editing : ensuring your letter is flawless. Template for Success : A customizable template to get you started. Real-Life Examples : Insights from Successful Letters.

Step 1: Understanding the Purpose of Your Letter

A letter of interest, often mistaken for a personal statement, is a chance to show why you’re a perfect fit for the university and how the university aligns with your goals.

It’s more than just your achievements; it’s your story and aspirations and how they intertwine with what the university offers.

Step 2: Starting Strong

Your opening sentence sets the tone. Begin with something engaging and personal. For instance, “Ever since I witnessed my first solar eclipse, I knew astronomy was my calling—a passion I wish to explore at XYZ University.”

Table: Opening Statement Examples

Step 3: Personalizing Your Story

Trending now: find out why.

This is where you connect your past experiences, achievements, and future goals with what the university offers. Discuss specific programs, professors, or opportunities at the university that align with your interests.

For example, “Under the guidance of Professor Smith, an expert in medieval literature, I aim to deepen my understanding of Chaucer’s works.”

Step 4: Structuring Your Letter

  • Introduction : Your opening statement and why you’re interested in this university.
  • Body Paragraphs : Personal experiences, achievements, and how they connect with the university’s offerings.
  • Conclusion : Reiterate your interest and how you would contribute to the university community.

Step 5: Finishing with Impact

Your conclusion should leave a lasting impression. Summarize your key points and express enthusiastic anticipation about the prospect of joining the university.

For instance, “I eagerly look forward to contributing to the vibrant community at XYZ University as both a learner and an active member.”

Step 6: Proofreading and Editing

Ensure your letter is free of grammatical errors and typos. It helps to have someone else read it for a fresh perspective.

Step 7: Template for Success

[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State, Zip] [Email Address] [Phone Number] [Date]

[Admissions Office Name] [University Name] [University Address] [City, State, Zip]

Dear Admissions Committee,

Introduction: Start with an engaging opening that captures your interest in the specific field or program.

Example: Ever since I first visited [University Name] at the age of [Your Age], I have been captivated by its vibrant community and commitment to [specific field or program].

It is with great enthusiasm that I express my interest in applying to [specific program or major] at [University Name].

Body Paragraph 1 – Personal Background and Academic Interests: Describe your academic journey, key achievements, and how these have shaped your interest in your chosen field.

Example: My academic journey in [Your Field of Interest] began at [Your School or Experience]. Here, I was particularly drawn to [specific subjects or projects], which ignited my passion for [related topic].

My experience in [related experience or achievement] further solidified my desire to pursue [specific field or program] at a university that champions [specific qualities of the university/program].

Body Paragraph 2 – Connection with the University: Highlight specific aspects of the university or program that align with your interests and goals.

Example: What particularly excites me about [University Name] is [specific programs, facilities, faculty, research opportunities, or university values].

The [specific course or program feature] aligns perfectly with my academic interests and career aspirations.

Additionally, the work of [Professor’s Name or specific department] in [specific research or field] resonates deeply with my academic goals.

Body Paragraph 3 – Future Goals and Contributions: Discuss your future aspirations and how being a part of this university will help you achieve them. Also, mention how you plan to contribute to the university community.

Example: I am eager to bring my background in [Your Background] and experience in [Your Experience] to [University Name].

I look forward to contributing to [specific university clubs, groups, or activities], and engaging with the [University Name] community.

My goal is to [Your Future Goals], and I am confident that [University Name] is the ideal environment to achieve this.

Conclusion: Conclude by reiterating your interest and thanking the committee for considering your application.

Example: I am enthusiastic about the prospect of joining [University Name] and being part of its dynamic and innovative community. Thank you for considering my application.

I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to and learn from the esteemed faculty and talented student body at [University Name].

[Your Name]

Real-Life Example:

When I applied to ABC University, I highlighted my extensive work in community theater and linked it to their renowned theater program. This not only showcased my experience but also how I could contribute to their community.

Writing a letter of interest for university admission is your opportunity to showcase your unique story and how it intersects with what the university offers.

Personalize your experiences, highlight your aspirations, and demonstrate how you align with the university’s values and programs. Remember, this letter is about making a connection, so let your personality shine through.

I’d love to hear from you!

If you have any questions or would like to share your experiences in writing a letter of interest, please leave a comment below.

Your insights and queries not only enrich our discussion but also help others in their journey towards crafting their own compelling letters of interest.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

how to write application letter university

Q: What is a Letter of Interest for University Admission? 

Answer : A Letter of Interest for University Admission, often referred to as a Statement of Purpose or a Cover Letter, is a personal document submitted as part of your university application. 

It outlines your academic and professional aspirations, explains why you are interested in a specific program and university, and highlights your relevant experiences and achievements. 

This letter allows the admissions committee to understand your motivation, suitability for the program, and potential contributions to their academic community.

Q: How long should my letter of interest be? 

Answer : Typically, a letter of interest should be concise and to the point, ideally not exceeding one page. It’s important to be clear and succinct, focusing on the most relevant details of your academic and extracurricular achievements and how they align with the program you are applying to. Avoid unnecessary details or overly complex language to ensure your letter is impactful and easy to read.

Q: Should I mention specific faculty or research projects in my letter of interest?

Answer : Yes, mentioning specific faculty members or research projects can be beneficial, especially if their work directly relates to your academic interests and career goals. 

It shows that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in the specific opportunities offered by the university. However, make sure your references are relevant and demonstrate a clear connection to your aspirations.

Q: Can I use the same letter of interest for multiple university applications?

Answer : While it might be tempting to use the same letter for multiple applications, it’s not advisable. Each university and program has its own unique qualities and requirements. 

Tailoring your letter to each specific institution shows that you have taken the time to understand what each program offers and how it aligns with your goals. A personalized letter can significantly increase your chances of making a strong impression.

Q: What are common mistakes to avoid in a letter of interest?

Answer : Common mistakes include being too vague or generic, failing to align your interests with the program, making grammatical errors, exceeding the recommended length, and not following the university’s specific guidelines. 

Avoiding these mistakes is crucial for creating an effective letter. It’s also important to maintain a professional tone while allowing your personality to shine through.

Q: How important is the letter of interest in the admissions process? 

Answer : The letter of interest is a critical component of your application. It’s your opportunity to speak directly to the admissions committee and provide context to your academic records and extracurricular activities. 

A well-written letter can set you apart from other candidates by showcasing your unique perspective, motivation, and fit for the program. Therefore, investing time and effort in crafting a compelling letter is essential.

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College Application Letters: Cover Letters & Letters of Continued Interest

College application letters.

College application cover letters support your college applications, college resume, and college application essay prompts. In combination with the other elements of your college applications, particularly your college entrance essay, college application letters help establish your “why.” In short, a college application letter is a cover letter for your college applications that describes your background, skills, and interest in the school. When looking at college application cover letter examples, pay attention to the values that they express. College application letters and college entrance essays are similar in that they are exercises in personal branding. When reading college application cover letter examples, pay attention to the messages they convey. 

If you’re wondering how to write a college application letter, CollegeAdvisor.com has advisors who can walk you through every part of the process. If your goal is to get into top colleges, CollegeAdvisor.com can help. We’ll analyze examples of college application letters and discuss the letter of continued interest to help you craft successful applications. 

In this guide, we’ll break down the different kinds of college application letters you may encounter when completing your college applications. We’ll discuss the college application letter and the letter of continued interest, as well as teacher recommendation letters.

If you want to read college application cover letter samples, you’ve come to the right place!

What is a college application letter?

To learn how to write a college application letter, you must first understand its purpose. Do this by checking out college application cover letter examples. College application letters and college resumes serve as introductions for your college applications. Unlike college application essay prompts, there are no specific questions to answer in your cover letter. Instead, include the essential elements of university application letters: your background, what makes you unique, and your reasons for wanting to attend that particular college. In short, what makes you, you .

As you’ll see when reading example college application letters, college application cover letters are not all that different from what you would write in a cover letter when applying for a job or graduate school. The purpose of college application cover letters, college entrance essays, and college resumes is to persuade colleges that you are the strongest candidate for admissions. 

College application cover letters are not the time to be shy, but they’re not the time to be pretentious either. When reading college application cover letter examples, you’ll see that there’s a fine line. Your tone matters. In your university application letters, show your experiences and accomplishments while portraying character traits that colleges value. To get into top colleges, find a balance between being proud of your accomplishments and being humble.

College application letters – Who requires them?

Unlike college entrance essays, college application letters are required by very few colleges. However, the skills you’ll develop by writing university application letters will serve you well as you approach your college application essay prompts. When researching college application examples, you’ll notice that there are optional materials to submit. If you’re serious about your college applications, submit university application letters to show your interest. 

College application cover letters are particularly effective if the college does not have college application essay prompts that ask you to explain why you want to attend the school and/or why you want to study your major. They are even more strongly recommended when applying to colleges that don’t have any supplemental essays. You’ll see many college application cover letter examples that focus primarily on academics, but you can include so much more.

Though university application letters are rarely required, they provide an ideal way to introduce yourself. After all, you’ll notice when reading college application cover letter samples that the goal is to help the admissions committee get to know you as a person. You are more than just your grades and scores.

If you want to get into top colleges that don’t allow you to submit a college resume or don’t provide interviews, you need to take extra steps to earn acceptance. Often, you can repurpose content from college application essay prompts that ask why you want to study your major! The college application essay format differs from that of a college application letter, but they serve a very similar purpose.

Test your knowledge about other aspects of the college admissions process in our quiz below!

What is a letter of continued interest?

A letter of continued interest (LOCI) is a letter you send to a college when you are deferred or placed on the waitlist. So, not everyone will need to write a college application letter of continued interest.

Your letter of continued interest has three primary goals: 

  • Reaffirm your interest in the school.
  • Provide additional context for your application. 
  • Discuss accomplishments on your college resume that have occurred since you submitted your application.

In this guide on how to write a college application letter, we discuss all forms of college application letters in detail. We’ll expand on the above goals to explain the strategies for writing effective letters.

Explaining teacher recommendation letters 

In addition to submitting a college application cover letter and, potentially, a letter of continued interest, your application will also include recommendation letters . These letters enhance your college application entrance essay and build on answers to supplemental college application essay prompts. 

Due to the shift away from standardized testing, other parts of your college applications are inevitably getting more attention in the evaluation process. When assessing your college applications, admissions committees will often rely on letters from your teachers and counselor in place of interviews.

When reading sample college application letters of recommendation, you’ll observe that some are better than others. But, it can be a bit harder to find example teacher recommendations than it is to find college application cover letter examples. To ensure high-quality letters, create a plan well in advance of your senior year. You’ll want to ask teachers to write your recommendations who know you best beyond your grades. The strongest sample college application letters of recommendation speak to both your personal and academic strengths. 

College application sample recommendation letters with the biggest impact typically come from teachers from your core junior year courses – math, science, English, and social studies. If there’s a teacher from your junior year who taught you during your sophomore or senior year too, even better! Teachers who know you through multiple environments – clubs, classes, sports, or other areas – can often do the best job speaking to your growth and achievement over time. 

Choose teachers who know you best

Ultimately, the most effective sample college application letters of recommendation are written by the teachers who know you best. Pay attention to the college application requirements for each school on your list. Note when reading example college application letters of recommendation who the intended audience is. Some schools require math or science teachers for STEM and business majors , while others require English or social studies teachers for humanities majors .

For example, when looking at college application sample requirements, MIT writes “One recommendation should be from a math or science teacher, and one should be from a humanities, social science, or language teacher.” Caltech also requires one math or science teacher evaluation and one humanities or social sciences teacher evaluation. 

Some applicants are tempted to send more letters than the college applications require. However, aim for quality over quantity. If you want to ask another teacher to write a recommendation letter for you, ask yourself what perspective they will bring to your college applications that isn’t already covered in your college entrance essay or other recommendation letters. 

Don’t hesitate to provide materials to help your teachers and guidance counselor write their letters of recommendation for you. In fact, you should! When reading college application sample letters of recommendation, you’ll note that they are specific and provide examples where possible. Some teachers will even have you fill out a standard form to gather information from you. So, by having additional information already prepared, you are helping them tremendously. 

Here are some materials you can provide to help your recommendations augment your college applications:

  • College entrance essay
  • College resume or a list of your extracurricular activities and awards
  • Responses to college application essay prompts.
  • A sample college application letter that you’re sending to one of your colleges.
  • A few paragraphs about why you want to study your major or pursue your intended career. 
  • Key elements of the course you took with them, such as a favorite project or unit. 

When preparing materials to give to teachers, read the instructions given to recommenders by MIT. Even if you aren’t applying to MIT, the information can still be helpful to know. By understanding the process of writing recommendation letters on the teacher’s side, you can see what information will help them write a strong letter for you. 

Don’t wait until you’re submitting your college applications to ask your teachers for recommendations. Some teachers limit the number that they will write, and you want them to have plenty of time to write a quality recommendation. To make sure you have the best recommendations , ask teachers late in your junior year or early in your senior year.

The College Application Letter

As we’ve mentioned, a college application letter is a cover letter for your college applications. It describes your background, skills, and interest in the school. It’s different from both the college application essay format and the letter of continued interest. When reviewing college application samples, you’ll see that your cover letter works together with your college resume and college entrance essay to help admissions officers get to know you. 

Below, we’ll discuss how to write a college application letter and walk through a sample college application letter. But remember, you want your letter to be original! Don’t feel limited by what’s in any examples of college application letters.

Do all schools require a college application letter?

No — few schools actually require college application letters. However, learning to write a strong college application letter can help you in other aspects of the college admissions process. Reading college application cover letter examples can also help you learn how to write for the admissions committee audience. 

One of the ways to learn how to write a college application letter is to read sample college application letters. For instance, the same skills that help you write a strong and concise college application letter will help you in the college essay format, too.

The college application letter – What should I include?

So, you know the purpose of college application letters, but what should you include in them? Reading college application cover letter samples can help you determine this. While the college application essay format lends itself to focusing on one topic or story, college application cover letter examples highlight the importance of covering several different topics.

College application letters should contain the following elements: 

1. school name and address.

You college application letter should follow formal letter formatting guidelines, which include writing the full name of the college or university you are applying to in the upper left hand corner of the letter. Try to be as specific as possible with the address you choose to use.

2. Salutation

A standard salutation is suitable for your college application letter. However, it is a great idea to do your research and use the full name of the admissions officer assigned to your region.

3. Introduction

The best examples of college application letters open strong. Thank the admissions committee for reviewing your application, and introduce yourself. Do you have a unique connection to the school? Can you hook the reader in some way to make them want to keep reading?

4. Explanation of academic interests

Your primary purpose in college is to earn a degree, so notice that in example college application letters most of the space is often devoted to discussing academic plans. Include your intended major and career path, as well as interdisciplinary interests.

5. Discussion of extracurricular interests

The college application essay format may be a place for you to discuss extracurricular involvement, so use this space to elaborate or discuss additional interests. These could be connected to your academic plans, but they don’t have to be.

6. Conclusion

Express your interest in the school! Impactful example college application letters have a clear and brief conclusion that reaffirms your desire to attend and enthusiasm for the opportunity to join the next class of undergraduates. Point to specific classes, professors, programs, organizations, and aspects of the college that pique your interest. No one is going to hold you to your plan, but colleges want to see that you have one.

8. Complimentary Close

Lastly, every good college application letter should include an expression of gratitude alongside your close and your signature.

In the example of a college application letter above, there are a few key details to highlight. The letter is essentially a five-paragraph essay, with one paragraph for each of the five elements. This differs significantly from the college application essay format. In this college application example, the college application letter has clear and distinct sections, and this is very common in college application cover letter samples.

Depending on your interests and plans, you could take a more integrated approach. You’ll read some examples of college application letters that center around a theme or broad plan rather than separated into individual paragraphs.

This sample college application letter is a narrative. The applicant’s goal is to tell her story to the admissions committee. The best sample college application letters paint a picture for the reader and draw the reader into the storyline. Though it can feel like being vivid and descriptive is a waste of your space, “showing instead of telling makes for stronger college applications.

How to format your college application letter?

When reading sample college application letters, you’ll observe that they are formatted very similarly to professional cover letters. Your university application letters should be one page single-spaced. The heading should also be consistent across college application letters. 

  • Your full address
  • The date you will send the letter
  • The admission officer’s name
  • The college name
  • The college address

Then, open your letter with a salutation. Many examples of college application letters open with “Dear” and are addressed to the admission officer. If you cannot find your regional admissions officer, it is fine to address the letter to the admissions office as was done in the sample college application letter above. Once you write the body of your letter, don’t forget your closing salutation – “Sincerely,” and then your name. 

Once you read several sample college application letters, you’ll understand the best practices. After writing a university application letter for one school, you don’t need to start from scratch for additional schools. Adapt what you have to fit the next college’s context and your specific interests on their campus. 

