Letter of Intent for School
When applying to a University, some schools will require a Letter of Intent (also referred to as an application essay or a statement of purpose) as part of their application process. In short, the purpose of the letter is to sell yourself and highlight your skills and abilities; to let the school know why you are the right student for their University. The following is a guide to follow when writing your Letter of Intent.
- Professional Format – This letter is a professional document and should follow standard business letter formatting. At the top left it should start with the person the letter is addressed to, their business address, the subject, date, then the body. The letter should be 12 point font and it should be Times New Roman (other fonts may look “cool” and be creative, but this is not an area that you want to experiment with to make yourself stand out!). The letter should take a few days to write; write it, proof read, modify, then finalize. Additionally, it should be no longer than 1 page and make sure you save a copy in case you need to send another, or need to modify it for other pursuits in the future.
- Be Specific – Find out who actually reads the letter and address it to the right person. This says a lot about the character of the person writing the letter and this extra effort shows you are meticulous and pay attention to detail. Additionally, if you don’t address it to a specific person, the person that should be reading it will probably never receive it. Search the Internet or call the University to find out who the Letter of Intent should be addressed to (get the correct spelling of their name and their address at the University).
- Provide an Introduction – In the first paragraph you want to let them know a little about yourself, but keep it focused and make sure the information is relevant to your purpose. Let the reader know where you currently go to school and that you are part of the (fill in the blank) school organization, or head of (fill in the blank), or Captain of the (sports team). If you were in the organization for 3 years, add that as well. It shows that you possess the ability to be committed to your pursuits. The last thing they want to do is admit or award a scholarship to someone that is going to dropout after a semester!
- Show Enthusiasm – The next 2 or 3 paragraphs should express your enthusiasm for the school or program, but don’t overdo it; be sincere. Let them know why you want to be a part of their school and provide them with relevant accomplishments that will illustrate your ability to succeed. When addressing your accomplishments, it is okay to list them in bullet format, but be specific and don’t over embellish. Additionally, integrate your abilities with what they offer as a school and let them know they are compatible. For example you might write something like the following; “While in high school I greatly enjoyed and excelled in my history studies and your University (rather than stating your University, say San Diego State University) offers a solid program that I believe will be challenging and provide me with the greatest opportunities to establish myself in a rewarding career in the history field.”
- Closure – Let the reader know you look forward to an interview and provide a phone number and email address that you can be reached at. If you provide an email address, make sure it is PROFESSIONAL! Don’t give them an email address that is [email protected]! Let them know you appreciate their consideration and conclude the letter with either “Thank you” or “Sincerely.”
Statement of Purpose Example
Recipient Name, Their Title
Street Address of School
City, State Zip Code of School
Month Day, Year
Dear Mr. (or Ms.) John Doe:*
Here you will provide some background information on yourself; where you went to high school, what organizations you participated in while in school, etc.
Here you will let them know why you want to be a part of their school and provide them with relevant accomplishments that will illustrate your ability to succeed. When addressing your accomplishments, it is okay to list them in bullet format, but be specific and don’t over embellish.
In this section write why you are a great choice and what you have to offer their University. Mention why the school is conducive to your ambitions and what motivates you about their school. Enthusiasm goes a long way, but don’t overdo it.
Here put where they can reach you at (phone number and email) and let them know you look forward to the opportunity to meet with them.
**Note: The colon is important- commas should only be used with friends and acquaintances.