Sample Letter College Essay

Writing a College Application Letter (with Samples)
Use these sample college application request letters as templates for your formal request.

The letter that helps determine whether or not you will be accepted into the college of your choice is a big feat. The admissions process has increasingly become more competitive. No specific letter-writing approach can promise that you will get admission, but a few tips help you to have a better chance at obtaining acceptance.

Research the College

​Study and read everything there is about the college. The main objective is to convey how much you adore this college and that it is perfect for you. Think about it as if you were trying to convince someone to date you.

​When looking for someone to go on a date with, you want to know all there is about this person. You would want to know a great deal about this person to be able to communicate effectively.



Dating is a long process that lets two people to get to know each other better to see if the relationship can develop further. A college application letter is very similar to the dating process in how it works.
​The goal is to let the admissions counselor know all about you and to give them enough that they think you might be a good fit for what they have to offer.​

Convey Why You Want To Attend

The main thing the letter needs to convey is why you want to attend this specific college. It is important to not embellish too much and end up sounding unrealistic. Avoid statements like “I think Washington State is the greatest college in the entire world and I've desired to go there since I was a child. Try to honestly lay out all the reasons why you think this college is perfect for you. After all, isn’t this whole reason you’re applying to this college anyway.​

Market Yourself


Every college has a type of student that they specifically look for, market yourself as that student. Clearly, you must mention the academic qualifications you have, especially if you are on the honor roll. While applications do look at academics, admittance is not all based on a person’s academic standing.

If the college is known for having an outstanding drama club or sports team, and those areas are something you excel in, then be sure to make mention of this. Take a look at the brochure for the college; does it talk about community or civic events? If you are involved in different things around the community, mention that. Reading all documentation on the school can give you an advantage​

Clarify That You Have Something Unique To Offer

Clarify that you have something unique to offer. After talking about why you are perfect for the college, start focusing on what the college offers that is good for you. You can focus on anything from the local art club to the desire to be a part of the football team.

​Just because you are an honor roll student won’t necessarily give you an advantage. Keep in mind that there will be thousands of other individuals who have great greats applying as well. It is important to showcase why you will be a great addition to the college campus.

Double-Check the Letter

​The worst thing you can do is submit a letter with grammatical or spelling errors. Have others look over the letter and make sure it is error free. While it may be a pain, one of the first reasons that and choose one application over another is a badly spelled letter. Below is a sample entrance application letter.

Sample 1 - College Application Letter
Name of Applicant
Address of Applicant
City, State, Zip Code

DATE

Name of Head of Admissions
Name of College
Address of College
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Name of Head of Admissions:

After doing much research about colleges in the area that have a Psychology program, I am applying to Ohio State University because of the outstanding reputation and the exceptional reviews that I have read from other recent graduates. Additionally, I am enthusiastic about Psychology program at the Ohio State University because of the graduate psychology programs that are offered.

Currently, I am just beginning my journey and ready to dive into the undergraduate studies program. My ultimate goal is to finish the Psychology program at Ohio State University. Once I have completed my undergraduate in psychology, my desire is to continue my studies and enter the graduate program for psychology where I may be a counselor dealing with children.

​I am sure this is the correct career path, as I grew up in a family where my father was a counselor and my mother a social worker. My father is a graduate of the Ohio State University, and my mother a graduate of OU University. Considering both of my parents have similar career paths, I feel like I would be honoring them and their dedication to helping others by entering this field of work. 

Pursuing a psychology major is my long-term goal, and I would like to start by earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Ohio State University. I have attached my application, as well as transcripts, an essay, and all of my letters of recommendation as defined in my admissions packet. I appreciate your time and consideration and look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Sincerely,

Signature of Applicant
Printed Name of Applicant
Enclosure: Application Form, high school marks list, Advanced Placement scores, SAT scores and all other required information
Sample 2 - College Application Letter
Name of Applicant
Address of Applicant
City, State, Zip Code

DATE

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.

Sincerely,

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

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When you are applying for college admission, it's important to do everything possible to make sure your application really stands out. Sending a cover letter in support of your application materials can be a great way to capture admissions officers' attention in a positive way while also giving them a chance to learn a little bit about your personality and unique circumstances.

Example Cover Letters for College Applications

You can use a cover letter whether you are applying via the common application or if you are submitting an individual admission packet.

  • If you are using the common application, send the cover letter at the same time that you complete the application or a few days before.
  • If you are submitting a school-specific applicant packet, include the letter with all of your other materials.

Choose the sample letter below that best fits your needs and adjust it to convey key highlights of why you should be considered for admission. To access each letter, simply click the image. It will open as an editable PDF file that you can customize, save and print. This guide for Adobe printables can be of assistance if you need help accessing the documents.

Writing Your College Application Cover Letter

While the samples here are great starting points, you will need to adjust them to focus on your specific situation. You will need to include:

  • Why you want to attend this particular school
  • What your academic interests are
  • How the school is a good fit for your academic interests and long-term goals
  • How your background and future interests make you a great candidate to consider
  • Any special connections you have to the school (i.e., do you have relatives who graduated from the school?)
  • Details on how the other components of your application packet will be received
  • A specific request to consider you for admission
  • Details on how to contact you

Stand Out to College Admission Officers

A well-written cover letter can be a terrific add-on to your college application package. Not everyone will think to send this kind of document, so it just might help you stand out among the other applicants. Of course, a poorly-written letter can have the opposite effect. So, be sure that your letter follows an appropriate business letter format, really presents you in a positive light, is well-written and error-free.

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