The admissions committee of your desired colleges are very busy people; they read and evaluate hundreds of applications every single day, bringing in students who will be a good fit for their institution.
Your application file and the letter of intent is the first thing they see about you as a potential applicant, and since they get a lot of letters to review, you should create yours in a way that convinces them to choose you.
Your letter needs to be informative and interesting, have a personal touch, and, most importantly, specify why you want to join this program and why you would be the perfect candidate.
Don’t know where to begin? You’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know while writing a letter of intent for college.
Why Write a Letter of Intent for College
A statement of purpose or an LOI (Letter of Intent) is a clear, brief, and focused essay that is submitted to college admissions as a part of the application process.
This letter establishes your educational and career background, helping the admission officers review if you are a worthy candidate for their college program.
It is in your best interest to submit a high-quality letter of intent that highlights and sells your skills and strength, both professionally and academically.
Your LOI is a very studied letter, so be as specific as possible about your intentions of joining this particular course in the institution of your choice, and don’t neglect the college’s guidelines and deadline submissions.
9 Best Practices for Writing a Solid Letter of Intent for College
So now, let’s work your way into creating the most effective and quality letter of intent that will get you into the college and course of your choice.
Let’s take a look at the nine most effective practices for writing a letter of intent for college.
1. Read the requirements carefully
Every academic institution has a unique set of requirements for its application process. More often than not, they require you to tailor your letter of intent according to their guidelines.
Note down the deadlines, the specific format to use, the list of required documents, and any questions or queries that should be addressed in the letter. Some of these requirements will have word limits; some will ask you to do an exercise or answer a simple question.
You might also need to submit a letter of recommendation so start preparing for it in advance.
2. Do your research
Find out all the information you can gather about your college.
Closely read through their goals and mission, years of service, their method of teaching, which the faculty is, extracurricular activities, etc. Browse through their college website or look up online for any additional information that you may require.
For example, you may find a list of courses for undergraduate programs that can be applied to or reading materials and course structure for each of the subjects. You could also note the duration of the program and read through reviews of the school alums to get a better understanding of your college program.
Your next step is to analyze and jot down what qualities you should possess to be a part of this particular college program and how you can add value to the institution.
3. Brainstorm your experiences
Write down all your major life achievements, recent experiences related to your desired field, or any awards that you have received.
Explain how your experiences of researching, project writing, and other personal knowledge and skills have strengthened your academic abilities and made you the skilled and professional person you are today. In the same way, showcase your qualifications and mastery of knowledge in your particular field and how you can overcome certain challenges or pressures.
It’s a good idea to organize your experiences into these specific categories:
- academic experiences;
- job or internship experiences (if any);
- volunteer experiences;
- extracurricular experiences;
- personal experiences.
It’s important to write down experiences that are relevant to your selected course or college program.
4. Address it to the right person
Letters of intent are generally addressed to the educational institution, but it’s advisable to find out if there is a specific person in the admissions committee you need to address or email the letter to.
Find out the name of the person and use the appropriate salutation (‘Dear XYZ’) while writing the letter of intent.
Remember: you need to opt for a formal tone and write professionally.
5. Emphasize what you can bring to the program
Think of what experiences will be influential and helpful during your college life.
The admissions committee is looking for students whose skills, qualifications, and achievements fit their college perfectly. So, you would want them to know why you are an asset to them.
Here’s a useful video by Write Track Admissions that talks about how you can address your strengths and weaknesses while writing an essay for admissions.
Write about your talents, your accomplishments, what you plan to do with your time in college and what your goals are.
You can use your experiences to draw out skills relating to the program to show where and how you can be of value to them. Stand out amongst a large number of applicants. Remember to be truthful and authentic.
It’s also a good practice to praise the institution you are applying to and give them reasons why you chose this college instead of their competitors.
6. Mention your goal
State what your plan is after you get a degree and graduate from this course. Explain and expand on some of your career goals that would get enhanced through the college program’s specific courses.
The admissions committee is always looking for graduates or alumni who grow from their legacy, so make sure to clearly emphasize your achievements and accomplishments that would reflect greatly on the institution.
7. Be specific and clear
Unless specified by the institution, your letter of intent shouldn’t be more than one page long.
So, make sure you state your points and arguments early on in the letter. Cite key examples and facts throughout your essay. Beating around the bush is unacceptable, so be direct.
Brainstorm why you are passionate about this field, what made you want to pursue this course, and what challenges did you face -- write these answers in the context of how they have motivated your academic choice and career.
8. Present evidence
Don’t just say it; show it.
This is useful writing advice that applies to letters of intent too.
The proof or the evidence here refers to how you can show your admissions committee that you’ve met the university standards and are hoping to get approved.
For example, if you are applying for a business program in college and you’re a senior in high school, explain how you've used business tactics and strategies in your projects and other academic settings.
Use a related personal experience in your letter, demonstrating to the admissions committee how you can excel in their course and college program.
Conclude the letter by thanking them for their time, adding your phone number, and stating that you would be happy to answer any questions they have if needed.
9. Revise and proofread
The final and most crucial step you must take before sending out your letter of intent to your desired college is to revise it multiple times and proofread it thoroughly. It is such an easy and important task that often gets neglected.
If you ignore proofreading your letter, there could be multiple spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, incoherent sentences, repetitive phrases, vague & un-cited examples, etc., that could instantly diminish your chances of getting into the college you want.
Avoid using specific words, slang, or jargon just to show off your knowledge. It is always advisable to use simple words that make your letter of intent smooth to read and easy to understand.
The letter of intent you submit is a make or break. No pressure.
It is the primary step in working towards your college goals. It demonstrates your learning abilities, your extracurricular activities, and your leadership skills and displays exactly why you should be the perfect fit to be a part of the college program.
It is a pivotal process that needs careful planning. Here’s hoping our nine best practices for writing a letter of intent for colleges will help you excel in this and get you through the first stage of the admissions process.
If you’re not confident about submitting a well-written letter of intent, Writers Per Hour is here to help. Our team of experts what goes into writing a letter of intent that stands out and gets candidates to the next stage.
All you have to do is provide us with the guidelines, and we’ll put together a top-notch letter of intent for college.
Last edit at Jul 27 2023