Being concise is key. Your university application letter should not be redundant. If it exceeds one page, see where information you mention is repeated elsewhere in your application. In your cover letter, focus on the content that makes you as original and unique as possible. Most importantly, don’t forget to proofread your university application letters! 

Can a college application letter help me with other parts of my application?

Think of the college application cover letter as the glue that holds your college applications together. When writing it, think about it as your opportunity to show your best self. After brainstorming the content, you’ll be better equipped to craft your candidate profile into a cohesive narrative and articulate why you want to attend the college.

Though many parts of your college applications will be out of your control by the time you reach your senior fall, the college application cover letter is one that you can control. Use it to elevate your college applications, show interest in your top schools , and make yourself stand out among other applicants!

The Letter of Continued Interest

Another form of college application letter is a letter of continued interest . In sample college application letters of continued interest, you’ll see that the primary purpose is to reaffirm your candidacy for a spot in the next incoming class of undergraduates. 

Though it can feel like a waiting game, the waitlist should not be passive. As soon as you are waitlisted or deferred, begin crafting a letter of continued interest. The best college application sample LOCIs are submitted promptly. Put in the effort to show you’re serious about attending. 

College application example LOCIs should focus on recent updates. Likely, a lot has happened since you submitted your application, particularly if you applied by the early deadlines. Strong college application sample LOCIs convey accomplishments and experiences that either add to previously mentioned ones or provide another dimension to your application. 

Letter of continued interest – When and where to submit?

Learn as much as you can by reading college application example LOCIs, but know that each school’s process for when and how to submit them is different. Additionally, the process may vary based on whether you were deferred to the regular decision round of admissions or waitlisted after the regular decision round. It’s important to follow each university’s directions.

Many schools will request that you upload your letter of continued interest to a portal. Some will request that you email it to an address – typically the admissions office. Others won’t allow you to submit any additional materials. If you’re in doubt, call or email the admissions office and ask. 

What to include in your letter of continued interest?

You’ll notice common trends when reading college application sample LOCIs. Effective college application example LOCIs convey a tone of sincerity, gratitude, and enthusiasm for an opportunity to attend. A strong sample college application letter of continued interest includes four elements. 

First, reaffirm your interest in attending the school if offered the chance to matriculate. Then, discuss relevant developments to your application, such as additional extracurricular accolades and continued academic successes. Sometimes, you’ll see a sample college application letter of continued interest that mentions how a student improved a lower mid-year grade or discusses a new leadership role. 

When reading a sample college application letter of continued interest, remember that colleges are looking for reasons to admit you, so don’t be shy! Offer to answer any questions they have and provide additional info in the conclusion of your letter. 

It’s important to back up your claims with supporting evidence. Strong college application sample LOCIs provide examples and specific details, just as you would in a cover letter or essay. Be vivid and descriptive as you share your story!

However, college application example LOCIs that include overly emotional appeals or merely complement the university are unlikely to be effective. Your letter of continued interest should be all about you. Though it can be difficult to realize this when reading college application example LOCIs, recognize that the content of your letter should fit within the context of the rest of your application. 

The many types of college application letters – Final Thoughts

In this guide, we covered several types of letters associated with your college process – college application cover letters, teacher recommendation letters, and letters of continued interest. Reading sample college application letters, whether they are college application cover letter samples or LOCIs, can help you do your best work. But, remember that every applicant’s college application process is unique. 

Our final tips for writing college application letters:

  • Proofread. College application letters with typos or grammatical errors reflect poorly on your effort and candidacy. Use a polished and professional tone in everything you write for your college applications.
  • Be yourself. Though this goal can get lost in the requirements, scores, and grades, you should focus on helping the colleges on your list get to know who you are . 
  • Follow the requirements. Each college has their own requirements for how they want you to submit materials. Pay close attention to the details for each college as you go through the admissions process. 

CollegeAdvisor.com can help guide you through every step of the college application process. Check out our blog , webinars , or register with CollegeAdvisor.com today. Good luck!

This guide to college application letters and letters of continued interest was written by Caroline Marapese, Notre Dame ‘22. At CollegeAdvisor, we have built our  reputation  by providing comprehensive information that offers real assistance to students. If you want to get help with your college applications from CollegeAdvisor.com  Admissions Experts , click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.

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How to Write Motivation Letter for University with Examples

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University applications can be stressful and daunting, but one of the most important parts of the process is writing a motivation letter that stands out from the rest. A motivation letter is a crucial part of your application that can make or break your chances of getting accepted. It gives you the opportunity to showcase your personality, skills, and passion for the subject you are applying for. Crafting a perfect motivation letter that can impress the admission committee can be challenging, but with the right guidance, you can create a letter that will put you ahead of the competition. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks on how to write an impressive motivation letter that will help you achieve your goals and get accepted into your dream university.

Purpose of a Motivation Letter:

A motivation letter serves as a crucial component of your university application, offering you the opportunity to showcase your personality, aspirations, and suitability for the program you are applying to. It goes beyond listing your achievements and qualifications, providing the admissions committee with insight into your character, interests, and goals. The purpose of a motivation letter is to convey your passion for the subject you wish to study, your reasons for choosing the specific university or program, and how your background and experiences have prepared you for success in your academic pursuits. It allows you to demonstrate your communication skills, critical thinking abilities, and commitment to furthering your education.

Researching the University and Program Requirements:

Before diving into crafting your motivation letter for university, it is crucial to thoroughly research the specific requirements of the university and program you are applying to. Each educational institution has its own unique values, goals, and academic standards that they look for in prospective students. Start by exploring the university’s official website to gather information about their mission statement, academic programs, faculty members, research opportunities, and any special initiatives they may have. Understanding the university’s educational philosophy and culture will help you tailor your motivation letter to demonstrate how you align with their values and goals. Additionally, delve into the specific requirements of the program you are applying to. Pay close attention to the course curriculum, research areas, and any specific skills or qualities they are seeking in applicants. Highlighting how your academic background, skills, and personal experiences align with the program’s requirements will make your motivation letter stand out. By conducting thorough research on the university and program requirements, you will be able to customize your motivation letter to showcase your genuine interest in the institution and demonstrate why you are a strong candidate for admission.

Structuring Your Motivation Letter Effectively:

Structuring your motivation letter effectively is crucial in making a strong impression on the admissions committee. Begin by introducing yourself and stating the purpose of the letter clearly. Share your enthusiasm for the program and explain why you are passionate about pursuing studies in that particular field. In the body of the letter, highlight your relevant experiences, skills, and achievements that make you a strong candidate. Use specific examples to demonstrate your qualifications and showcase your unique strengths. Make sure to align these experiences with the program’s requirements and emphasize how they have prepared you for success in the chosen field of study. In the closing paragraph, reiterate your interest in the program and express your gratitude for the opportunity to apply. End on a positive note, emphasizing your enthusiasm for contributing to the academic community and your commitment to academic and personal growth. Remember to proofread your motivation letter carefully to ensure it is well-structured, error-free, and effectively conveys your motivation and qualifications to the admissions committee. A well-structured motivation letter will set you apart from other applicants and increase your chances of success in the university application process.

Crafting a Compelling Opening Paragraph:

Crafting a compelling opening paragraph is crucial when writing a motivation letter for university. This is your opportunity to grab the reader’s attention and make a strong first impression. Start with a hook that immediately captures the reader’s interest and highlights your passion for the field of study you are applying for. Consider sharing a personal anecdote, a thought-provoking quote, or a brief but impactful story that illustrates your motivation and dedication. Additionally, clearly state your purpose for writing the letter and express your enthusiasm for the university and program you are applying to. Show that you have done your research and understand why this particular institution is the perfect fit for your academic and career goals. By setting a positive and engaging tone from the very beginning, you will draw the reader in and set the stage for a compelling and persuasive motivation letter.

Highlighting Your Achievements and Qualifications:

When writing a motivation letter for university, it is crucial to effectively highlight your achievements and qualifications. This is the section where you can truly shine and demonstrate why you are a strong candidate for the program. Start by listing your academic achievements, such as your GPA, any awards or scholarships you have received, and relevant coursework or research projects. Additionally, showcase any extracurricular activities or volunteer work that demonstrate your leadership skills, teamwork abilities, and commitment to personal and academic growth. Highlight any internships or work experiences that are relevant to the program you are applying for, and discuss how these experiences have shaped your goals and aspirations.

Demonstrating Your Passion and Interest in the Field Of Study:

When crafting a motivation letter for university, one of the key elements to focus on is demonstrating your passion and interest in the field of study. Admissions officers are looking for candidates who are genuinely enthusiastic about the subject they wish to pursue. Begin by sharing personal anecdotes or experiences that have shaped your interest in the field. Whether it’s a childhood fascination, a transformative moment, or a recent discovery, highlighting the roots of your passion can make your motivation letter more compelling and authentic. Moreover, it’s essential to showcase your knowledge of the field. Discuss any relevant coursework, projects, or extracurricular activities that have deepened your understanding and commitment to the subject. Demonstrating that you have taken proactive steps to engage with the field beyond the classroom can set you apart as a dedicated and motivated applicant. Lastly, don’t forget to tie your passion back to your future goals and aspirations. Explain how pursuing this field of study aligns with your long-term career objectives and personal growth. By illustrating a clear connection between your passion, academic pursuits, and future plans, you can convey a sense of purpose and determination that resonates with admissions committees.

Personalizing Your Motivation Letter for Each University:

Personalizing your motivation letter for each university is a crucial step in crafting a compelling application. Admissions officers can easily spot a generic, one-size-fits-all motivation letter, which may not make a lasting impression. By tailoring your letter to each specific university, you demonstrate genuine interest and a strong commitment to your application. Start by conducting thorough research on each university’s programs, faculty, campus culture, and values. Highlight specific aspects of the university that resonate with your personal and academic goals. Incorporate details such as professors whose research aligns with your interests, unique opportunities the university offers, or specific courses that excite you. Additionally, address why you are specifically drawn to that university over others. Share anecdotes or experiences that showcase your connection to the institution and how you envision yourself contributing to the academic community. Demonstrating a deep understanding of the university’s ethos and illustrating how you can contribute to its vibrancy can set your motivation letter apart.

Showcasing Your Unique Qualities and Experiences:

When crafting your motivation letter for university, it’s crucial to showcase your unique qualities and experiences. This is your opportunity to stand out from other applicants and make a lasting impression on the admissions committee. One effective way to highlight your uniqueness is to focus on specific experiences, skills, or personal qualities that set you apart. Share stories that demonstrate your passion, resilience, creativity, or leadership abilities. Use concrete examples to showcase how these qualities have shaped your academic and personal journey.

Additionally, emphasize any relevant achievements, extracurricular activities, or volunteer work that reflect your character and commitment to your chosen field of study. By painting a vivid picture of who you are and what drives you, you can make a compelling case for why you are a perfect fit for the university and the program you are applying to.

Remember, the goal is not just to list your accomplishments, but to weave them into a narrative that conveys your authentic self and your aspirations for the future. This personal touch will help your motivation letter resonate with the admissions committee and increase your chances of securing a spot at the university of your dreams.

Concluding With a Strong and Memorable Ending:

The conclusion of your motivation letter is your final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the reader. Therefore, it is crucial to craft a strong and memorable ending that reinforces your enthusiasm, passion, and suitability for the academic program. In this section, you should succinctly summarize your key points, reiterating your interest in the program and highlighting your unique qualifications and experiences. Emphasize how your background aligns with the program’s objectives and how you can contribute to the academic community. Additionally, consider expressing gratitude for the opportunity to apply and convey your excitement at the prospect of furthering your education at the university. A positive and optimistic tone can leave a favorable impression on the admissions committee, showcasing your professionalism and dedication to your academic pursuits. End your motivation letter with a powerful closing statement that leaves a lasting impact. Whether it’s a thought-provoking quote, a personal reflection, or a confident declaration of your readiness to excel in the program, make sure it resonates with the reader and reinforces your commitment to achieving academic success. By concluding your motivation letter with a strong and memorable ending, you can ensure that your application stands out and leaves a lasting impression on the admissions committee.

Editing and Proofreading Your Motivation Letter:

Editing and proofreading your motivation letter is a critical step in ensuring its effectiveness. After you have poured your thoughts and experiences onto the page, it’s time to refine your message and ensure it is polished to perfection.

Start by reviewing the overall structure and flow of your letter. Is your introduction engaging? Does each paragraph transition smoothly into the next? Are your main points clear and well-supported? Make any necessary adjustments to improve the coherence and readability of your letter. Next, focus on the details. Check for spelling and grammar errors, ensuring that your writing is polished and professional. Pay attention to punctuation, verb tense, and sentence structure to enhance the clarity and impact of your message.

It can also be helpful to read your letter out loud or have someone else review it for feedback. Fresh eyes can catch errors or inconsistencies that you may have overlooked. Remember, your motivation letter is a reflection of your skills and attention to detail, so taking the time to edit and proofread thoroughly is well worth the effort.

Final Tips for Writing an Impressive Motivation Letter:

When it comes to crafting an impressive motivation letter for university, the final tips can make all the difference in showcasing your unique qualities and aspirations. Firstly, ensure that your letter is personalized and tailored to the specific university and program you are applying to. Generic letters can often be spotted a mile away and may not make a lasting impression on the admissions committee. Secondly, be sure to highlight your passion and genuine interest in the field of study. Admissions officers are looking for candidates who are enthusiastic about their chosen subject and can demonstrate a clear motivation for pursuing further education in that area. Moreover, it is crucial to showcase your relevant experiences, skills, and achievements that set you apart from other applicants. Provide specific examples that illustrate your capabilities and how they align with the program’s objectives and requirements. Lastly, remember to proofread your motivation letter carefully to ensure there are no errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation. A well-written and polished letter demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism, which can leave a positive impression on the admissions committee. By incorporating these final tips into your motivation letter, you can enhance its overall impact and increase your chances of standing out as a strong candidate for admission to the university of your choice.

Below Are the Some Examples:

Dear Admissions Team, I am writing to express my keen interest in the [Name of University] and its [Name of Program] program. As a motivated individual with a sincere desire to learn, I am deeply impressed by the University’s commitment to providing a progressive and dynamic academic education. I am confident that this program would provide me with an excellent opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills in [field of study], and to achieve my academic and professional goals. Throughout my academic journey, I have gravitated towards disciplines that incorporate both creative and logical thinking. The [Name of Program] piques my interest as it provides a platform to explore and implement knowledge in various spheres, spanning from research and analysis to design and innovation. I am enthusiastic about immersing myself in this program, wherein I can collaborate with leading scholars and engage with a diverse cohort of motivated learners. I am confident that my skills and experiences align perfectly with the requirements of this program. Through my academic preparation and extracurricular involvement, I have developed strong communication, teamwork, and leadership skills that will enable me to thrive in this program. I am excited to leverage these skills and to push myself beyond my limits while working alongside peers who share my passion for [Field of Study]. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute my unique perspective and skills to the [Name of Program] program and to become part of the [Name of University] community. Sincerely, [Name]

Dear Admissions Team, I am writing to convey my strong enthusiasm for the [Name of Program] program offered at [Name of University]. As someone who possesses a deep interest in [Field of Study], I am highly motivated to pursue an academic degree in this area to advance my expertise and understanding.

Having a keen interest in [Field of Study], as demonstrated by my academic achievements and involvement in extracurricular activities, I have diligently endeavored to establish a firm base of knowledge in this discipline. In addition, I have participated in internships, research programs, and community initiatives to acquire practical experience and advance my comprehension of how [Field of Study] impacts real-world challenges.. I am confident that the [Name of Program] program can provide me with an opportunity to enhance my skills and knowledge in [Field of Study]. The program’s curriculum is designed to foster interdisciplinary education, which I am excited to explore. Additionally, the program’s emphasis on experiential learning appeals to me as it can allow me to apply my theoretical knowledge to practical situations.

I’ve participated in various extracurricular activities alongside my academics, which have helped me develop my interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills. I’m confident that these skills will come in handy as I become a part of the vibrant and close-knit community at [Name of University]. Thank you for your consideration of my application. I am confident that the [Name of Program] program at [Name of University] will allow me to achieve my academic and personal goals, and I am excited at the prospect of joining the vibrant and diverse community of learners at [Name of University]. Sincerely, [Name]

Dear Admissions Committee, I am applying to [Name of University] to pursue a degree in [Field of Study]. I have a genuine interest in [Field of Study] and am looking forward to gaining knowledge and hands-on experience through the [Name of Program] program.

I am confident that [Name of University] is the right fit for me to achieve my academic and personal objectives. The University’s dedication to academic excellence, engagement, and diversity resonates with my values and ambitions. What appeals to me the most is the program’s interdisciplinary curriculum, which allows me to delve into the overlap of [Field of Study] with other disciplines and gain a holistic understanding of how to tackle practical challenges.

