A cover letter can easily become redundant if written hastily especially because all the other documents attached to it hold the same purpose. For instance, a cover letter for school admission is often included in an ensemble of resume or curriculum vitae, portfolio, personal records, and other files that represent a student's qualifications. For school admission, your cover letter should be able to clarify your intent as well as present your best qualities to get a good chance of getting in. Take a look at this template:
Contents of a Cover Letter
[Header – Your Name]
The topmost section is called the “header” and it often features your full name and in many cases basic information such as your address, mobile number, email, and any relevant online presence. In many cases, the name is written in much larger font size. There’s usually a line below the header.
[Date] This should feature the date the letter is written. Commonly used formats are date-month-year and month-date-year.
[Academic Officer’s Name] Indicate the name of the specific person or recipient you are writing to. This could be the dean of the college, head of the department, or admissions officer.
[Position, Department, or College] Include the specific position of the recipient if you know it.
[Name of Academic Institution] Type in the full name of the university or institution.
[Academic Institution Address] In some cases, you may include contact details like the recipient’s email and phone number.
[Salutation] A common salutation is “Dear” followed by the last name of the recipient and a comma or colon.
A cover letter for a school usually has three to four paragraphs. The first paragraph serves to introduce you and convey your intent to enroll at the said school. It should specify (a) the program you want to enroll in and (b) the college or department that offers this program. This paragraph should end with a concise statement of why you chose this program and this academic institution.
The second paragraph is the main body of your cover letter. This part should provide more explanation on your academic background. Do not repeat information already contained in your resume or curriculum vitae. Instead, showcase qualities and competencies that make you an excellent candidate for the program. For example, have you taken courses that helped prepare you for the program? Do you have skills that will be useful for completing your studies? What academic projects, fieldwork, or research studies have you done that show your academic competencies? Add another paragraph if necessary but keep the cover letter as concise as possible.
The last paragraph closes your cover letter. It should very briefly restate your interest in the program. Be sure to thank your recipient here and request them to contact you if more information or documents are needed.
[Closing] Use a more formal closing such as “Sincerely,” “Respectfully,” or “Best regards.”
[Signature Over Name] Attach your signature over your full name.
[Attachments] Indicate the documents you have attached with your cover letter such as your resume, transcript, school records, etc.
When writing a cover letter, do not forget to politely call for action from the recipient. As much as you want to impress the reader, you should also be able to highlight how important the opportunity is for you. That means also noting the good qualities of the school you are applying to. Read a few samples of a cover letter here:
- Cover Letter for School Admission for a Master's Degree
- Cover Letter for Internship or Job Application
- Cover Letter for a Grant Proposal
How to write a cover letter for school admission?
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