A college application cover letter is the first document a college admission committee will see. They will read it before looking at the application, which is why it should give an idea of who the applicant is, including his or her interests, goals, motivation as well as why the applicant would make a good fit for the college. Most colleges are looking for a certain type of student.
The letter is also the first sample of the applicant’s writing skills. Before writing the letter, the applicant should learn and follow the college or university’s requirements for an application letter. If the applicant is planning to send application letters to several colleges, he or she needs to follow the requirements of each college. There is no one-size-fits-all for this type of letter. However, there are some guidelines for any college application cover letter.
Before writing the letter and after selecting the college to which the applicant will apply, he or she should gather all the required information. This may include the application form, test scores, school marks sheets, reference letters from former teachers or other important people. Most schools will accept the SAT or ACT scores, but the applicant should find out if the college has a preference. This information can usually be found on the college’s website.
The applicant should call the college and ask for the name of the person in charge of admissions. The letter should be addressed to this person. Here are some tips for writing a creative and interesting letter that follows the instructions of the college. The applicant should:
• Stay within the word limit prescribed for this letter
• Use correct spelling and grammar
• Not use slang terms or text message abbreviations
• Submit the application before the deadline
• Get letters of recommendation in time
• Not misspell the name of the college or admissions officer
The applicant may apply at the usual time, which is after the senior year, first semester grades are given. However, they can apply for early action or early decision.
If an applicant believes he or she has the credentials to get admission after their junior year of high school, they can request early action. If early action is granted it means the applicant will receive a decision by a certain date. The decisions may be that they get admission, their application is deferred or they are denied admission. If they get admission, it is not binding. Colleges have terms for early action, which usually means the applicant can only apply to one college for early action.
Early decision is binding, which means if the applicant gets an early decision for admission, they cannot go to another college even if they get a scholarship to another college. If they decide to apply for early decision, they must be very sure that is the college they want.
Below is a sample college application cover letter. Since it needs to make a good impression on the receiver, it should be written in formal business-letter style. It will accompany the college application form and any other documents required for gaining admission, so it should be sent by courier or certified mail to make sure it gets to the right person. The applicant should keep copies of every document they send to the college because colleges lose applications every year.
Sample College Application Cover Letter
Name of Applicant
Address of Applicant
City, State, Zip Code
Name of Head of Admissions
Name of College
Address of College
City, State, Zip Code
Dear Name of Head of Admissions:
This letter is a formal request for admission to Name of College. I have looked at several colleges that offer Bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Applications, and chose Name of College because of its commitment to its environmental program. Your program is very extensive covering many more aspects of global warming than other colleges in this state. For example, you offer courses on the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Forest Stewardship Council and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design among other things.
My aim is to participate in forming government environmental policy, and believe that Name of College is the best option to prepare me for this challenge. I have worked for the past two years in a waste management company and helped create innovative approaches to recycling certain items. Learning as much as I can about sustainable living in different aspects of commercial enterprises, will help me create fair and beneficial public policy.
My application form and all of the required document are enclosed. I hope for a favorable response from you. If you would like arrange an appointment or have any questions, I can be reached at Phone Number or at Email Address. Thank you for your kind attention to my application.
Signature of Applicant
Printed Name of Applicant
Enclosure: Application Form, high school marks list, Advanced Placement scores, SAT scores and all other required information
By Andre Bradley