Throughout my academic journey, I have acquired a diverse range of skills and experiences, including a solid educational background in [Field of Study], extensive research work, various internships, volunteerism, and leadership positions. These experiences have equipped me with a firm grasp of both theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as a sincere desire to connect with communities and contribute positively to society.

I look forward to contributing my unique blend of skills and experiences to the vibrant and diverse community of [Name of University]. I am excited about the opportunity to work with world-class scholars and to engage in stimulating in-class discussions and out-of-classroom activities. I firmly believe that [Name of Program] program will enable me to achieve my academic and personal goals, and I am thrilled at the prospect of joining the community of passionate learners at [Name of University]. Sincerely, [Name]

Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to express my desire to pursue [Degree] in [Field of Study] at [Name of University]. I have completed my undergraduate studies in [Subject Area] and am eager to explore [Field of Study] further through the [Name of Program] program. After careful consideration, I have concluded that [Name of University] aligns with my academic and personal aspirations. I am impressed by the University’s reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and active involvement in research. The interdisciplinary approach to learning and customizable curriculum offered by the program is particularly attractive to me as they can help me to achieve my specific academic and personal goals.

                                        My academic preparation, combined with a range of practical experiences, has equipped me with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in [Field of Study]. Through internships, volunteer work, and leadership roles, I have honed my analytical, organizational, and problem-solving skills, which I believe will be essential for success in this program. I am looking forward to engaging with a diverse and dynamic community of learners at [Name of University]. The [Name of Program] program aligns with my career aspirations of becoming a leading expert in [Field of Study]. I am excited to apply my skills, knowledge, and expertise to contribute to the academic excellence of [Name of University]. Thank you for your consideration of my application to the [Name of Program] program at [Name of University]. I look forward to the opportunity to join the community of passionate learners at [Name of University]. Sincerely, [Name]

Dear Admissions Officer, I am excited to submit my application for the Master’s program in [Field of Study] at [Name of University]. After careful research and consideration, I believe this program aligns well with my academic and professional objectives. I am confident that [Name of University] offers a top-quality education and research opportunities that will enable me to excel in my chosen field. I recently graduated with an undergraduate degree in [Field of Study], and I feel like my academic journey has equipped me with robust analytical and research skills. However, I’m not content with just what I’ve learned so far. I want to explore the different facets of [Field of Study] more profoundly and gain a better understanding of the subject through innovative research. The curriculum of the [Name of Program] program has caught my attention. It offers a well-balanced combination of basic and advanced courses that will equip me with the essential skills to progress in my career. I am also excited about the chance to work with renowned professionals and researchers in [Field of Study], which inspires me greatly. Over the years, I have gained valuable skills and experiences that I believe would benefit me greatly in the program. Through my academic pursuits, leadership roles and community involvement, I have developed strong interpersonal and communication skills that are crucial for success in research and building meaningful professional relationships. I am confident that my wide range of abilities would allow me to thrive in the program, bring value to the academic community, and make a positive difference. I am excited and eager to immerse myself in the program, work with dedicated faculty and peers, and engage in new and innovative research across different fields of study. I am confident that the [Name of Program] program at [Name of University] can facilitate my intellectual growth, professional development, and personal aspirations. Thank you for considering my application, and I look forward to the opportunity of joining the [Name of University] community of passionate learners. Sincerely, [Name]

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the significance of a well-crafted motivation letter cannot be overstated. It serves as a powerful tool for students to showcase their unique strengths, aspirations, and passion for their chosen field of study. A compelling motivation letter has the potential to set you apart from other applicants and leave a lasting impression on the admissions committee. By investing time and effort into writing a personalized and impactful motivation letter, you demonstrate your commitment, dedication, and enthusiasm for your academic pursuits. This document allows you to convey your story, goals, and reasons why you are a perfect fit for the university or program you are applying to. Ultimately, a well-written motivation letter can open doors to new opportunities, academic excellence, and personal growth. It is a reflection of your character, values, and potential contributions to the academic community. Therefore, approach the crafting of your motivation letter with care, attention to detail, and a genuine desire to make a positive impact. Your motivation letter is your voice – let it resonate with authenticity and conviction as you embark on your journey towards academic success.

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how to write application letter university

Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay

Find the right college for you.

Writing an essay for college admission gives you a chance to use your authentic voice and show your personality. It's an excellent opportunity to personalize your application beyond your academic credentials, and a well-written essay can have a positive influence come decision time.

Want to know how to draft an essay for your college application ? Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing.

Tips for Essay Writing

A typical college application essay, also known as a personal statement, is 400-600 words. Although that may seem short, writing about yourself can be challenging. It's not something you want to rush or put off at the last moment. Think of it as a critical piece of the application process. Follow these tips to write an impactful essay that can work in your favor.

1. Start Early.

Few people write well under pressure. Try to complete your first draft a few weeks before you have to turn it in. Many advisers recommend starting as early as the summer before your senior year in high school. That way, you have ample time to think about the prompt and craft the best personal statement possible.

You don't have to work on your essay every day, but you'll want to give yourself time to revise and edit. You may discover that you want to change your topic or think of a better way to frame it. Either way, the sooner you start, the better.

2. Understand the Prompt and Instructions.

Before you begin the writing process, take time to understand what the college wants from you. The worst thing you can do is skim through the instructions and submit a piece that doesn't even fit the bare minimum requirements or address the essay topic. Look at the prompt, consider the required word count, and note any unique details each school wants.

3. Create a Strong Opener.

Students seeking help for their application essays often have trouble getting things started. It's a challenging writing process. Finding the right words to start can be the hardest part.

Spending more time working on your opener is always a good idea. The opening sentence sets the stage for the rest of your piece. The introductory paragraph is what piques the interest of the reader, and it can immediately set your essay apart from the others.

4. Stay on Topic.

One of the most important things to remember is to keep to the essay topic. If you're applying to 10 or more colleges, it's easy to veer off course with so many application essays.

A common mistake many students make is trying to fit previously written essays into the mold of another college's requirements. This seems like a time-saving way to avoid writing new pieces entirely, but it often backfires. The result is usually a final piece that's generic, unfocused, or confusing. Always write a new essay for every application, no matter how long it takes.

5. Think About Your Response.

Don't try to guess what the admissions officials want to read. Your essay will be easier to write─and more exciting to read─if you’re genuinely enthusiastic about your subject. Here’s an example: If all your friends are writing application essays about covid-19, it may be a good idea to avoid that topic, unless during the pandemic you had a vivid, life-changing experience you're burning to share. Whatever topic you choose, avoid canned responses. Be creative.

6. Focus on You.

Essay prompts typically give you plenty of latitude, but panel members expect you to focus on a subject that is personal (although not overly intimate) and particular to you. Admissions counselors say the best essays help them learn something about the candidate that they would never know from reading the rest of the application.

7. Stay True to Your Voice.

Use your usual vocabulary. Avoid fancy language you wouldn't use in real life. Imagine yourself reading this essay aloud to a classroom full of people who have never met you. Keep a confident tone. Be wary of words and phrases that undercut that tone.

8. Be Specific and Factual.

Capitalize on real-life experiences. Your essay may give you the time and space to explain why a particular achievement meant so much to you. But resist the urge to exaggerate and embellish. Admissions counselors read thousands of essays each year. They can easily spot a fake.

9. Edit and Proofread.

When you finish the final draft, run it through the spell checker on your computer. Then don’t read your essay for a few days. You'll be more apt to spot typos and awkward grammar when you reread it. After that, ask a teacher, parent, or college student (preferably an English or communications major) to give it a quick read. While you're at it, double-check your word count.

Writing essays for college admission can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. A well-crafted essay could be the deciding factor─in your favor. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll have no problem creating memorable pieces for every application.

What is the format of a college application essay?

Generally, essays for college admission follow a simple format that includes an opening paragraph, a lengthier body section, and a closing paragraph. You don't need to include a title, which will only take up extra space. Keep in mind that the exact format can vary from one college application to the next. Read the instructions and prompt for more guidance.

Most online applications will include a text box for your essay. If you're attaching it as a document, however, be sure to use a standard, 12-point font and use 1.5-spaced or double-spaced lines, unless the application specifies different font and spacing.

How do you start an essay?

The goal here is to use an attention grabber. Think of it as a way to reel the reader in and interest an admissions officer in what you have to say. There's no trick on how to start a college application essay. The best way you can approach this task is to flex your creative muscles and think outside the box.

You can start with openers such as relevant quotes, exciting anecdotes, or questions. Either way, the first sentence should be unique and intrigue the reader.

What should an essay include?

Every application essay you write should include details about yourself and past experiences. It's another opportunity to make yourself look like a fantastic applicant. Leverage your experiences. Tell a riveting story that fulfills the prompt.

What shouldn’t be included in an essay?

When writing a college application essay, it's usually best to avoid overly personal details and controversial topics. Although these topics might make for an intriguing essay, they can be tricky to express well. If you’re unsure if a topic is appropriate for your essay, check with your school counselor. An essay for college admission shouldn't include a list of achievements or academic accolades either. Your essay isn’t meant to be a rehashing of information the admissions panel can find elsewhere in your application.

How can you make your essay personal and interesting?

The best way to make your essay interesting is to write about something genuinely important to you. That could be an experience that changed your life or a valuable lesson that had an enormous impact on you. Whatever the case, speak from the heart, and be honest.

Is it OK to discuss mental health in an essay?

Mental health struggles can create challenges you must overcome during your education and could be an opportunity for you to show how you’ve handled challenges and overcome obstacles. If you’re considering writing your essay for college admission on this topic, consider talking to your school counselor or with an English teacher on how to frame the essay.

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Writing Cover Letters for University Applications [2023 Guide]

Applying to university can be a daunting experience, especially when it comes to crafting the perfect cover letter for your application. A well-written cover letter can be the deciding factor between getting accepted into your dream program or receiving a rejection letter. In this guide, we will explore the importance of a strong cover letter, its purpose, format, content, and provide tips and examples to help you craft a compelling cover letter for your university application.

A cover letter for a university application is an essential document that can make or break your chances of getting admitted to your dream program. The importance of a strong cover letter in the application process cannot be understated, as it serves to introduce you, showcase your achievements, and demonstrate your passion for the chosen program or course.

In this article, we will cover:

  • The purpose of a cover letter for university applications
  • The format and structure of a cover letter
  • The content and elements of an effective cover letter
  • Tips for writing a compelling cover letter
  • Common cover letter mistakes to avoid
  • Sample cover letters for university applications

By following the advice and guidance provided in this article, you will be well-equipped to create a cover letter that stands out from the competition and increases your chances of admission. So, let's dive in and learn how to craft the perfect cover letter for your university application!

Purpose of a Cover Letter for University Applications

The primary purpose of a cover letter is to introduce the applicant, showcase their achievements, and demonstrate their passion for the chosen program or course. A cover letter complements other application materials, such as your resume and transcripts, by highlighting your unique qualities and strengths that may not be evident in those documents.

An effective cover letter can also demonstrate your motivation and commitment to the program, which can influence the admissions committee's decision. For example, MIT's Career Advising & Professional Development office explains that a well-crafted cover letter can help set you apart from other applicants by providing context and a personal touch to your application.

Format and Structure of a Cover Letter

A proper format and structure are crucial for creating a professional and effective cover letter for a university application. A standard cover letter typically includes:

  • Header (with your contact information and the date)
  • Salutation (addressing the recipient)
  • Introduction (capturing the reader's attention)
  • Body (highlighting your qualifications, achievements, and passion)
  • Conclusion (leaving a lasting impression)
  • Complimentary close (e.g., "Sincerely," followed by your name)

Proper formatting, such as using an appropriate font, font size, and margin settings, is essential for creating a polished and professional appearance. Keep your language clear and concise, and make sure to proofread and edit your letter to ensure it is error-free.

Content and Elements of a Cover Letter

A successful cover letter for a university application should contain specific elements that demonstrate the applicant's qualifications, achievements, and passion for the program. These elements include:

  • Addressing the letter to the appropriate recipient
  • Crafting an engaging introduction that captures the reader's attention
  • Including essential elements in the body of the letter, such as academic interests, extracurricular activities, and relevant experiences
  • Writing a compelling conclusion that leaves a lasting impression

Tailoring the content to the specific university or program is crucial, as demonstrated by Seattle Pacific University's Career Services . They advise that telling stories about your skills and experiences that are relevant to the specific program can help make your cover letter more effective.

Tips for Writing an Effective Cover Letter

Following certain tips and best practices can significantly improve the quality and impact of a cover letter for a university application:

  • Research the university and program before writing the letter to better understand their values and expectations.
  • Showcase your unique qualities and strengths by providing specific examples and details.
  • Use strong action verbs and avoid clichés or overused phrases, as suggested by Freesumes .
  • Seek feedback from teachers, counselors, or peers to ensure your cover letter is polished and compelling.
  • Revise and refine your letter until it accurately represents your passion and qualifications for the program.

Common Cover Letter Mistakes to Avoid

Avoiding common cover letter mistakes is essential for creating a strong and effective university application:

  • Address the letter to the correct recipient to show your attention to detail and professionalism.
  • Avoid using generic or overly broad language, which can make your letter less impactful.
  • Submit a well-formatted and professional-looking letter to convey your seriousness and commitment.
  • Refrain from including irrelevant or excessive information that distracts from your main strengths.
  • Proofread and edit your letter to eliminate typos, grammatical errors, and other mistakes that can undermine its impact.

Sample Cover Letters for University Applications

Examining sample cover letters can provide valuable insights and inspiration for crafting a successful university application. We recommend:

  • Analyzing high-quality sample cover letters for various university programs or courses
  • Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each sample
  • Adapting the samples to your specific situation and application
  • Using the samples as a starting point for creating your unique cover letter
  • Remembering to tailor your letter to the specific university or program

With proper research, planning, and execution, a well-crafted cover letter can significantly enhance a university application and increase the chances of admission. By applying the tips and guidance provided in this article, you will be well-prepared to create a compelling cover letter that showcases your passion, achievements, and qualifications for your dream program.

As a final piece of advice, remember that persistence and dedication are key to success in the university application process. Keep refining your cover letter and learning from feedback until you have a polished and impactful document that truly represents you. Good luck on your university application journey!

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Academic Cover Letters

What is this handout about.

The long list of application materials required for many academic teaching jobs can be daunting. This handout will help you tackle one of the most important components: the cover letter or letter of interest. Here you will learn about writing and revising cover letters for academic teaching jobs in the United States of America.

What is an academic cover letter?

An academic cover letter describes your experiences and interest as a candidate for a specific position. It introduces you to the hiring committee and demonstrates how your academic background fits with the description of the position.

What do cover letters for academic teaching jobs typically contain?

At their most basic level, academic cover letters accomplish three things: one, they express your interest in the job; two, they provide a brief synopsis of your research and teaching; and three, they summarize your past experiences and achievements to illustrate your competence for the job. For early-career scholars, cover letters are typically no more than two pages (up to four pages for senior scholars). Occasionally, a third page may make sense for an early-career scholar if the application does not require a separate teaching statement and/or research statement. Digital versions of cover letters often contain hyperlinks to your CV or portfolio page. For some fields, cover letters may also include examples of your work, including music, popular articles, and other multimedia related to your research, service, or teaching available online. Typically, letters appear on departmental or university letterhead and include your signature. Above all, a strong cover letter presents your accomplishments and your familiarity with the institution and with the position.

How should I prepare to write my academic cover letter?

Like all writing, composing a cover letter is a process. The process may be as short as a few hours or as long as several weeks, but at the end the letter should present you as a strong candidate for the job. The following section has tips and questions for thinking through each stage of this writing process. You don’t need to answer all of these questions to write the letter; they are meant to help you brainstorm ideas.

Before you begin writing your cover letter, consider researching the institution, the department, and the student population. Incorporating all three aspects in your letter will help convey your interest in the position.

Get to know the institution. When crafting your cover letter, be aware of the type of institution to which you are applying. Knowing how the institution presents itself can help you tailor your letter and make it more specific.

  • Where is the institution located?
  • Is it on a quarter-system or semester-system?
  • What type of institution is it? Is it an R1? Is it an R2? Is it a liberal arts college? Is it an HBCU? Is it a community college? A private high school?
  • What is the institution’s culture? Is it teaching-focused or research-focused? Does it privilege experiential learning? Does it value faculty involvement outside the classroom? Is it affiliated with a specific religious tradition?
  • Does it have any specific institutional commitments?
  • How does the institution advocate for involvement in its local community?
  • What are the professional development opportunities for new and junior faculty?

Learn about the department. Knowing the specific culture and needs of the department can help you reach your audience: the department members who will be reading your documents and vetting you as a candidate.

