How to Write a Letter of Interest for a School

by Kevin M. Jackson

First impressions mean everything when drafting a letter of interest for a school. Not only does this letter have to represent the writer's vision of herself as a student at the school, but many institutions also use the letter of interest as one of the deciding factors in selecting potential students and offering scholarships for special academic programs. Therefore, it is essential that the student exhibits her greatest qualities, both academic and personal, to secure a chance for admission to an often highly competitive environment.

Highlight the best attributes of your academic resume in the beginning of the letter. For example, list your class standing, grade point average and academic honors. Indicate certifications and other credentials that present you as a qualified candidate for the school's program. For example, write, "As my academic record shows, I have a master's degree in aerospace engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I am also a certified engineering technician assistant accredited by the National Association of Aerospace Engineering."

Express why you want to attend the institution. Reference specific aspects of the institution or its programs that will aid you in accomplishing your academic goals. For example, write, " I am very excited about the prospect of attending your engineering design program. This program will help me gain the required skills to develop new prototypes for automobiles that have the ability to fly."

Reference your strengths, accomplishments, honors and any special recognitions you've received. Use nouns and adjectives that indicate your qualities, such as committed, confident and innovative. In addition, mention internships or work experiences that will cause you to stand out from all of the other candidates. For example, write, " I completed an internship with an aerospace engineer to develop news ways for astronauts to communicate more effectively while in space."

Conclude the letter with a succinct overview of your desire to attend the school. Express interest to be interviewed or admitted to the specific program. Provide contact information and indicate that you will contact the admissions office to ensure receipt of the letter.

About the Author

Based in Virginia, Kevin M. Jackson has been writing professionally since 2003. He is the author of the books "Life Lessons for My Sons" and "When GOD Speaks." Jackson holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Savannah State University and a Master of Arts in urban education from Norfolk State University.

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