When it comes to public high schools, enrollment is often just a matter of having an address within a designated school zone. However, for private or prep schools, applying for enrollment is an entirely different matter. Enrollment depends upon test scores, letters of recommendation, application essays and a glowing letter to the admissions officials. The letter to the schools' boards or admissions departments generally require that you explain why you wish to attend a particular school. Writing a good letter is crucial for a winning application.
Create the standard business letter format. Type your address in three or four lines at the top left corner of the page. Skip a line and type the date. Skip another line and type the full name of the board and the address of its headquarters in three or four lines.
Skip a line and write "Dear" plus the name of the chairman or director of the board. Skip another line and begin your first paragraph without indenting.
Identify yourself with your full name, explain that you are an applicant to a specific school or schools within the board's responsibility.
State your strongest reason for wanting to attend these particular schools. Be specific, stating programs, classes or activities that these schools offer that directly connect to talents or hobbies that you have or things you're interested in. For example, if a particular school has a strong classics department and you're interested in learning acient Greek, mention that. Go through all these reasons in two to three paragraphs.
State what you will bring to the school. You want to avoid cliches like saying you're hardworking or highly motivated. Rather, you need to find new ways to express the positive aspects of your character without sounding like every other applicant. For example, if you are in fact hardworking, say something to the effect of, "I believe in conducting thorough study, often completing more work or reading assignments than what the teacher assigns."
Close your essay with a quote from a famous leader, author or historian that addresses education. For example Nelson Mandela's quote that "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" is suitable or something comparable.
- "Essay Writing for High School Students"; Kaplan; 2006
- The Cute Kid; Parents Guide to Writing Private High School Application Essays; Jonathan Ginsberg
- Think Exist: Education quotes
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