  • Who is on the search committee? Who is the search committee chair?
  • What is the official name of the department?
  • Which different subfields make up the department?
  • Is it a dual appointment or a position in a dual department?
  • How does the department participate in specific types of student outreach?
  • Does the department have graduate students? Does it offer a terminal Master’s degree, Ph.D., or both? How large are the cohorts? How are they funded?
  • Does the department encourage or engage in interdisciplinary work?
  • Does the majority of the department favor certain theoretical or methodological approaches?
  • Does the department have partnerships with local institutions? If so, which ones?
  • Is the department attempting to fill a specific vacancy, or is it an entirely new position?
  • What are the typical course offerings in the department? Which courses might you be expected to teach? What courses might you be able to provide that are not currently available?

Consider the students. The search committee will often consider how you approach instructing and mentoring the student body. Sometimes committees will even reserve a position for a student or solicit student feedback on a candidate:

  • What populations constitute the majority of the undergraduate population?
  • Have there been any shifts in the student population recently?
  • Do students largely come from in-state or out-of-state?
  • Is there an international student population? If so, from which countries?
  • Is the university recruiting students from traditionally underrepresented populations?
  • Are students particularly active on campus? If so, how?

Many answers to these questions can be found both in the job description and on the institution’s website. If possible, consider contacting someone you know at the institution to ask about the culture directly. You can also use the institution’s course catalog, recruitment materials, alumni magazine, and other materials to get answers to these questions. The key is to understand the sort of institution to which you are applying, its immediate needs, and its future trajectory.

Remember, there is a resource that can help you with all three aspects—people. Reach out to your advisor, committee members, faculty mentors, and other contacts for insight into the prospective department’s culture and faculty. They might even help you revise your letter based on their expertise. Think of your job search as an opportunity to cultivate these relationships.

After you have done some initial research, think about how your experiences have prepared you for the job and identify the ones that seem the most relevant. Consider your previous research, internships, graduate teaching, and summer experiences. Here are some topics and questions to get you started thinking about what you might include.

Research Experiences. Consider how your research has prepared you for an academic career. Since the letter is a relatively short document, select examples of your research that really highlight who you are as a scholar, the direction you see your work going, and how your scholarship will contribute to the institution’s research community.

  • What are your current research interests?
  • What topics would you like to examine in the future?
  • How have you pursued those research interests?
  • Have you traveled for your research?
  • Have you published any of your research? Have you presented it at a conference, symposium, or elsewhere?
  • Have you worked or collaborated with scholars at different institutions on projects? If so, what did these collaborations produce?
  • Have you made your research accessible to your local community?
  • Have you received funding or merit-based fellowships for your research?
  • What other research contributions have you made? This may include opinion articles, book chapters, or participating as a journal reviewer.
  • How do your research interests relate to those of other faculty in the department or fill a gap?

Teaching Experience. Think about any teaching experience you may have. Perhaps you led recitations as a teaching assistant, taught your own course, or guest lectured. Pick a few experiences to discuss in your letter that demonstrate something about your teaching style or your interest in teaching.

  • What courses are you interested in teaching for the department? What courses have you taught that discussed similar topics or themes?
  • What new courses can you imagine offering the department that align with their aim and mission?
  • Have you used specific strategies that were helpful in your instruction?
  • What sort of resources do you typically use in the classroom?
  • Do you have anecdotes that demonstrate your teaching style?
  • What is your teaching philosophy?
  • When have you successfully navigated a difficult concept or topic in the classroom, and what did you learn?
  • What other opportunities could you provide to students?

Internships/Summer/Other Experiences. Brainstorm a list of any conferences, colloquiums, and workshops you have attended, as well as any ways you have served your department, university, or local community. This section will highlight how you participate in your university and scholarly community. Here are some examples of things you might discuss:

  • Professional development opportunities you may have pursued over the summer or during your studies
  • International travel for research or presentations
  • Any research you’ve done in a non-academic setting
  • Presentations at conferences
  • Participation in symposia, reading groups, working groups, etc.
  • Internships in which you may have implemented your research or practical skills related to your discipline
  • Participation in community engagement projects
  • Participation in or leadership of any scholarly and/or university organizations

In answering these questions, create a list of the experiences that you think best reflect you as a scholar and teacher. In choosing which experiences to highlight, consider your audience and what they would find valuable or relevant. Taking the time to really think about your reader will help you present yourself as an applicant well-qualified for the position.

Writing a draft

Remember that the job letter is an opportunity to introduce yourself and your accomplishments and to communicate why you would be a good fit for the position. Typically, search committees will want to know whether you are a capable job candidate, familiar with the institution, and a great future addition to the department’s faculty. As such, be aware of how the letter’s structure and content reflect your preparedness for the position.

The structure of your cover letter should reflect the typical standards for letter writing in the country in which the position is located (the list below reflects the standards for US letter writing). This usually includes a salutation, body, and closing, as well as proper contact information. If you are affiliated with a department, institution, or organization, the letter should be on letterhead.

  • Use a simple, readable font in a standard size, such as 10-12pt. Some examples of fonts that may be conventional in your field include Arial, Garamond, Times New Roman, and Verdana, among other similar fonts.
  • Do not indent paragraphs.
  • Separate all paragraphs by a line and justify them to the left.
  • Make sure that any included hyperlinks work.
  • Include your signature in the closing.

Before you send in your letter, make sure you proofread and look for formatting mistakes. You’ll read more about proofreading and revising later in this handout!

The second most important aspect of your letter is its content. Since the letter is the first chance to provide an in-depth introduction, it should expand on who you are as a scholar and possible faculty member. Below are some elements to consider including when composing your letter.

Identify the position you are applying to and introduce yourself. Traditionally, the first sentence of a job letter includes the full name of the position and where you discovered the job posting. This is also the place to introduce yourself and describe why you are applying for this position. Since the goal of a job letter is to persuade the search committee to include you on the list of candidates for further review, you may want to include an initial claim as to why you are a strong candidate for the position. Some questions you might consider:

  • What is your current status (ABD, assistant professor, post-doc, etc.)?
  • If you are ABD, have you defended your dissertation? If not, when will you defend?
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • Why are you a strong candidate for this position?

Describe your research experience and interests. For research-centered positions, such as positions at R1 or other types of research-centered universities, include information about your research experience and current work early in the letter. For many applicants, current work will be the dissertation project. If this is the case, some suggest calling your “dissertation research” your “current project” or “work,” as this may help you present yourself as an emerging scholar rather than a graduate student. Some questions about your research that you might consider:

  • What research experiences have you had?
  • What does your current project investigate?
  • What are some of the important methods you applied?
  • Have you collaborated with others in your research?
  • Have you acquired specific skills that will be useful for the future?
  • Have you received special funding? If so, what kind?
  • Has your research received any accolades or rewards?
  • What does your current project contribute to the field?
  • Where have you presented your research?
  • Have you published your research? If so, where? Or are you working on publishing your work?
  • How does your current project fit the job description?

Present your plans for future research. This section presents your research agenda and usually includes a description of your plans for future projects and research publications. Detailing your future research demonstrates to the search committee that you’ve thought about a research trajectory and can work independently. If you are applying to a teaching-intensive position, you may want to minimize this section and/or consider including a sentence or two on how this research connects to undergraduate and/or graduate research opportunities. Some questions to get you started:

  • What is your next research project/s?
  • How does this connect to your current and past work?
  • What major theories/methods will you use?
  • How will this project contribute to the field?
  • Where do you see your specialty area or subfield going in the next ten years and how does your research contribute to or reflect this?
  • Will you be collaborating with anyone? If so, with whom?
  • How will this future project encourage academic discourse?
  • Do you already have funding? If so, from whom? If not, what plans do you have for obtaining funding?
  • How does your future research expand upon the department’s strengths while simultaneously diversifying the university’s research portfolio? (For example, does your future research involve emerging research fields, state-of-the-art technologies, or novel applications?)

Describe your teaching experience and highlight teaching strategies. This section allows you to describe your teaching philosophy and how you apply this philosophy in your classroom. Start by briefly addressing your teaching goals and values. Here, you can provide specific examples of your teaching methods by describing activities and projects you assign students. Try to link your teaching and research together. For example, if you research the rise of feminism in the 19th century, consider how you bring either the methodology or the content of your research into the classroom. For a teaching-centered institution, such as a small liberal arts college or community college, you may want to emphasize your teaching more than your research. If you do not have any teaching experience, you could describe a training, mentoring, or coaching situation that was similar to teaching and how you would apply what you learned in a classroom.

  • What is your teaching philosophy? How is your philosophy a good fit for the department in which you are applying to work?
  • What sort of teaching strategies do you use in the classroom?
  • What is your teaching style? Do you lecture? Do you emphasize discussion? Do you use specific forms of interactive learning?
  • What courses have you taught?
  • What departmental courses are you prepared to teach?
  • Will you be able to fill in any gaps in the departmental course offerings?
  • What important teaching and/or mentoring experiences have you had?
  • How would you describe yourself in the classroom?
  • What type of feedback have you gotten from students?
  • Have you received any awards or recognition for your teaching?

Talk about your service work. Service is often an important component of an academic job description. This can include things like serving on committees or funding panels, providing reviews, and doing community outreach. The cover letter gives you an opportunity to explain how you have involved yourself in university life outside the classroom. For instance, you could include descriptions of volunteer work, participation in initiatives, or your role in professional organizations. This section should demonstrate ways in which you have served your department, university, and/or scholarly community. Here are some additional examples you could discuss:

  • Participating in graduate student or junior faculty governance
  • Sitting on committees, departmental or university-wide
  • Partnerships with other university offices or departments
  • Participating in community-partnerships
  • Participating in public scholarship initiatives
  • Founding or participating in any university initiatives or programs
  • Creating extra-curricular resources or presentations

Present yourself as a future faculty member. This section demonstrates who you will be as a colleague. It gives you the opportunity to explain how you will collaborate with faculty members with similar interests; take part in departmental and/or institution wide initiatives or centers; and participate in departmental service. This shows your familiarity with the role of faculty outside the classroom and your ability to add to the departmental and/or institutional strengths or fill in any gaps.

  • What excites you about this job?
  • What faculty would you like to collaborate with and why? (This answer may be slightly tricky. See the section on name dropping below.)
  • Are there any partnerships in the university or outside of it that you wish to participate in?
  • Are there any centers associated with the university or in the community that you want to be involved in?
  • Are there faculty initiatives that you are passionate about?
  • Do you have experience collaborating across various departments or within your own department?
  • In what areas will you be able to contribute?
  • Why would you make an excellent addition to the faculty at this institution?

Compose a strong closing. This short section should acknowledge that you have sent in all other application documents and include a brief thank you for the reader’s time and/or consideration. It should also state your willingness to forward additional materials and indicate what you would like to see as next steps (e.g., a statement that you look forward to speaking with the search committee). End with a professional closing such as “Sincerely” or “Kind Regards” followed by your full name.

If you are finding it difficult to write the different sections of your cover letter, consider composing the other academic job application documents (the research statement, teaching philosophy, and diversity statement) first and then summarizing them in your job letter.

Different kinds of letters may be required for different types of jobs. For example, some jobs may focus on research. In this case, emphasize your research experiences and current project/s. Other jobs may be more focused on teaching. In this case, highlight your teaching background and skills. Below are two models for how you could change your letter’s organization based on the job description and the institution. The models offer a guide for you to consider how changing the order of information and the amount of space dedicated to a particular topic changes the emphasis of the letter.

Research-Based Position Job Letter Example:

Teaching-based position job letter example:.

Remember your first draft does not have to be your last. Try to get feedback from different readers, especially if it is one of your first applications. It is not uncommon to go through several stages of revisions. Check out the Writing Center’s handout on editing and proofreading and video on proofreading to help with this last stage of writing.

Potential pitfalls

Using the word dissertation. Some search committee members may see the word “dissertation” as a red flag that an applicant is too focused on their role as a graduate student rather than as a prospective faculty member. It may be advantageous, then, to describe your dissertation as current research, a current research project, current work, or some other phrase that demonstrates you are aware that your dissertation is the beginning of a larger scholarly career.

Too much jargon. While you may be writing to a specific department, people on the search committee might be unfamiliar with the details of your subfield. In fact, many committees have at least one member from outside their department. Use terminology that can easily be understood by non-experts. If you want to use a specific term that is crucial to your research, then you should define it. Aim for clarity for your reader, which may mean simplification in lieu of complete precision.

Overselling yourself. While your job letter should sell you as a great candidate, saying so (e.g., “I’m the ideal candidate”) in your letter may come off to some search committee members as presumptuous. Remember that although you have an idea about the type of colleague a department is searching for, ultimately you do not know exactly what they want. Try to avoid phrases or sentences where you state you are the ideal or the only candidate right for the position.

Paying too much attention to the job description. Job descriptions are the result of a lot of debate and compromise. If you have skills or research interests outside the job description, consider including them in your letter. It may be that your extra research interests; your outside skills; and/or your extracurricular involvements make you an attractive candidate. For example, if you are a Latin Americanist who also happens to be well-versed in the Spanish Revolution, it could be worth mentioning the expanse of your research interests because a department might find you could fill in other gaps in the curriculum or add an additional or complementary perspective to the department.

Improper sendoff. The closing of your letter is just as important as the beginning. The end of the letter should reflect the professionalism of the document. There should be a thank-you and the word sincerely or a formal equivalent. Remember, it is the very last place in your letter where you present yourself as a capable future colleague.

Small oversights. Make sure to proofread your letter not just for grammar but also for content. For example, if you use material from another letter, make sure you do not include the names of another school, department, or unassociated faculty! Or, if the school is in Chicago, make sure you do not accidentally reference it as located in the Twin Cities.

Name dropping. You rarely know the internal politics of the department or institution to which you are applying. So be cautious about the names you insert in your cover letters. You do not want to unintentionally insert yourself into a departmental squabble or add fire to an interdepartmental conflict. Instead, focus on the actions you will undertake and the initiatives you are passionate about.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Ball, Cheryl E. 2013. “Understanding Cover Letters.” Inside Higher Ed , November 3, 2013. https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2013/11/04/essay-cover-letter-academic-jobs .

Borchardt, John. 2014. “Writing a Winning Cover Letter.” Science Magazine , August 6, 2014. https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2014/08/writing-winning-cover-letter# .

Helmreich, William. 2013. “Your First Academic Job.” Inside Higher Ed , June 17, 2013. https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2013/06/17/essay-how-land-first-academic-job .

Kelsky, Karen. 2013. “How To Write a Journal Article Submission Cover Letter.” The Professor Is In (blog), April 26, 2013. https://theprofessorisin.com/2013/04/26/how-to-write-a-journal-article-submission-cover-letter/ .

Tomaska, Lubomir, and Josef Nosek. 2008. “Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Cover Letter to Accompany a Job Application for an Academic Position.” PLoS Computational Biology 14(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006132 .

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Cover It Up

It's the time of year again; you have made a list of your selected colleges and will apply to them. You are about to apply, but one hurdle remains in your path; the dreaded cover letter. Many students still are unsure of how to write a good cover letter for a university. In this blog, we will tell you how to write a great cover letter for a university. We will discuss the basic template, tips, and things to remember while writing a university application letter. So let us not waste any time and dive straight into it.

What is a cover letter for a university, and why is it important?

Many of us thought of this question when we first encountered the need for a cover letter when applying for universities. A cover letter for a university is basically a one-page application that you submit alongside your CV or resume when applying to a university or college. Many universities ask for a cover letter nowadays since it provides the admissions officer with further detail on how your skill set aligns with the university, what you can bring to the institution and why you want a seat. It also shows the admissions officer your passion and suitability for the course. In addition, a university application letter is more personal than a resume and builds a relationship with the officer.

How to write a cover letter for a university?

Since we have discussed why a university application letter is important, let us now see how to write one. The structure and text volume of a cover letter for a university is determined by its five major features. In most circumstances, a university application letter should be no more than one page long and no more than 300 words long. However, those words must be carefully picked and stick to a well-defined structure. The five major features of a cover letter for a university are:

The officer will see the header first, which is precisely where you can wow them. The header is the only place of a university application letter where you can have some design choices instead of the entire letter being in black text boxes. It will help your letter look as good as it reads. The header usually includes your name , occupation , address , phone number and email . 

2. Greeting

The greeting line of a university application letter, also known as a salutation, is where you say your greetings. In a university application letter, don't go too inventive. A simple "Hey" is obviously ineffective. Try to learn the name of the individual to whom you should address your university application letter. People enjoy reading their names , demonstrating your attention to detail and interest in this officer, showing that you've gone out of your way to determine who is processing applications!

3. Introduction

The first paragraph of your cover letter for a university introduction should include your prestigious alma mater ( the school or college you have attended ). Another possibility is that you have experience in your field. Lead with your abilities, and aim to produce a paragraph that makes the admissions officer want to keep reading.

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The heart of your pitch should be in the body of your cover letter for a university. Given the one-page limit, you have a lot of work to perform in a limited time. In this section, you must mention your top qualifications for the course you wish to apply for. Also, attempt to include the name of the university you're applying to and explain why you want to study there. Remind the admissions officer that you aren't merely sending out study applications to random colleges but want to study at this one.

