Crafting an effective college letter of intent can boost your chances of getting accepted into your desired programs. While not all schools require one, it's crucial to know how to write one if needed. In this article, we discuss the purpose and importance of a college letter of intent and outline the steps to create one. We also provide an example to help you start your college essay in this format!


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What Is a College Letter of Intent? How to Write a College Letter of Intent College Letter of Intent Samples FAQs

What Is a College Letter of Intent?

A college letter of intent is a document that states who you are, what your interests are within the context of the program, and how you intend to add value to the school and program. Note that the content can be similar to that of various college essay topics.

You will need to connect your goals with the school’s values and program outcomes; so it’s important to do some thorough research beforehand. Schools want to know that you’re a student worth investing in; a letter of intent is your chance to convince them that you’re a candidate who will succeed in the program, contribute to the community, and become a leader in your career. Focus on volunteer endeavors with a measurable impact, work related to your career aspirations, your best extracurriculars for college, internships, and top summer programs for high school students you may have attended.

How to Write a College Letter of Intent

Here are the main steps involved in writing a persuasive college letter of intent:

1. Research the School

Review their strategic plan and mission statement. Understand the school’s values, such as increasing diversity and accessibility, to align your goals with theirs.

Examine the program’s curriculum and unique offerings carefully, and identify what appeals to you, like customizable courses or experiential learning components, and mention specific details in your letter of intent. Avoid vague statements; provide precise reasons why the program supports your professional goals!

2. Outline Your Academic History

Your letter of intent is where you’ll highlight significant experiences and accomplishments from your academic history!

 Mention high school internships, extracurriculars, volunteering, honor roll, and subject awards. Focus on the most relevant details within the 500-800 word limit!

Research experience-based activities like lab experiments, internships, or practicums offered by the school, and relate them to your past experiences, such as study abroad programs.

But…what if you have a low GPA? While this is related to your academic performance, any mention of your low GPA should be in your personal statement, NOT your letter of intent:

“Admissions committees want to know of any factors that may have contributed to the low GPA. Was this a one-off thing? Was there a major life stressor that contributed to it? Were you just not working hard in that course/during that year, and if so, what have you learned from it and how have you demonstrated growth? Providing the story behind your GPA [in your personal statement] will put weight behind your application and may ultimately even increase your chance of getting in.” – Dr. Neel Mistry, BeMo Consultant

3. Create a Rough Outline

 Creating a rough outline for your college letter of intent is key to an efficient writing process, and impactful results! Here’s how to get started:

  1. Understand Formatting Requirements Check specific formatting guidelines from each school. For example, one may require Times New Roman, 12-point font, single-spaced, 2 cm margins, and a 500-word limit or 2-page maximum, and another may have slightly different preferences.
  2. Draft an Outline An outline helps structure your first draft, ensuring all necessary elements are included and ideas are organized. Proper formatting and organization are crucial to impress admissions.

Consider this blueprint to help you with this portion of planning the letter:

4. Edit the Letter

Editing is crucial! Carefully proofread for grammatical and syntax errors, and ensure the information is organized and cohesive. Be prepared to remove any tangential or unnecessary information. Reading your letter out loud helps check readability and pacing. Consider having someone experienced review your letter for additional feedback; this is where an academic consultant or college advisor will come in handy:

“I had my letter of intent reviewed by a BeMo expert and it was a great experience. They were super helpful in terms of the formatting and keeping things concise and organized. There was also a lot of constructive feedback and encouragement from them and all the reviews were done in a very timely manner. Overall, fantastic experience.” – Edwyn, Former BeMo Student

College Letter of Intent Samples

Dear Members of the St. Thomas Selection Committee,

I am writing to express my interest in the Bachelor of Education Program at your institution. I believe that St. Thomas University’s emphasis on a cross-disciplinary approach to teaching and learning is an innovative and important means of ensuring an inclusive educational environment for students of all ages and backgrounds. I also believe that having two field placement programs at different grade levels will allow me to practice core teaching concepts and theories learned in the classroom so I can become a strong teaching professional.

