Application Letters

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College application letter: First impression is the best

A good college application letter is important as it shapes the first impression that the admission board is going to have of you. Of course, your academic and co-curricular transcripts are there for scrutiny, but the application letter kind of gives a personal touch to it all.

Before starting on your college application letter, you need to decide on the theme or thesis of the letter. You should evaluate what your strengths and weaknesses are. Highlight your strong points so that the weak points appear more palatable. Try imagining yourself in an interview and being given 20 minutes to explain about you and your life. That is how your college application letter should look like.

The college application letter should have a direction and it should succeed in getting your message through. The application letter should illustrate examples from your life to support your claims, and it is up to you to decide on how much of it all that you want to reveal.

Flattery about the facilities in the college or false modesty is not going to get you anywhere as the board will be immune to such charms. Every year the admission boards of the colleges receive thousands of applications; you need to stand out from this crowd and prove why they should give you admission to the college.

You should start your letter with an attention grabbing lead and the whole letter has to start and end on an impressive note. Don’t make things up or give feeble excuses for your GPA or SAT scores.

The college application letter should not be too vivid nor should it be too comprehensive. A lengthy essay can often work against you, as too much information can undermine the relevance of any single point. In the same way, a comprehensive essay can appear too dull and wishy-washy.

Avoid clichéd expressions and commonly found writing patterns. It is also better to avoid unnecessary words and lengthy phrases. General humor is good but you should not look like a joker in your application letter. More important, your college application letter should bear the stamp of your individuality.

Don’t put off drafting your college application letter until the last minute as you need time to prepare for it. Once you draft your letter, ask someone to read it so that they can give you an impersonal review. You should be open to criticism at this point as it can help you improve your letter. Draft the final copy of the letter only after you are fully satisfied of the content.

The college application letter can be a make or break point in deciding your admission, especially in the case of private colleges. So, you need to put your best effort into choosing the right theme, words, and presentation of your college application letter.