5. Conclusion

A call to action (CTA) should be included at the end of your cover letter for a university, in which you urge that the admissions officers take some action as a result of your letter. You can state you're looking forward to hearing back, that you'd be happy to follow up with a phone call, or that you'd be honoured to be invited to an interview, either in person or remotely. Your desire to receive a response should indicate to the officer that you are serious about attending this university. You don't want to come across as desperate or overconfident, but you want to express your genuine desire.

If you need more in-depth understanding on how to write your cover letter, our ultimate guide to writing a cover letter will surely help you out!

Format of cover letter for a university

Documents you will need while submitting your university application letter?

You will need to submit a few documents while submitting your cover letter for a university! The documents include the following:

  • A CV/Resume
  • Previous academic transcripts
  • Portfolio (if required)
  • A personal statement

You need to submit these basic documents, but it would be best if you verified the required documents on the university site! As you know, you have to submit your CV or resume alongside your cover letter. Many students still face problems while creating a good resume, don't worry; we will show you how to create your first resume !

Tips on writing your cover letter for a university

There are a few tips that can help you make a great cover letter for a university that can wow the admissions officer:

  •   Try to sound more human in your letter.
  • Beware of the cliches almost everyone uses, so you need to think "outside the box" for this one.
  • Keep an eye on your tone and ensure it's friendly , professional , and confident , but never arrogant or condescending.
  • Keep your cover letter brief ; keep it point to point so the reader doesn't get bored reading it.
  •   It's a good idea to divide your introduction into the past, present, and future portions to stay organised while talking about yourself.
  • Prove everything you say in your cover letter for a university by keeping the tone friendly and not arrogant! 
  • Don't just list everything you have achieved since it is already in your CV! Try to mention what new things you would achieve!

University application letter format

Your university application letter must say the appropriate things and look the right way. Choose the appropriate layout and design for your cover letter, and don't waste your golden prose on a poorly designed letter that sounds wonderful but looks horrible. You must use a legible font – nothing grand or unusual. You should use a font size of 10 to 12 points, which is large enough to read but not so large that it looks like you're creating a kid's story. Use 1-inch margins on your letter's top, bottom, right, and left sides. You must include a space between paragraphs that are not indented and keep all paragraphs to a decent length. 

Things to keep in mind when writing a cover letter for a university

There are a few things to keep when writing your cover letter; these include the likes of spelling mistakes, grammar, poorly designed cover letters and much more. Here are a few things to remember:

  •   Words are wasted. Irrelevant information, clichés, and fluff will clutter your page with unnecessary language. Use the limited space you have to write in your own words what makes you a good candidate.
  •   One of the most typical mistakes students make is wasting their cover letter by transforming their resume into paragraph form . This repetition does not help the admissions officer assess your qualifications or persuade them that you are enthusiastic about the chance.
  •   A solid cover letter might be improved by including facts about the university that you've learnt about. Learn about the university's culture and goals , and tailor your cover letter to reflect how you would be a good fit.
  •  A cover letter is not the place to give bad information about your qualifications. An interview allows the admissions officer to learn about your weaknesses. Concentrate on your strengths !

These were the ways to create a good cover letter for a university. It will take you a bit of time and practice to perfect your cover letter. Once you submit your application, you might get called upon for a university interview. If the interview is going to scare you, then don't worry our blog about university interview questions will help you run that scare away. If you are going to apply to universities in the Uk, we can help you do exactly that. Our blog on applying to universities in the UK will do that.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a university application letter be, how do you end a cover letter for university, does a cover letter for a university improve your chances, can you be too confident in a university application letter, does a university application letter have to be perfect.

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How to Write an Application Letter

Last Updated: May 6, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed. . Alexander Ruiz is an Educational Consultant and the Educational Director of Link Educational Institute, a tutoring business based in Claremont, California that provides customizable educational plans, subject and test prep tutoring, and college application consulting. With over a decade and a half of experience in the education industry, Alexander coaches students to increase their self-awareness and emotional intelligence while achieving skills and the goal of achieving skills and higher education. He holds a BA in Psychology from Florida International University and an MA in Education from Georgia Southern University. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 173,140 times.

Application letters are typically written to accompany school or job applications. The purpose of the letter is to introduce yourself to the decision committee, and to outline your qualifications in a specific way. It can be the only time other than an interview that you have a chance to really stand out in an application, so it's important to get it right. You can learn what to include in your letter, how to style it, and how to format it to give yourself the best chance.

Application Letter Templates

how to write application letter university

Writing a Job Application

Step 1 Say why you're writing and what you're applying for in the first sentences.

  • A good example would be: "I'm writing to apply for the Chimney Sweep position advertised in Rolling Stone. I think my experience in the heating industry makes me uniquely qualified for this position. Please find my application materials and a brief description of my qualifications below."
  • Don't write your name until the signature. It'll be in the header and in the sign-off, so there's no reason to put it in the body of the letter itself.

Step 2 Explain why you are the best candidate.

  • Be specific. Who are you? Where do you come from? What's your story? These details are important. HR screeners read hundreds of these.
  • Describe your ambitions. Where do you want to go? How will this opportunity help you get there?
  • What skills and experiences make you the right fit? Be as specific as possible and avoid vague language. It's better to describe a time you solved a specific problem at your last job than to just write, "I'm a good problem solver at work."

Step 3 Keep the tone professional.

  • Tailor it to the business. If you're applying to work at a record store, you need to talk about music. If you're applying to work at a tech company that writes, "Tell us something totally rad about yourself!" it's probably ok to be a little more informal.

Step 4 Explain how both parties will benefit from your selection.

  • Don't over-promise. Telling someone that you can guarantee that you'll be able to turn around their sales figures in six months or less is a good way to get fired in six months.

Step 5 Do some research.

  • Any kind of job requires this type of research. If you apply to a restaurant, you need to be familiar with the menu and the kind of customers the restaurant attracts. Consider eating there a few times before you apply.
  • Don't show you're familiar by criticizing a business and telling them what you can do better. Not the time to offer a harsh criticism of a business plan that you don't really know anything about.

Writing a School Application

Step 1 Address the prompt.

  • Common prompts include things like, "Outline your qualifications for this position" or "In writing, explain how this position would affect your career goals." Sometimes, the prompt will be as short as, "Tell us something interesting about yourself."
  • If there is no prompt, but you still feel the need to introduce your application with a letter, it's usually best to keep it as short as possible. Explain what you're applying for, why you're applying, and thank the contact for their consideration. That's it.

Step 2 Tell your story.

  • Often, college prompts will ask you to describe a time you struggled, or a time you overcame some obstacle. Write about something unique, a time that you actually failed and dealt with the consequences.
  • The board will get thousands–literally, thousands–of letters about someone's first mission trip, and letters about the time someone's sports team was beaten, then overcame the odds, and won again. Avoid these topics.

Step 3 Write about your future.

  • Be specific. If you're writing to a college board, don't say, "I want to go to this college because I need a degree." That's obvious. What do you want to do with it? Why? If you're applying to a business, don't say, "I just need a job." That's obvious. Why this specific job?

Step 4 Don't include stuff that's also on your resume.

  • If you're applying to schools, what do you like about the school? What faculty are you interested in? Why this school, instead of another?

Formatting Application Letters

Step 1 Keep it short.

  • If you don't get a word-count guideline, just focus on making one or two good points about yourself, and keeping it at that. No need to drone on four several pages.

Step 2 Only address the letter if you have someone to address it to.

  • Instead of a salutation, write, "Letter of Application" at the top left corner of the page, or put it in the header on the left side at the top.
  • If you do have a contact, address it to them, making sure the name is spelled correctly. Then space down and start the body of the letter. [10] X Research source

Step 3 Use a standard font.

  • Sometimes, it's appropriate to type your name, then print out the letter and sign it in pen. That can be a nice touch.

Step 5 Put your contact information in the header.

  • Mailing address
  • Telephone and/or fax number

Expert Q&A

Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.

  • Remember to be formal at all times. Do not use abbreviations anywhere. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 1

how to write application letter university

You Might Also Like

Write a Letter

  • ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-to-write-an-application-letter
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/professional_technical_writing/tone_in_business_writing.html
  • ↑ Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.. Educational Consultant. Expert Interview. 18 June 2020.
  • ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/types-of-writing/admission-letters/
  • ↑ https://wts.indiana.edu/writing-guides/personal-statements-and-application-letters.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/job_search_writing/job_search_letters/cover_letters_1_quick_tips/quick_formatting_tips.html
  • ↑ https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/coverletters/

About This Article

Alexander Ruiz, M.Ed.

To format an application letter, start by including your name and contact details in the document header. When choosing a greeting, only use one if you know the person's name your writing to. Otherwise, give the document a title, like "Letter of application" at the top of the page. For the body of the letter, aim to write no more than 1 page of single-spaced paragraphs using a standard font. Finally, conclude your letter with a formal greeting like "Sincerely yours." For tips on how to write a job application letter, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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A school application letter is the initial way you present yourself to those deciding on admissions. It gives you an opportunity to highlight what you have achieved, share how excited you are about attending their institution, and persuade them that you are the right match for their school. 

In this article, we will examine the purpose of a school application letter, the important things that should be in it, and the mistakes you should not make.

Understanding the Purpose of a School Application Letter

Your school application letter is like a formal way to say hello to the people who decide on admissions. It shows them what you have learned in school, things you do outside of class, and what kind of person you are. It is very significant because it shows how much you really care about joining this school and the reasons why you think that they should accept you as a student.

Preparing to Write Your School Application Letter

Before you start writing, it is very important to prepare well. Here is how you can get ready to write a good application for admission in school:

1. Research the School Thoroughly

When you start to write the letter for your school application, it is very important to research the school deeply. You should do more than just look quickly at their website. Spend time understanding the school’s values and what they provide. 

Begin by going to the school website and reading their mission statement thoroughly. This sentence captures the main beliefs and goals of an organisation, giving a deep understanding of its values.

Look beyond the main goals of the school and investigate what kind of programs and activities they have. Get to know their educational courses, any special projects they offer, and different chances that are only available at a particular school. 

Look at the resources and places for students, like libraries, science rooms and sports areas. Knowing these things about the school helps you write your school application letter in a way that shows how you can add value to what the school provides.

2. Reflect on your Personal and Academic Achievements

Once you have a full grasp of the details about the school to which you are applying, spend moments thinking about what you have accomplished personally and in your studies. Recognise what abilities, skills, and special traits make you different from others who apply. Think about times when you showed qualities like being a leader, coming up with new ideas, or not giving up easily. 

This could be during school time or in other areas of your life. Look back at your success in studies – good marks you have received, any prizes or special recognitions and talk about educational work or projects that you have been part of.

Besides knowing your strong points, it’s important to think about your job ambitions. Think about how the programs, resources, and chances at the school could support you in reaching your study and career goals.

3. Gather Necessary Information and Documents

Collect all the important papers and details you need for your application, such as your academic records, test results from exams, recommendation letters, and people who can vouch for you. Make sure that all the documents are current, correct, and easy to access. If you have these papers ready, the application process will go smoother and allow you to give out any information quickly when asked.

Key Elements of a School Application Letter

A letter for school application is your chance to show the best version of yourself to those deciding on admissions. It’s very important that you follow the right school application format. Your letter should clearly share what you can do, how excited you are, and why you fit well with the admission requirements. You should make sure these main points are in it:

1. Header and Salutation

The heading and salutation are the foundation of your school application letter, establishing the mood for your application. Here is what you should incorporate:

i. Contact Information and Date

Start your school formal letter by writing down your contact details, which should include your complete name, where you live, telephone number, and email. After that, put the date when you are writing the letter. This data allows the admissions panel to contact you when needed and helps maintain a tidy school letter format.

ii. Appropriate Salutation

When you write your school letter, please direct it to the right person or group, like the admissions officer or the admissions committee that has been assigned. If you do not know exactly who should receive your letter, it is okay to start with a common greeting such as “Dear Admissions Committee” or “To Whom It May Concern.” However, whenever possible, it’s best to address the letter to a specific individual.

2. Introduction

The beginning part of your letter is where you explain the situation and say why you are writing. Here’s a way to make a good start:

i. State the Purpose

Make sure to explain the reason for your letter, that you want to join the particular school you are writing to. Say which program or course you wish to apply for so the admissions team understands better.

ii. Express Enthusiasm

Show your excitement and keenness for the school straight away. Point out what draws you to this place, like its well-known academics, special courses, knowledgeable teachers or the atmosphere of the campus. Your real excitement will grab the reader’s attention and make your application more noticeable.

3. Body Paragraphs

The main part of your application letter is the body paragraphs. This section is where you give more information about what makes you a good fit for admission, talking about your skills and qualifications. Here’s a way to organise this part of your letter:

i. Discuss Academic Background and Achievements

Start by talking about your educational background, where you studied before and the important classes you took. Mention if you have gotten any honours or prizes for your school work. Talk about particular accomplishments that show how much you love learning and how good you are at studying.

ii. Highlight Extracurricular Activities and Leadership Experiences

In the following section, describe your participation in activities outside of school, such as club memberships, athletic groups, volunteering, or local community groups. Highlight any positions where you were a leader and explain how these roles have contributed to building useful skills and personal attributes.

iii. Explain Fit and Contribution

Tell why you think you are a good match for the school and in what ways you might add to its scholarly community. Make links between your own interests, what aims you have, and what chances the school offers. Show your excitement for meeting other students, being part of activities on campus, and creating a good influence in class as well as beyond it.

4. Conclusion of Application Letter

To finish your letter, the ending part is very important because it gives a final impression to whoever reads it. You should remember these points when writing your conclusion:

i. Restate Interest and Enthusiasm

Express your keenness and zest for the institution again, emphasising your wish to join its scholarly society. Sum up briefly why you are eager to have the opportunity to study at this place.

ii. Thank the Reader

Saying thank you is a respectful way to leave a good impression and show that you can handle things professionally.

iii. Express Eagerness to Discuss Further

Finish by showing how much you look forward to talking more about the application, whether it’s in an interview with extra documents or anyway the admissions group thinks it is right. It demonstrates that you are ready to take initiative and want to be involved in the admission procedures.

Tips for Writing an Effective School Application Letter

1. be concise and clear.

i. Keep your letter focused and to the point

Admission staff receive lots of applications, so it is essential to write a concise and straightforward letter. Avoid adding unnecessary details. Concentrate on presenting the qualifications and experiences that are most closely related, clearly explaining why they qualify you as a strong applicant for admission.

ii. Use short paragraphs and simple language

Separate your letter into short segments to make it clearer. Make sure you express your thoughts in a straightforward way for good understanding. Write your letter with easy words and make it simple to understand so the person remembers it.

2. Customise your Letter for Each School

i. Avoid generic or templated letters

Don’t use the same plan for every application letter. Every school is different, so your letter should show you really like and know the specific school you’re applying to. When you write, mention the school’s ideas, the classes they have, and the chances there that match what you want to do.

ii. Demonstrate your knowledge and interest in the specific school

Do thorough research on the school and include specific details in your letter to show you truly care. Mention particular programs, teachers, or projects on campus. When you invest time in learning about the school, it demonstrates to the admissions team that you’re very committed to your application.

3. Use a Professional and Polite Tone

i. Avoid slang, contractions, or overly casual language

Keep your letter professional by avoiding slang, not using contractions, and staying away from too casual language. Your school application letter needs to show that you’re serious and professional. Use full sentences and correct grammar to make sure it’s clear and professional.

ii. Proofread for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors

Make sure you check your application letter for spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes before sending it. Errors like these can make your letter look less professional and give a bad impression. Spend some time looking over your letter again and again, or maybe get another person to check it so you can be sure there are no mistakes.

4. Showcase your Personality and Unique Qualities

i. Use specific examples and anecdotes to illustrate your points

Instead of just naming your accomplishments, provide particular instances and stories that illustrate your life experiences. Talk about events that show off what you are good at, the things you care deeply about, and what you have succeeded in doing in a way that captures attention. Sharing personal stories allows the admissions panel to understand your identity aside from just educational accomplishments.

ii. Convey your passion, curiosity, and enthusiasm for learning

Show your love for learning and growing personally. Share how excited you are about the educational chances at the school and show that you really want to add to its lively community. Demonstrate that you are not simply pursuing entry but also truly enthusiastic about joining the academic community of the school.

More Resources:

Sample School Application Letters

Sample 1: application letter for a high school student, sample 2: application letter for a transfer student, sample 3: application letter for a graduate school program, common mistakes to avoid, 1. focusing too much on yourself and not enough on the school.

Balancing between showing your achievements and expressing excitement for the school you apply to is essential. While it is important to point out your strong points and past experiences, don’t make the request letter for school admission only about you. 

