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How to Write a Letter of Intent for School: Sample & Tips

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Choosing a new school is equally exciting and scary. You’re starting a new chapter in life, and a bright future is ahead of you. But in order to get there, you need to get admitted to your preferred school. And the admission might depend on a piece of your writing.

Sigh. How can you project the best version of yourself with a single letter of intent for school? 

The answer is: easily. But only if you follow the right set of rules. And tl;dr—you’ll find them in this article.

In this guide:

  • A sample letter of intent for school admission better than 9 out of 10 other letters out there.
  • Detailed instructions on how to write a letter of intent for school or college.
  • What information you should include in your letter of intent for school.
  • Tips on how to make your letter of intent for college or school more effective.

Your future depends on your professionalism. Make your letter of intent for school look better than a prom dress. Just pick one of our cover letter templates and adjust it to your needs.

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letter of intent school example

Sample letter of intent school made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

This guide covers the topic of writing a letter of intent for school or college applications. If you’re looking for a job, here’s a better guide for you: Letter of Intent for a Job.

Are you a high-school graduate? Here are a few guides to help you prepare for the future:

Now, let’s delve deeper into the subject of letter writing.

What’s a Letter of Intent for School?

A letter of intent for school (also known as a statement of purpose) is a formal essay that introduces you to the admission board of your desired school. The letter should express your willingness to join the school, describe your academic and personal goals, and prove you’re a worthy candidate.

But wait a second. Aren’t your grades and SAT scores enough to get admitted? Well, admission decisions depend on several criteria. While academic performance in high school is considered the most important, essays and writing samples remain an important admission factor. These offer a better insight into the personal qualities of the student applicant, as well as their motivation to choose a particular major.

In short: your letter of intent for school is your chance to show how amazing you are. To prove you’re more than just grades and scores. And it depends on you if you take this chance and use it wisely.

So, what is a letter of intent for college or school? Check below.

Still can’t decide on your future career? See here: Best Career Tests to Help You Choose a Job

Sample Letter of Intent for School

Josephine Lavard

247 Pope Way, Key West, FL 33040

(222) 333-4444

July 6, 2022

Amanda Branchard

Director of Admissions

Florida Keys College

5000 College Ave, Key West, FL 33040

(333) 222-9999

Dear Amanda Branchard,

I am Josephine Lavard and would like to express my interest in attending the Bachelor of Social Work program at Florida Keys College. I have always had a passion for helping others and spent a great deal of my free time in high school volunteering for my local community. I believe that attending the program at your school would prepare and give me a deeper understanding of the needs of disadvantaged communicates to serve them more effectively in the future.

Likewise, I earned my high school diploma from Key West High School in June of this year. I graduated in the top 5% of my class and received the humanities award for academic excellence in social science and history. While at Key West High School, I served as the president of the Animal Wellbeing Club and bursar of the Health & Wellbeing Club. My membership in both student associations allowed me to gain deeper insight into charity work and fundraising. Together with the student council, I organized a school campaign to raise awareness about mental health, which was featured in the local media. We’ve also collected over $8,700 in donations for the local pet shelter by organizing a bake sale.

My family has always been engaged in volunteering activities, and I have also participated in local community projects since I was 15. During my senior year, I volunteered three times per week at the Women’s Shelter to lead activities for children and help sort the inventory. I would like to continue doing volunteer work throughout my studies at Florida Keys College, and I believe that dedicating myself to the Social Work program will provide me with the means to improve the lives of others. I’m also very keen to participate in your student exchange program affiliated with Habitat for Humanity.

I am certain that my academic aptitude and personal interest in social work would make me a valuable addition to Florida Keys College’s student body. I am ready to prove that I have what it takes to succeed in the chosen field of study and inspire other students to work for the betterment of humanity.

Best regards,

Josephine Lavard

Josephine surely has her heart in the right place. Her letter has a good chance of making a positive impression on an admissions officer.

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What’s Included in a College Letter of Intent?

You’re smart, so you must’ve noticed that the sample letter of intent for school was not a random run-of-the-mill rant someone would post on social media. Is the letter a bit dry for your taste? Maybe. But does it sound professional? Yup. It’s the kind of formal letter that the college admissions boards expect. Even if you don’t speak like that (let’s face it, no teenager does), you must be able to write like that.

What does a letter of intent for school include?

  • Your contact information, including full name, address, and phone number
  • Current date
  • Recipient’s contact information: the director of admission’s name, address of the school, and phone number
  • Dear XYZ—skip to whom it may concern because it’s super outdated
  • Introduction, expressing your interest in the school’s chosen program
  • Middle part, talking about your academic record and your interests
  • Conclusion, highlighting how your school performance and goals align with the college or university you’ve chosen
  • Greeting, similar to a cover letter salutation

The next chapter will show you how to write your letter step-by-step.

