When it comes to applying for college, your grade point average, SAT scores and extracurricular activities have an impact on your chances for admission. A cover letter, however, is the first document about you that a college admissions staff will see. According to College Confidential, such a letter offers the reader an idea of who you are and why you will be a good fit for the college.

Research the contact information for the director of admissions to include on the cover letter. Mentioning the director by name will indicate that you took the time to look for such information, instead of creating a general cover letter.

Write the admission office information in the top left corner. Start with the name of the director of admissions, followed by the university address directly underneath. This will create a professional-looking cover letter.

Describe in the opening paragraph what you are including with your application. For example, explain that you have completed the application process, and you are including the necessary items to be evaluated in hopes of gaining admission to the college or university.

Create a bullet list of documents in your college application. Such a list will be easy to read and will help the admissions staff find the proper documents.

List each bullet point in the second paragraph with the appropriate attachment or pages in the application. For example, the application and fee are Part 1, while additional attachments that should be listed include course evaluations, course descriptions and writing evaluations.

Mention in the bulleted listings that teacher recommendations, school transcripts and personal recommendations are being mailed separately from the application. This will help them identify documentation that can they expect to receive.

In the third and final paragraph, explain that the school is your first choice and share that you are choosing it based on their programs or activities. This will indicate to the admission staff that you took the extra time to research the college or university, since many applications may now be sent to multiple schools at one time limiting the personable factor.

Thank the admission staff for taking the time to look through your cover letter and application. Sign your name at the bottom of the page, after a closing line such as "Sincerely."


Print your cover letter on professional-grade paper.

Proofread the entire application and cover letter before sending.

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