Try to connect your good qualities and achievements with what the school likes, its programs, and what it offers. When you show that you know what this school is about and really want to be part of it, it tells the admissions team that you’ve thought a lot about applying and want to join in.

2. Using Clichés or Generic Phrases

When you write your application letter, avoid using common phrases that don’t show your unique qualities. For example, saying “I really love learning” or “I’m a hardworking student” might sound fake. Instead, share specific stories about yourself to explain your thoughts. Be honest and show your real passion for wanting to go to this school.

3. Repeating Information Already Available in Other Application Materials

Don’t say the same things in your application letter that are already in your resume or grades. Instead, use the letter to talk about what you can do, what you’ve been through, and what goals you have that aren’t in other papers. Focus on showing new parts of yourself or giving more details to help them understand you better as a candidate.

4. Exceeding the Recommended Word Count or Page Limit

Please make sure you follow the school’s rules about how many words or pages your school admission letter should have. If you write too much, it might show that you don’t pay attention to small things. Stick to the given instructions and make sure each word is important, concentrating on key details so your letter is short and to the point. Keeping it within set boundaries shows you can comply with guidelines and pass on your information efficiently in a limited space.

Following Up After Submitting Your Application Letter

Once you have sent in your school joining application, it is a good idea to check with the admissions office to see if they got all of your documents and to let them know you are still very interested in attending their institution. A respectful email or telephone conversation where you show excitement about the study opportunity and readiness to give any more details if needed can make a good impact.

Composing a letter for a school application is an important move to getting into the school you want. If you follow the advice in this guide, you will be able to get a strong and nicely written letter that shows your skills, excitement, and how well you match with the school. To avoid making usual errors and to check in after you send your application, it shows that you are serious and dedicated. If you prepare with caution and focus on small things, it may help you do better when trying to get admitted.

FAQs on School Application Letter

Q1. can i use the same application letter for multiple schools.

A1. It is better to write a unique school application letter for every school you apply to. This shows that you really want to be part of that particular school and lets you show how your skills and background fit with what the school offers and believes in.

Q2. Should I include my GPA or test scores in the application letter?

A2. Normally, your grade point average and exam results appear in different parts of the application, such as the transcript or reports from standardised exams. But if you have particular accomplishments or important academic moments that are worth mentioning, it is okay to talk about them briefly in your letter. Focus on providing insights that may not be evident from your other application materials.

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Crafting The Perfect Academic Cover Letter: A Step-By-Step Guide

Land your dream academic position! Craft a compelling academic cover letter that highlights your skills and experience.

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This guide will help you create a winning academic cover letter! Here you’ll find everything you need, whether you’re an experienced academic or a fresh graduate seeking your dream job in academia. We’ll discuss how to write an academic cover letter that grabs attention while highlighting your skills and experiences.

Making a positive impression on hiring committees and search panels begins with a well-crafted academic cover letter. This document serves as your introduction, demonstrating your passion for your field, your qualifications, and your fit for the institution and position you are applying for.

A great cover letter can make all the difference in the competitive world of academia, where job openings are often limited and highly sought after. A cover letter provides context to your CV or resume, allowing you to highlight specific experiences, projects, or accomplishments that demonstrate your suitability for the position. Throughout this guide, we’ll provide you with tips, strategies, and examples to help you craft a compelling academic cover letter that sets you apart from the competition. So let’s dive in and start crafting your path to academic success!

The Purpose (Why Do You Need A Cover Letter?)

It is imperative to include a cover letter in your job application package when applying to academic jobs. A cover letter serves as a personal introduction, adding depth and context to your CV or resume. In order to better understand its specific purpose, let’s look at:

1. Explaining How you fit the position and Interest: In your cover letter, you can explain why you are interested in the position and institution. It gives you the chance to explain why you are applying, whether it is the institution’s reputation, specific research opportunities, or alignment with your career objectives. You can also express your interest in the program and describe how it fits into your future goals. Additionally, you should demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment to the program.

2. Highlighting Your Qualifications: In contrast to CVs and resumes, cover letters provide you with an opportunity to highlight and contextualize specialized experiences or qualifications relevant to the role. In order to demonstrate your suitability for the job, you can highlight specific projects, publications, teaching experiences, or other accomplishments.

3. Personalizing Your Application: Unlike a CV or resume, which tends to be more standardized, a cover letter offers you the chance to personalize your application for a specific job and institution. By addressing the hiring committee directly and tailoring your content to the institution’s values, mission, and goals, you can demonstrate your genuine interest and commitment.

4. Adding Context: At times, you may need to explain or contextualize certain aspects of your application. It can be helpful to include a cover letter if you are transitioning from one field within academia to another, or if there are gaps in your employment history.

5. Showcase Your Communication Skills: In academia, effective communication is paramount. An important skill that hiring committees look for is the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively in writing. You can demonstrate your writing style, professionalism, and attention to detail with a well-crafted cover letter.

6. Stand Out From Other Candidates : Being able to stand out from other applicants is essential in a competitive job market. With a thoughtfully written cover letter, you can convey aspects of your personality, work ethic, and passion for your field not readily apparent from your CV.

Research About The Institution

The first step in writing an academic cover letter is to thoroughly research the institution as well as the role for which you’re applying. By taking this step, you not only demonstrate your genuine interest in the position, but you also tailor your cover letter to make it more compelling to hiring managers.

Importance Of Research Before The Interview

You demonstrate your genuine interest in joining the academic community by demonstrating your knowledge about the institution and the position. You can align your qualifications and experience with what they are seeking in a candidate if you understand the institution’s values, mission, and goals. By researching the department, faculty members, and ongoing projects, you can use your insights to enhance the relevance and impact of your cover letter.

Tips for researching about the Institution:

  • Explore the Institution’s Website: Start by thoroughly exploring the institution’s official website. Learn about the faculty members, research areas, academic programs, and recent achievements of the department you’re applying to.
  • Read Faculty Profiles and Publications: Take the time to read faculty profiles and publications related to your field of expertise. Furthermore, this will help you identify potential collaborators or mentors within the department.
  • Review Recent News and Press Releases: Check for any recent news articles or press releases about the institution. It can provide valuable insights into the Lab’s accomplishments, partnerships, or current initiatives.
  • Utilize Professional Networks: Reach out to your professional network, including colleagues, mentors, or alumni who may have insights or connections related to the institution or position. You might find valuable information or advice from them that you couldn’t find through traditional research methods.
  • Attend Departmental Events or Webinars: If possible, attend departmental events, seminars, or webinars hosted by the institution. In addition to learning more about their academic community, you will also have an opportunity to network with faculty and students.

Tailoring Your Cover Letter

As soon as you have gathered enough information about the institution and the position, you can tailor your cover letter accordingly. Here are some tips for writing a targeted and impactful cover letter:

  • Start your cover letter with the name of the institution and the position you are applying for. It shows that you have done your homework and immediately grabs the reader’s attention.
  • Provide examples from your background that are directly related to the institution’s research areas, teaching philosophy, or academic initiatives. By doing so, you demonstrate how your skills and experience are in line with their requirements.
  • Refer to specific projects, programs, or initiatives in your cover letter if the institution has them. Explain how your expertise or interests make you a good candidate for participation or contribution.
  • Describe how you align with the institution’s values, mission, and academic culture. In this way, you demonstrate your commitment to excellence and innovation in education and research.

Academic Cover Letter Structure

Your introduction serves three purposes: grabbing the reader’s attention, expressing your interest in the position, and briefly describing your qualifications. The following is a list of what to include:

  • A strong opening sentence or paragraph that captures the reader’s interest.
  • The position you are applying for and where you learned about it.
  • A brief introduction of yourself and your interest in the position and institution .

Here is a simple Example:

“Dear Hiring Committee/Department Chair, I am writing to express my interest in the Specific Position at the Institution , as advertised on XYZ . With a passion for mentioning your field or research interest , coupled with relevant experience or qualification , I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the Institution’s name or department .”

Body Paragraphs

Describe your qualifications, relevant experiences, and how they are aligned with the job requirements in the body paragraphs. The following is a list of what to include:

  • Detailed discussion of your academic background, research experience, teaching experience if any, and any other relevant skills or accomplishments.
  • Specific examples and achievements that demonstrate your suitability for the position.
  • Alignment of your qualifications with the institution’s mission, values, and goals.

“As a research assistant at [University/Institute], I conducted groundbreaking research in [specific area], resulting in [mention of any publications, grants, or awards]. In addition to my expertise in [relevant technique or methodology], I am particularly drawn to [Institution’s name or department] due to the institution’s commitment to [mention any specific initiatives or focus areas].”

In the conclusion, you express gratitude for the opportunity to apply, summarize your interest, and offer a call to action. The following is a list of what to include:

  • A summary of your interest in the position and how you can contribute to the institution.
  • Expression of gratitude for the opportunity to apply and the reader’s consideration.
  • A call to action, such as expressing readiness for an interview or providing additional materials if needed.

“Thank you for considering my application. I am looking forward to contributing to [Institution’s name or department]’s mission of [mention the institution’s mission or goals] with my expertise in [your field]. It would be my pleasure to provide any additional information you may need. I look forward to discussing how my skills and experience align with the needs of [Institution].”

Academic Cover Letter Template

Dear Hiring Committee, Dear Hiring Committee/Department Chair, I am writing to express my interest in the Specific Position at Institution , as advertised on XYZ . With a passion for mentioning your field or research interest , coupled with relevant experience or qualification , I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the Institution’s name or department . As a research assistant at [University/Institute ], I conducted groundbreaking research in [ specific area ], resulting in [ mention any publications, grants, or award s]. In addition to my expertise in [ relevant technique or methodology ], I am particularly drawn to [ Institution’s name or department ] due to the institution’s commitment to [ mention any specific initiatives or focus areas ]. Thank you for considering my application. I am looking forward to contributing to [ Institution’s name or department] ‘s mission of [ mention the institution’s mission or goals ] with my expertise in [ your field ]. It would be my pleasure to provide any additional information you may need. I look forward to discussing how my skills and experience align with the needs of [I nstitutio n]. Sincerely, Name

Using this structure, you can craft an effective cover letter for an academic position. Personalize each section based on your experiences and the specific requirements of the position and institution you are applying for.

Polishing And Final Touch

You should polish your academic cover letter after you draft it to ensure that it effectively conveys your qualifications and professionalism. During this final step, you will check your letter for errors, edit it, and ask for feedback to ensure that it is as good as possible.

Proofreading and Editing

You should proofread your cover letter to ensure it contains no grammatical, spelling, punctuation, or clarity errors. The following tips will help you proofread effectively:

  • Take your time when reviewing your cover letter. Make sure you don’t rush through proofreading.
  • The best way to catch awkward phrasing, repetitions, and grammatical errors in your cover letter is to read it aloud to yourself.
  • Take advantage of spelling and grammar checkers available in word processing software like Microsoft Word or Grammarly. It is important to remember that these tools may not detect all errors, so don’t rely on them solely.
  • Be clear and concise in your sentences. Use simple language rather than overly complex jargon that might confuse the reader.
  • Your cover letter should be consistent in terms of formatting, punctuation, and writing style.

Professional Tone and Formatting

Making a positive impression on potential employers requires a professional tone and formatting. You can ensure professionalism in your cover letter by following these steps:

  • Write in a formal tone appropriate for academic and professional settings. Don’t use slang, contractions, or language that is too casual.
  • Follow a standard business letter format, including your contact information, the recipient’s information, a salutation, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. You should use a professional font and a standard font size (e.g., Times New Roman, 12-point).
  • When possible, address the recipient by name and title. Use a generic salutation such as “Dear Hiring Committee” or “Dear Search Committee” if you’re unsure of the recipient’s name.
  • Double-check your contact information, including your email address and phone number.

Seeking Feedback

Your cover letter can be improved by getting feedback from others. Feedback can be obtained from the following sources:

  • Review your cover letter with trusted classmates or colleagues and ask for constructive criticism. It is possible for them to offer fresh perspectives and catch errors that might have slipped your mind.
  • Find mentors with experience in your field of study or academia who can provide feedback. It is possible to get guidance from them on how to tailor your cover letter for a particular academic position.
  • If your university has a career center or academic advising office, make use of those resources. Academic cover letters can be tailored to different positions by career advisors.

To ensure your academic cover letter presents you to potential employers in the best light, be sure to proofread, maintain a professional tone and format, and seek feedback from peers, mentors, and career advisors.

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Cornell Office of Undergraduate Admissions

Search cornell admissions, first-year applicants.

Cornell Clocktower

Let’s Get Started

Are you ready to embark on your Cornell journey? We have compiled the information you will need on this page. The Undergraduate Admissions staff is available to provide support along the way.

Testing Policy

Fall 2025 standardized testing policy.

For students applying to enroll for fall 2025, Cornell will be test-recommended or score-free depending on the college/school the student is applying to. 

For students applying to enroll for fall 2026 and beyond, official SAT or ACT scores will be required.

First-Year Domestic Applicants

First-year international applicants, special populations, transfer applicants, advice for applicants, first-year application timeline.

Expand the information below to learn more about each aspect of the application and your Cornell journey.

Are You a First-Year Domestic Applicant?

First-year applicant.

First-year domestic applicants will complete high school during the current academic year and hold one of the following United States citizenship or residency statuses:

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • U.S./Dual Citizenship 
  • Permanent Residency (approved — not pending)
  • Undocumented Students with and without DACA 
  • Students whose permanent resident status is pending are considered international students. If your pending status changes to approved during the application process, please let us know and we will update your status.

Students enrolled in concurrent high school and college courses are considered first-year candidates. 

Students who graduated from high school but have earned fewer than 12 credits at a college or university are considered first-year candidates. If you have earned 12 credits or more, you should see our instructions for how to apply as a transfer student here . For domestic students, Cornell University practices need-blind admissions and meets the full demonstrated financial need of admitted students. 

International applicants can find instructions for how to apply here .

Choose Early Decision or Regular Decision

Early decision .

Early Decision is a binding commitment for students who have selected Cornell as their first choice. Students may initiate applications to other colleges under nonbinding plans but must withdraw those applications if admitted to Cornell. Students who apply Early Decision submit their application and $80 application fee or fee waiver by November 1, submit supporting materials by November 15, and will learn their admissions decision by mid-December.

Cornell’s Early Decision Agreement is on the Common Application under Cornell University > Application > Questions > General. Students do not need to submit a separate agreement from their counselor.

All admission decisions are final. There are three possible admission outcomes from Early Decision:

  • Admit: Admitted applicants must withdraw all other college applications, may not submit any additional applications after accepting the offer, and must accept Cornell's offer of admission by submitting an enrollment deposit by early January.
  • Defer:  Deferred applicants are reconsidered in the Regular Decision pool and are no longer subject to the Early Decision binding commitment.
  • Deny:  Denied applicants will not be considered in the Regular Decision pool.

Those admitted under Early Decision who demonstrate financial aid eligibility and submit all required materials by the deadline will receive a financial aid award at the time of admission. Students may be eligible to be released from the early decision agreement if the financial aid award does not make a Cornell education affordable for applicants and their families.

Cornell University will honor any required commitment to matriculate that has been made to another college under an Early Decision plan.

Regular Decision 

Regular Decision is a non-binding decision plan. Students who apply in Regular Decision submit their application fee and $80 application fee or fee waiver by January 2, submit supporting materials shortly after that date, 2 and learn their admissions decision by early April.

All admission decisions are final. There are three admission outcomes from Regular Decision; the admission committee will:

  • Admit: Admitted applicants must submit an enrollment deposit by May 2 if choosing to enroll at Cornell.
  • Waitlist:  Applicants who are offered a place on the waitlist may elect to be considered for admission if space in the class becomes available.
  • Deny:  Denied applicants can re-apply as transfer candidates in future admissions cycles.

Those admitted under Regular Decision who demonstrate financial aid eligibility and submit all required materials by the deadline will receive a financial aid award at the time of admission.

Choose Your College or School

Which one of cornell's colleges and schools is right for you.

You will apply to only one undergraduate college or school at Cornell. Explore each of our undergraduate colleges and schools at the links below and see which fits you best before filling out your application:

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Architecture, Art and Planning
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Human Ecology
  • Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy
  • Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration
  • Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
  • School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Applicants cannot change the college to which they have applied after they have submitted the Common Application.

Explore our Majors

Review the College and School Admissions Requirements

Read the requirements.

When applying to Cornell University, you'll choose the undergraduate college or school within the university that is the best fit for your interests and talents. While there are general recommendations and requirements for students applying to our university, each college and school has its own unique recommendations and requirements.

Complete the Required Application Components

Application.

Submit the online Common Application . 

Application Fee or Fee Waiver

Pay the $80 nonrefundable application fee or submit a fee waiver.