I earned my high school diploma from Westside High School. I was the valedictorian of my graduating class and the winner of the humanities award for demonstrated excellence in family studies, social science, and philosophy. I also graduated with honors. My career goal is to become a middle school educator; as I believe my two strongest subjects are philosophy and English, I think a role in which I specialize in only one of two subjects would suit my interests and strengths the most.

During my senior year of high school, I volunteered as a tutor with a local tutoring service. My primary duty was to grade tests and written compositions for Grade 2 math and English students. I have also tutored students at various levels ranging from Grade 1 to 12; subjects for older students included philosophy, math, science, and English. My supervisor, Jane Hart, was a teacher at a private school; as part of my training, she taught me about some of the teaching principles that I would need to succeed as a tutor and grader. One of these teaching principles was to use dialectic to allow students to figure out the right answers on their own, rather than being told or shown directly. I believe this is such a powerful strategy because it introduces students to a tool they can use to develop and practice their critical thinking skills and improve their answers in the future. This teaching principle, in my estimation, strongly resonates with St. Thomas’s determination to create teachers that challenge and inspire their students.

To fulfill my community service hours, I took charge of a fundraising group, comprised of about twenty students from all grade levels at my high school. I was responsible for organizing events, hosting meetings, and brainstorming fundraising ideas. As one of the leaders of this group, one skill that I developed was public speaking. Not only was I in charge of speaking to the students in the fundraising group, I also occasionally did speeches in front of the school for recruitment and presentations demonstrating our efforts. This experience taught me that it takes more than just confidence to stand up in front of a crowd; you must also captivate them. I learned early on that if I was going to recruit more members, I would have to get better at engaging with the audience. One method I used to get my audience’s attention was to have them participate in a quiz or game that demonstrated the purpose of the presentation. This allowed me to engage with them and hold their attention for longer.

I’ve also learned a lot about what it takes to become a strong educator through my experience as someone who needed extra help in one of my Grade 10 classes. I was having trouble grasping the concept of factoring and graphing the quadratic equation, so I asked my teacher to occasionally spend some time after class to help me practice. After I had attempted a variety of questions and still had trouble understanding what to do, the teacher decided to explain by going back to an earlier concept that we covered at the start of the class. What I discovered was that I needed to refamiliarize myself with an earlier concept to revise my understanding of the concept I was having difficulty grasping. This was an important realization for me as I continued volunteering at my local tutoring facility where I was teaching students with a variety of strengths and weaknesses in different subjects. Oftentimes, going back to more basic concepts was the most effective course of action.

My experience working as a tutor and volunteering with a fundraising group at my high school has taught me a great deal about how to inspire and motivate students. I now understand that teaching and learning is not a linear process; rather, it requires an adaptable and compassionate framework to be effective. I would be honored to join your school and continue to build these skills as I pursue my goal of becoming a middle school teacher.

I am eager and ready to learn. Thank you for your time and consideration, and for giving me the opportunity to become a member of your community.

Sincerely,

Jude Gardner

College Letter of Intent Sample: Graduate School

FAQs

1. What is a college letter of intent?

A college letter of intent is part of your application that explains why you're a strong candidate based on your background, research interests, and what the program offers.

2. Do all college programs require a letter of intent?

Not all programs require a letter of intent; some undergraduate programs do, as do many graduate or post-graduate programs. Check the school's website for specific admissions requirements.

3. What is the difference between a letter of intent and a personal statement?

A letter of intent is detailed and focuses on your background and the program, while a personal statement introduces yourself and justifies your interest in the program.

4. What are the formatting requirements for a college letter of intent?

Typically 800 words maximum, using 12-point Times New Roman font. Specific requirements may vary, so check the school's admissions page.

5. What are the structural components of a college letter of intent?

 Include an introduction with your background and purpose, a detailed main body about the program, and a conclusion reinforcing your intent to enroll.

6. How can I create a strong letter of intent?

Research the school and program, identify what appeals to you, and connect your background to their offerings.

7. How do I find out about the research interests of a university?

Check the faculty pages of the relevant department and review their most recent publications in the school's journal if available.

8. How can I edit my letter effectively?

You should create an outline to minimize edits and check for grammar and consistency between your first and second draft. You can also ask a qualified professional from college essay review services to revise your letter and provide suggestions.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


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