At Cornell, we are committed to making the application process accessible for all students. We will waive your fee if the application fee presents a hardship for you or your family. Please follow the Common Application instructions to apply for a fee waiver. You may submit any of the following types of fee waivers:

  • The Common Application Fee Waiver that can be submitted online as part of the Common App;
  • The College Board College Application Fee Waiver that is sent to students who used a fee waiver when registering for the SAT;
  • The ACT Waiver of College Admission Applications Fee that may be obtainable from your school counselor if you used an ACT fee waiver;
  • The NACAC Application for Fee Waiver Form completed by your school counselor; or
  • A letter from your school counselor or a representative from a social service or community agency, stating that the fee would cause financial hardship;

If you cannot apply for a fee waiver by one of these methods, please email the Undergraduate Admissions Office at [email protected] . Mail fee waiver documentation to:

Undergraduate Admissions Office Cornell University 410 Thurston Avenue Ithaca, NY 14850

High School Transcript

Official high school/secondary school transcripts must include grades from 9th through 11th grade and list in-progress 12th-grade courses. Early Decision applicants are encouraged to submit first marking period grades when available. Applicants will be required to submit mid-year grades from 12th grade when available.

Your high school should submit official high school transcripts via the Common App or through an online ordering system or eTranscript service. 

Counselor Recommendation

The counselor letter of recommendation highlights a student's accomplishments within the context of their high school. The letter should come from a student’s school counselor, college counselor, principal, or headmaster. Applicants will not be disadvantaged if their high school structure and counselor’s caseload does not allow students the opportunity to build a personal relationship with their counselor.

School Report

Your counselor or designated school official should submit this Common Application form or your school’s own report form on your behalf.

Teacher Evaluations

The two teacher recommendations highlight the applicant’s academic strengths and contributions in the classroom. 

Mid-year Report Transcript

Your counselor or designated school official should submit your mid-year grades from 12th grade, when available, through the Common Application. We understand that some students with schools on trimesters may not have any new grade information to report at the time of submission, and therefore do not need to send a Midyear Report.

Complete Your Cornell Writing Supplement

Cornell writing supplement.

Before submitting your Cornell Common Application, you will also need to write and submit your Cornell First-Year Writing Supplement. Please note that each college and school at Cornell has a different supplement. 

You cannot change the college or school you applied to after submitting your application. 

Review Standardized Testing Policy

Standardized testing.

  • SAT & ACT:  Cornell has updated its policy for students applying to enroll for fall 2025 to a combination of test-recommended or score-free. Cornell has also announced that students applying to enroll for fall 2026 will be required to submit standardized testing scores. 
  • SAT Subject Tests:  These tests are not required or expected for admission to Cornell University.
  • AP Exams, IB Exams, or AICE Exams: Students may opt to self-report AP, IB or AICE exam scores in the testing section of the Common Application.
  • Predicted IB Diploma and A-Levels: Students enrolled in IB and A-Level curricula whose schools submit predicted scores for admission consideration are expected to complete their exams and submit their final results.

Submit Additional Application Items (If Needed)

Alumni meetings.

  • Applicants can request an optional, informal conversation with a Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador by indicating their interest via the Common App Writing Supplement and/or their Cornell Application Status Page.

AP/IB/Dual Enrollment

  • Advanced Placement (AP) Exams: Cornell generally awards credit for Advanced Placement (AP) exams with a score of 4 or 5. For more information, please visit the AP Credit page .
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams: Cornell generally awards credit for International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations for students scoring 6 or 7 on higher level exams. Please visit the International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit page for more information .
  • International Exams: Students who complete various international exams–including A-Levels, Cambridge Pre-University Examinations, German Abitur, and French Baccalauréat–may receive credit. For more information, please visit the International Credentials page .
  • Transfer/Dual Credit: The Registrar of an enrolling student’s Cornell college/school evaluates courses taken at other accredited colleges or universities (or their foreign equivalent) and are appropriate to the Cornell curriculum for potential transfer credit. Transfer credit will not be awarded for courses included on a student’s high school transcript and used to satisfy high school graduation requirements, i.e., dual credit courses. For more information, read our FAQ on how Cornell handles dual enrollment coursework .

Supplemental Materials

  • Architecture: Required portfolio
  • Art: Required portfolio
  • Design and Environmental Analysis: Required design supplement
  • Fashion Design and Management: Required design supplement
  • Landscape Architecture: Required portfolio
  • Music: Optional musical recording supplement for applicants who believe that their musical abilities will enhance their application

Access Your Application Status Page

Application status page.

When we receive your application, we will email you about establishing an online application status account. This email message will be your confirmation that we have received your application. 

Information for Homeschooled Applicants

Homeschooled applicants.

Cornell welcomes applications from students who have been homeschooled. Homeschooled students have the same application requirements and review process as all applicants and are expected to complete the same curriculum requirements as students from traditional high schools. Each homeschooled applicant is encouraged to provide clear, detailed documentation of their curriculum, assessment tools, and learning experiences. Homeschooled students are encouraged to submit a curriculum description and list of educational texts and materials used.

Letters of Recommendation

All applicants, including homeschooled students, must submit the School Report (Counselor Letter of Recommendation) and two Teacher Evaluations. Cornell recommends someone not related to the student complete at least two of the three required letters of recommendation. 

Transcripts

We understand that your transcript may look different from a traditional high school one. However, your transcript should include a list of courses by grade level and performance indicators (such as letter grades or GPA).

If you have completed coursework at one or more traditional high schools, colleges, or universities, submit an official transcript from each institution.

Information for Native and Indigenous Applicants

Native and indigenous applicants.

Native and Indigenous students as well as their advocates, supporters and communities are encouraged to reach out to the Diversity Outreach team to connect with us and learn more about the living and learning opportunities and networks for support available to undergraduate students at Cornell University.

You can reach your point of contact within Undergraduate Admissions at [email protected] .

Cornell University Land Acknowledgement

Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York state and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' people, past and present, to these lands and waters.  

Information for Applicants Who Are US Military Veterans and Current Service Members

Join our community of veteran scholars.

Cornell invites veterans and current members of the military to join its growing community of veteran scholars. 

There’s never been a better time for those who’ve served in the military to consider Cornell. The veteran community is strong and growing, thanks to a renewed commitment to recruit, enroll, and support those who’ve served. 

Cornell’s commitment to military service and those who’ve served isn’t new; it dates back to our founding as the land grant university for New York and the Morrill Land Grant Act requiring every land grant institution to include military training in its curriculum. We are proud of our students who have graduated from Cornell and gone on to serve in the military and we are proud of our veterans who made the choice to attend Cornell after they have served our country. 

Veteran Admissions and Enrollment Support

Cornell’s Military/Veteran Admissions and Enrollment Services team includes staff and trained student veterans who work to support veterans and current members of the military from the prospective student phase through the applications for admission , financial aid , veteran education benefits , and the enrollment process. 

Please reach out to us at [email protected] . We look forward to working with you!

Financial Aid and Veteran Benefits

Cornell meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students and military/veteran applicants are encouraged to apply for financial aid , regardless of their veteran benefits eligibility. Cornell also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program , the supplement to the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill® education benefit. For more information about veteran education benefits, please visit the University Registrar website .

For more information about financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment at [email protected] .

Learn more about the veteran community . 

Information for Applicants Interested in ROTC

Educating military leaders has been a tradition at cornell university for 150 years..

Cornell's long and prestigious military history started with the Morrill Act of 1862. Cornell's founding and designation as New York State's Land Grant University imparted to it the responsibility to provide military training and education programs. Cornell formally established a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) unit in 1917. Cornell graduates have served with distinction in every major conflict since the Spanish-American War. Cornell commissioned more officers in World War I than any other institution in the United States including the military academies. During World War II, Cornellians again responded, with more than 20,000 serving in the armed forces in every theatre of war.

Learn more about ROTC at Cornell here . 

Information for First-Generation College and Low and Moderate Income Applicants

First-generation college and low and moderate income applicants.

Cornell strives to live up to our “any person” ethos, ensuring access to all qualified domestic undergraduate students, regardless of income, assets or family circumstances. Cornell offers financial aid packages that cover the difference between the cost of attendance (which includes living expenses in addition to tuition) and what a family can reasonably be expected to afford.

First Generation College Students and Students from low and moderate income backgrounds as well as their advocates and supporters are encouraged to reach out to Undergraduate Admissions to connect with us and learn more about the living and learning opportunities and networks for support available to undergraduate students at Cornell University.

Information for Applicants with DACA status/Applicants Who Are Undocumented

Daca/undocumented applicants.

Undocumented students with and without DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status as well as their advocates and supporters are encouraged to reach out to Undergraduate Admissions to connect with us and learn more about the living and learning opportunities and networks for support available to undergraduate students at Cornell University.

You can reach your point of contact within Undergraduate Admissions at [email protected] .

Information for United World College Applicants

United world college applicants.

Students attending one of the United World College (UWC) secondary schools around the world as well as their advocates and supporters are encouraged to reach out to Undergraduate Admissions to connect with us and learn more about the living and learning opportunities and networks for support available to undergraduate students at Cornell University.

You can reach your point of contact within Undergraduate Admissions at  [email protected] .

Top Enrollment Resources

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How to write a job application email that gets a reply

woman-at-coffee-shop-writing-on-laptop-job-application-email

Jump to section

First things first: Collect your candidate information

How to write a job application email in 6 steps, 5 email templates for job applications, your email’s first impression.

Imagine you're surfing a job board and you finally see it: your dream job. 

The adrenaline kicks in, but so does the realization that your first contact with the company sets the stage for your professional relationship. This is your initial greeting, and you need to draft a convincing job application email that shows off your experience and ultimately secures that all-important interview.

In the digital age, a simple email carries the weight of a first impression . Think of it as your digital handshake — firm, confident, and memorable. Crafting that perfect email is an art that opens doors to opportunities and sets the stage for your next career move . 

Your email for job applications isn’t just a platform to showcase your professional development . It’s about giving a holistic view of who you are and how that aligns with a company's core values , even though you have limited space. 

But the ultimate goal is to send in your application, and that means collecting all necessary documents and information the job posting asks for. Before penning your thoughts, make sure you have these essentials:

Cover letter: According to a survey from recruiting software Jobvite, 31% of job seekers want companies to remove cover letters from the hiring process . But even if you fall into this group, cover letters are an important step. Consider them your elevator pitch in document form. 

You’ll accentuate your strengths while expressing your enthusiasm for the role. Double-check your cover letter to tailor it to the job description, highlight your accomplishments, and make it more than a regurgitation of your resume.

  • Resume: Your resume represents your professional journey, showcasing your work experience, skills, and educational background. Make sure it’s free from typos and informative without including too much. Remember to choose the right type of resume and rename the file when you attach it, preferably with your full name and the position title.
  • Portfolio or work samples: If you're venturing into fields like graphic design, writing, or any other creative domain, make a portfolio that speaks louder than words. It should encapsulate your style, versatility, and expertise. Make sure it’s up-to-date and mirrors the requirements of the job listing. A website-based portfolio might work for some positions, but others could ask for a PDF.
  • Additional information: Job postings sometimes come with unique demands. They may want to know about certifications, years of experience, or even niche skills. If the job posting lists any specific asks, provide them. This showcases that you’ve read, understood, and met the criteria, demonstrating attention to detail .

According to an eye-tracking study from job aggregate Ladders, recruiters only spend 7.4 seconds looking at each resume . If you want to make a lasting impression and stand out in the job search , every detail counts. Here’s a guide to ensuring recruiters and hiring managers notice you:

1. Include a clear and concise subject line

Your subject line sets the tone. It's the first thing a recruiter sees and often determines whether they’ll even open the email at all. Make it concise and relevant, incorporating the job title and your name, like “Graphic Designer Role — Alex Smith.” This straightforward approach shows you respect the hiring manager's time and helps you stand out in a sea of vague “job application” subject lines.

Beyond the basic info, consider the things that make the role unique. If the job posting emphasizes a specific skill or requirement, try incorporating it, like “Digital Marketing Expert with SEO Specialization — Jamie Carter.” Remember, clarity trumps creativity in this space, so when in doubt, keep it simple.

2. Write the body of your email

Kick off with a professional yet approachable salutation. “To whom it may concern” works if you don’t have the hiring manager or recruiter’s name. But if you do, personalize it to let them know you’re paying attention. 

The opening paragraph should be your hook. Instead of a generic introduction, dive straight into the reasons why you're the candidate they’ve been searching for. Link your experience and skills with the job description to show you've done your homework. Something like “I am a growth expert with 10+ years of experience” is much more effective than “I am interested in the job you posted.”

After the salutation, it's all about engaging the reader. Share a short, relevant anecdote that connects you to the company's mission or the specific role. If it emphasizes innovation , talk about a time you thought outside the box to pioneer a new method or strategy. Prove you’re not looking for any job: you’re looking for this job.

mans-hands-writing-on-tablet-with-electronic-pen-job-application-email

3. Make a pitch

A pitch isn’t about bragging. It’s about succinctly conveying what makes you unique. Use the body of your email to highlight a couple of key achievements or experiences that align with the role. Maybe you boosted sales by 30% in your last job or led a team that executed a successful project. 

After your initial pitch, tie it back to the company. Explain how your work accomplishments will directly benefit the team. If you boosted those sales by 30%, explain how that experience will transfer over to this new position. Connect your past victories to their future successes. 

You don’t have to write a full cover letter in the body of your email (unless that’s what the posting asks for). Just use the space to further explain your candidacy and motivation .

4. Provide your contact information

Ensure potential employers can easily reach you. Even if you’ve included your contact information in your resume, your email should have your phone number, professional email address, and your LinkedIn profile .

Beyond the basics, make yourself available for follow-up questions or discussions. Offer a time frame when you’re most reachable, like “Available for calls between 2 PM and 4 PM on weekdays.” It not only shows initiative but subtly communicates respect for their time by eliminating back-and-forth scheduling.

5. Rename your resume files

This might sound like a minor detail, but your file names are more important than you think. A resume with a title like “Resume1” or “MarketingCV_final” doesn’t scream professionalism and makes it harder for recruiters to keep track of your docs. Keep it simple with a format like “AlinaJones_ProjectManager” to make your resume stand out .

If you're submitting multiple documents, like a cover letter or a list of references , ensure they all follow a consistent naming pattern. This looks more professional and helps recruiters organize your materials. Think “AlinaJones_CoverLetter” and “AlinaJones_References.” It’s clean and shows attention to detail.

mans-hand-with-a-ring-typing-on-laptop-job-application-email

6. Add your portfolio

For jobs where showing beats telling, the quality of your portfolio is critical. Include your portfolio as an attachment or as a link, depending on your preference and what the job posting asks for. Just ensure that whatever you share represents your best work.

In a 2019 study, Mailchimp found that the average email open rate is only 21% — meaning recruiters might not read your email at all. That’s why your application needs to rise above the noise. Save time and write the best application possible with these tailor-made job application templates:

1. Entry-level job application example

You're at the starting line of your professional journey, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have value as an applicant. Your motivation and educational experience can still be enough to show employers you’re a good candidate.

This sample letter can help you express your enthusiasm for the role you’re applying for and showcase the skills and experiences that make you the perfect fit:

Subject line: [Full name] – [Position]

To whom it may concern,

I’m [full name], a passionate [field of interest], writing to express my interest in the entry-level [position] at [company name]. I discovered the role on [job board/company website] and am drawn to it because of [company's mission/vision/reputation].

My educational journey equipped me with [relevant skills], further enhanced by my [previous job] at [other company name]. This experience instilled a passion for crafting innovative solutions that align with [company mission].

I am attaching my resume detailing my qualifications. Thank you for considering my application. 

Sincerely, 

[Full name]

[Contact information]

woman-writing-on-notebook-while-looking-at-laptop-job-application-email

2. Mid-career job application example

You have a wealth of experience under your belt and are ready for a new challenge. This sample letter will help you articulate your accomplishments and how they align with the new role you’re seeking:

Dear [hiring manager’s name],

I am an accomplished [job title] with [number] years of professional experience. I came across the position at [company name] on [job board/company website], and I'm excited about the possibility of contributing to [company’s project or goal].

My journey in [industry] involves [relevant skills and responsibilities], with significant contributions to companies like [other company names]. I feel confident that my expertise can bring valuable insights to your team.

My resume, attached for your review, provides more detailed information about my qualifications and achievements. I look forward to discussing our mutual goals and aspirations.

[Full name] 

3. Change of field sample job application

Making a career change is daunting, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Your diverse background brings a unique perspective to the table, so use this chance to explain your transferable skills and experience. This sample email will help you highlight your expertise and express your eagerness to enter a new field:

Subject line: [Full Name] – [Position]

Hello [hiring manager’s name]

My name is [full name], and I’m applying for the [job title] opening at [company name]. I saw this role on [job board/company website] and it immediately stood out to me because [company or position details].

Having served as a [previous role], I deeply understand [relevant skill or specialty]. This foundation, combined with my recent experience with [relevant skill or specialty], equips me to [listed job requirement]. I’m ready to offer a unique perspective to your team.

Please refer to the attached documents for a comprehensive look at my qualifications. I'm available for a call this week or next to delve deeper into how my background can be an asset to your projects.

4. Return to workforce

Taking a break from your career is sometimes necessary, and that doesn’t make you a lesser candidate when you decide to return. You don’t have to go into detail about your career break in your application, but it is good to mention so hiring managers know you’re honest and transparent . 

This sample letter will help you communicate your readiness to get back to work and your enthusiasm for the role or industry you’re re-entering:

Subject line: [Full Name] – [Position] Re-entering the [Industry] Scene

I’m an experienced [job title] interested in the open role at [company name]. With a decade's worth of experience with [skill], notably at [other company name], I have a proven track record in executing, delegating, and prioritizing tasks efficiently. I'm prepared to merge my prior expertise with fresh insights for your upcoming projects.

Over the past few years, I took a break in my career, and I’m eager to re-enter the workforce. During this time, I stayed up-to-date on the industry, [subject] in particular, and I’m also [note any accomplishments from your break].

I've attached my resume detailing my journey and accomplishments. Please let me know if you need further information.

5. Recent graduate application letter example

If you've recently graduated and are ready to embark on your career journey, don’t be afraid to state that in your application. Your knowledge is fresh, and that’s an asset. This sample letter will help you highlight your academic achievements and relevant experiences as you express your excitement for the role:

Subject line: [Full Name] – [Degree]

I am [full name], a [year] [degree] graduate, and I’m reaching out regarding the role at [company name], which I found on [job board/company website].

My academic achievements and internship at [previous company] gave me a robust foundation in [relevant skill or specialty]. I'm eager to apply these skills to enhance brand engagement at [company name] while continuing to grow my expertise.

Enclosed, please find my resume and relevant documents. I look forward to discussing how I can contribute to [company project/goal].

Navigating the job market is no easy task, but a compelling job application email can be your ticket to standing out. Remember, it's all about showcasing your strengths, experiences, and passion — so, put your best foot forward and make every word count.

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motivation letter

  • IDP Education /
  • Tips and Example of Motivat...

Tips and Example of Motivation Letter for Scholarship

On this page, motivation letter for scholarship.

Topics covered

  • 19 May 2024

Studying abroad is a dream of many students. But, before getting there, there are many things that need to be prepared, one of which is the cost of studying.

It's not impossible if you go abroad at your own expense or through a sponsor. But another option that you shouldn't miss is scholarships.

Apart from the IELTS certificate, documents that are quite important in applying for scholarships are scholarship recommendation letters and motivation letters. Do you know what the difference is between these two?

Difference between Recommendation Letter and Motivation Letter

There are many ways to get free study abroad scholarships. Even so, the terms and conditions they need are not much different, such as scholarship recommendation letters and motivation letters. A scholarship recommendation letter is a letter written by someone who has worked or mentored you directly, for example a teacher, lecturer, or supervisor, who can provide an assessment of your performance or potential. Because of this, recommendation letters generally contain an objective description of the experience and skills you have from another perspective.

Meanwhile, a motivation letter is a letter that contains an explanation of your motivation and qualifications so that you are eligible to receive a scholarship. Unlike a letter of recommendation, a motivation letter is made by yourself as a scholarship applicant.

In this article, we will not discuss examples of scholarship recommendation letters. Instead, we focus on how to write and examples of motivation letters.

Tips for Writing a Motivation Letter

Motivation letter is an important document. While not all scholarships require this letter but if you have the opportunity to include it at the time of application, make sure you do your best. The motivation letter you write for a scholarship is slightly different from the essay you may need to include when applying. This letter shows the quality of yourself so that the scholarship or university provider believes that you are the right person to receive the scholarship. Broadly speaking, a motivation letter contains two general things, that are the reasons why you are the right candidate to get a scholarship, and what contribution you will make with the knowledge you have. In writing a motivation letter, there are several things you need to understand so that the letter has a clear structure and convincing content, including:

1. Follow the Application Writing Guidelines

It may look simply, but you need to re-examine the guidelines for writing scholarship applications. Make sure that what you write follows the guidelines, starting from the format, length, and content. If the scholarship awarding institution doesn't provide specific guidelines, you can write it in a standard format such as text about half to one page long in Times New Roman or Arial font with a size of 12 points.

2. Knowing What You Want to Write

Before writing a motivation letter, you need to understand the outline of the letter. Don't let any part be missed.

Mention the reason why you are applying for a scholarship abroad. Because this letter is intended for a scholarship, you need to state your reasons for choosing the scholarship by explaining your educational background and experience. If you have worked, done an internship, or participated in social activities, you can share these experiences to strengthen your reason for applying for a scholarship. With good delivery and flow, your scholarship application letter can leave a distinct impression on the assessor.

Explain the reasons for choosing the major and the destination campus In addition to the reasons for choosing a scholarship, you also need to write down the reasons why you chose a particular major and campus. For example, you have good public speaking skills, so this scholarship is intended to deepen and hone that knowledge. Things like this are what you should add as reasons for choosing your major and destination campus.

Share your plan or contribution to the scholarship In this section, you can focus on your mission, study goals, and what you want to achieve or plan to achieve through this scholarship. For example, you aim to get a master's degree in health scholarship with the hope of building a clinic in a remote area of Indonesia.

3. Focus on Your Strengths

When telling about your educational background and experiences, you also need to add things you are good at. Focus on personal strengths, not on challenges or limitations. In that way, you will be seen as someone who is able to understand the value of yourself and can use it for the plans.

4. Connecting Between the Desired Majors and the Scholarships Applied For

The motivation letter must link your future plans to the scholarship you are applying for. This letter should provide the reader with an understanding that you are genuinely interested in studying a particular field, and that your choice will benefit not only yourself but also the scholarship provider and others. This can strengthen the reasons why you deserve the scholarship.

5. Write with Your Own Personality

Everyone's interests, language style, and perspective are different. So, write your motivation letter in a way that reflects how you would speak to the assessor in real time. Write the letter as naturally as possible by providing interesting things about yourself that can make the letter different from others.

Things to Avoid in Writing a Motivation Letter

Ready to start writing your motivation letter? Before that, there is one more thing that you need to pay attention to. There are some common mistakes to avoid if you want to increase your chances of being accepted into your favorite courses or university on a scholarship.

Do not copy other people's motivation letters. Seeing examples from the internet is not wrong. However, use that motivation letter example as a reference only and as a consideration what you need to write about.

Making motivational letters too formal and will sounds too boring. Write sentences fluently and use words that reflect your true thoughts. No need to use complicated words or terms, just choose good diction and avoid repeating words.

Not showing your enthusiasm to apply for a scholarship or to study in a particular major. This can be seen from the style of language you use in the motivation letter. If you really want to get the scholarship, you will write it in order, neat and detailed.

Using an inappropriate font or format.

Sending a motivational letter without reviewing its contents. Make sure you've checked spelling, content, and the relationship between each paragraph.

So far, you already know the tips on writing motivation letters. The next part, you will see the example motivation letter.

Motivation Letter Example

There are several types of motivation letters that you can write. However, below is an example of a motivation letter written for a scholarship application in the field of language and culture.

Dear Sir or Madam, My name is [your name], and I am writing this letter to express my interest in a scholarship for a cultural studies programme. I’ve always been passionate about learning other cultures and how they influence people. Moreover, I am sure that this opportunity can enrich my future studies and help me reach my career prospects. During my prior studies, I joined the student and local community which helped me develop social skills and experience a range of activities that support humanities. I have a great passion for meeting new people from different backgrounds, to know and learn about their culture. I believe this programme will provide me with a variety of tools to analyse how social norms are created, exchanged and produced in a cultural context. As a student, I tend to think critically. Before saying something, I try to analyze and see the problem from various perspectives. In that way, it can be more structured and have a clear direction. My ideas will also be more easily accepted and appreciated by those who hear them. Thank you for considering my application. Hopefully, I can get this scholarship opportunity and reach my future. I look forward to your positive response. Sincerely, [Your name]

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IMAGES

  1. Sample Application Letter for College Admission Download Printable PDF

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  2. How to write a Motivation Letter for University

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  3. FREE 30+ Application Letter Samples & Templates in PDF

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  4. application letter for university admission

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  5. FREE 31+ Sample Application Letter Sample & Templates in PDF, MS Word

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  6. Application Letter For University Admission

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VIDEO

  1. Application Letter For Scholarship

  2. Write Application || letter || essay

  3. How to write Application letter and CV[Loosu hasatto ku'laatonna Ayimmate xawishshi huunco borreessa

  4. Application for Admission in College

  5. WRITE A LETTER TO SAMPLE APPLICATION LETTER FOR SCHOOL ADMISSION 🏫 VERY EASY LETTER

  6. How write a Reference or Recommendation Letter for university

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write an Application Letter for University (+Sample Included

    Use a proper salutation. Begin your college application letter with a formal salutation. The standard, in this case, is "Dear". Be sure to avoid informal salutations such as "Hey", "Hi", and "Hello". 💡 Tip: Do your best to personalize your university application letter in every way that you can.

  2. University Admission Application Letter (with Samples & PDFs)

    How to Write University Admission Application Letter. Some writing tips to help you craft a better application: Start with your personal information including your full name, address, the date, and the recipient's address. Open the letter with a formal salutation, addressing the admissions committee or specific admission officer, if known.

  3. University Application Letter Example: Free & Effective

    University Application Letter Example Template. Dear Admissions Committee, I am writing to express my enthusiastic application for the [Program Name] at [University Name]. My interest in [Subject or Field of Study] was sparked by [brief personal anecdote or experience that ignited your passion in the field].

  4. Sample Letter Of Interest For University Admission: Free & Effective

    Example. A personal anecdote. "My journey with community service began with a single, small act of kindness…". A career aspiration. "As a budding environmentalist, XYZ University's commitment to sustainability speaks to my deepest convictions.". An academic interest.

  5. College Application Letter

    1. School Name and Address. You college application letter should follow formal letter formatting guidelines, which include writing the full name of the college or university you are applying to in the upper left hand corner of the letter. Try to be as specific as possible with the address you choose to use. 2.

  6. How to Write Motivation Letter for University with Examples

    A motivation letter serves as a crucial component of your university application, offering you the opportunity to showcase your personality, aspirations, and suitability for the program you are applying to. It goes beyond listing your achievements and qualifications, providing the admissions committee with insight into your character, interests ...

  7. How to write a Motivation Letter for University (Sample)

    The motivation letter is an excellent medium for speaking directly to the university committee and making a solid case for getting their thumbs up. That's why you have to put in the extra work and be sure to: Write simply, concisely, and from your heart. Exhibit all your strengths and skills related to your desired studies.

  8. Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay

    Follow these tips to write an impactful essay that can work in your favor. 1. Start Early. Few people write well under pressure. Try to complete your first draft a few weeks before you have to turn it in. Many advisers recommend starting as early as the summer before your senior year in high school.

  9. How do I Write an Application Letter to Study at a University?

    Make sure the first couple sentences of your letter are interesting and engaging. Revise as necessary to capture the attention of the admissions board. First impressions matter a lot when you are competing with other qualified applicants. Next. slowly read every line of your letter paying close attention to grammar, punctuation and capitalization.

  10. How To Write a College Application Cover Letter (With Template)

    1. Write your name and street address. At the top of your cover letter, write your first and last name. On a separate line include your street address, followed by your city, state and zip code on another line. 2. Include the date. Below your contact information, write the date you plan on sending the cover letter.

  11. PDF WRITING AN APPLICATION LETTER

    The letter of application is essentially a sales letter. In it, you are trying to sell your services and, in most cases, you will be competing with other applicants. Your immediate objective is to have your letter read by someone in the organization who has authority to screen job applicants; your ultimate goal is to obtain an interview.

  12. How to Write an Application Letter to Study at a University

    Edit the content and structure of your letter. Start by reading the letter aloud and having another person do the same. Make sure your letter addresses the topic or questions and then spell and grammar check your letter. Write the final draft and complete another spell and grammar check before you submit it. According to Indiana University, a ...

  13. Writing Cover Letters for University Applications [2023 Guide]

    A successful cover letter for a university application should contain specific elements that demonstrate the applicant's qualifications, achievements, and passion for the program. These elements include: Addressing the letter to the appropriate recipient. Crafting an engaging introduction that captures the reader's attention.

  14. How to Write a Standout Letter of Intent for Graduate School

    Header. Your letter of intent should follow the format of a formal business letter, which includes the name and address of the person you're addressing, the date, and a formal salutation. Typically, you'll want to find each program's graduate director and address your letter to them, using the program's or department's mailing address ...

  15. Academic Cover Letters

    At their most basic level, academic cover letters accomplish three things: one, they express your interest in the job; two, they provide a brief synopsis of your research and teaching; and three, they summarize your past experiences and achievements to illustrate your competence for the job. For early-career scholars, cover letters are ...

  16. How To Write an Application Letter (With Template and Example)

    Follow these steps to compose a compelling application letter: 1. Research the company and job opening. Thoroughly research the company you're applying to and the specifications of the open position. The more you know about the job, the better you can customize your application letter. Look for details like:

  17. How to Write a Personal Statement

    Insert a quote from a well-known person. Challenge the reader with a common misconception. Use an anecdote, which is a short story that can be true or imaginary. Credibility is crucial when writing a personal statement as part of your college application process. If you choose a statistic, quote, or misconception for your hook, make sure it ...

  18. Write a Successful Motivation Letter for Your Master's

    The motivation letter usually refers to an application letter you would write when applying for a university. ... You might also find motivation letters for university applications being called personal statement letters. But a motivation letter is not the same as a personal statement. The difference is in how long the letter is supposed to be ...

  19. Guide On How To Write A Cover Letter For A University

    The header usually includes your name, occupation, address, phone number and email . 2. Greeting. The greeting line of a university application letter, also known as a salutation, is where you say your greetings. In a university application letter, don't go too inventive. A simple "Hey" is obviously ineffective.

  20. University Cover Letter Example · Resume.io

    Use this University cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast - no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for University positions in 2024. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes. 4.8.

  21. How to write your university application

    Click on the choices section and enter the universities and courses you've decided to apply to. Once you've added them all, click on the 'confirm choices' button on the bottom left to mark the section as complete. Your application will be linked to your college, so if your referee is one of your teachers they'll enter their reference into ...

  22. How to Write a Letter of Application (Example & Tips)

    No hard numbers. "I worked in a team and provided customer service to elderly residents". 5. Choose engaging words for your application letter. Your letter of application's length should be 250 to 400 words or 3 to 4 paragraphs — long enough to get your point across but short enough that the reader won't lose interest.

  23. 4 Ways to Write an Application Letter

    Use a formal closing. When you get to the end of your letter, add a space, then include a closing, like "Sincerely" and sign your name. [11] Sometimes, it's appropriate to type your name, then print out the letter and sign it in pen. That can be a nice touch. 5. Put your contact information in the header.

  24. How to Write a School Application Letter: Tips and Samples

    3. Gather Necessary Information and Documents. Collect all the important papers and details you need for your application, such as your academic records, test results from exams, recommendation letters, and people who can vouch for you. Make sure that all the documents are current, correct, and easy to access.

  25. Crafting The Perfect Academic Cover Letter: A Step-By-Step Guide

    It is imperative to include a cover letter in your job application package when applying to academic jobs. A cover letter serves as a personal introduction, adding depth and context to your CV or resume. In order to better understand its specific purpose, let's look at: 1.

  26. First-Year Applicants

    Please follow the Common Application instructions to apply for a fee waiver. You may submit any of the following types of fee waivers: The Common Application Fee Waiver that can be submitted online as part of the Common App; The College Board College Application Fee Waiver that is sent to students who used a fee waiver when registering for the SAT;

  27. First Year

    Admission to the BFA in Creative Writing requires a statement of purpose, writing sample and letter of recommendation submitted in the application portal. Music Open Accordion. In addition to the application to the University, a separate Music Major Application is required. Students who perform successfully in the audition and their theory ...

  28. Your Key to Success: A Guide to Writing and Requesting Letters of

    Structure of a letter of recommendation for students. A classic letter of recommendation consists of several thematic parts. Universities usually do not impose strict requirements on the structure or content of letters of recommendation. I recommend writing a five-part letter of recommendation that answers various questions from the university.

  29. How to Write a Job Application Email (Examples & Templates)

    1. Include a clear and concise subject line. Your subject line sets the tone. It's the first thing a recruiter sees and often determines whether they'll even open the email at all. Make it concise and relevant, incorporating the job title and your name, like "Graphic Designer Role — Alex Smith.".

  30. Tips and Example of Motivation Letter for Scholarship

    So far, you already know the tips on writing motivation letters. The next part, you will see the example motivation letter. Motivation Letter Example. There are several types of motivation letters that you can write. However, below is an example of a motivation letter written for a scholarship application in the field of language and culture.