Pro Tip: Remember that your letter of intent for school and a college admission essay are two different things. While experimenting with form and storytelling can be a good idea for the essay, your college letter of intent should follow the guidelines closely.

How to Write a Letter of Intent for School or College?

You might feel tempted to just copy a sample letter of intent for school that you found online, and simply add your personal details to fill in the gaps. After all, a massive part of writing essays for school involved copying and pasting stuff from the Internet, right?

Well, what works in high school doesn’t work so well in adult life. The truth is, writing a letter of intent for college doesn’t take that much time if you follow the right set of instructions. Just like the ones below.

1. Research the School and Program

Before you sit down and write, make sure you know everything about the school you’ve chosen. Of course, don’t go overboard—memorizing the names of all the dean’s dogs is not required. 

Here are a few points to consider when preparing yourself:

  • Why did you choose this college?
  • Why do you want to join this particular school program?
  • What interests you about the major you’ve selected?
  • How are your personal goals connected to the program?

This self-reflection will help you explain your motivation in the college letter of intent.

You should also make a note of the following:

  • School’s name and address
  • Admissions director’s full name

Why is the director’s name so important? Because they’re the recipient of your letter—you should greet them by name. Don’t feel tempted to type Dear Sir or Madam and call it quits. If you really can’t find the admissions director’s name anywhere, write ‘Dear Admissions Director’ as a last resort.

Here’s a sample letter header for you:

Letter of Intent for School Sample: Header

Right

Josephine Lavard

247 Pope Way, Key West, FL 33040

(222) 333-4444

July 6, 2022

Amanda Branchard

Director of Admissions

Florida Keys College

5000 College Ave, Key West, FL 33040

(333) 222-9999

Dear Amanda Branchard,

It’s super easy to write when you’ve got all the information at hand.

Pro Tip: Not sure how to find the admissions director’s name? Start with the school website, and if it’s not there—scroll through the college’s social media pages. You can also try searching for them on LinkedIn.

2. Format the Letter of Intent for School Correctly

Remember all the times when your parents told you to dress properly? I’m afraid this is another instance of that—the only difference is that it’s not about how your clothes look, but how your letter looks. College admissions officers are pretty conservative, and many judge a book by its cover.

When it comes to the appearance of your letter of intent for school, cover letter formatting rules apply. Here’s how to make it look professional:

  • Use a classic cover letter font such as Calibri, Verdana, or Times New Roman, and set the size to 10–12 points.
  • Apply 1-inch margins on all sides of the document.
  • Set regular cover letter spacing, which is double between paragraphs and 1–1.15 between lines of text.
  • Make your school letter of intent one-page long—this is the typical cover letter length, and it’s perfect for this kind of document.
  • Align the text to the left side.

It’s as simple as that. The good thing is, you don’t need a special kind of software to format your college letter of intent, as any word processor will do. But if you’re used to exciting and colorful layouts, this probably feels boring. 

Pro Tip: Can you use something different from a boring black-and-white page for your letter? Of course. You can try various classic or modern cover letter templates. Just make sure the one you’ve chosen looks professional.

3. Express Your Interest in the First Paragraph

The first paragraph of your letter is your introduction. You should mention your name and express interest in the school’s program. Sadly, you need to do it the formal way—saying ‘your college is lit’ won’t make a great impression on the admissions board. 

Here’s how to write the first paragraph of a school letter of intent:

  • Introduce yourself formally and say what program you’re interested in.
  • Mention your motivation for choosing this school and field of study.
  • Say briefly what are your future plans and how they’re connected to your desired major.

This paragraph should be around 2–4 sentences long. See for yourself:

Letter of Intent Sample for School: First Paragraph

Right
I am Josephine Lavard and would like to express my interest in attending the Bachelor of Social Work program at Florida Keys College. I have always had a passion for helping others and spent a great deal of my free time in high school volunteering for my local community. I believe that attending the program at your school would prepare and give me a deeper understanding of the needs of disadvantaged communicates to serve them more effectively in the future.

Josephine nails it. This introduction paints a great picture of her academic goals as well as her future plans.

Wrong
My name is Danton Busborough and I would like to say how excited I am about applying to your school. Since I was a child, I’ve dreamt of becoming a millionaire and I think your MBA program will help me get rich fast.

Are you for real? Even if getting a six-figure job is your only dream, you should learn how to express it differently. For example, don’t say you want to get rich quickly, but rather say: “I want to prove I have the drive and determination to succeed in the world of business.”

Not sure what you should learn to succeed in the job market? See here: High-Income Skills Worth Learning Now

4. Describe Your Academic Performance

Now is the time to prove you’re the CEO of school work. How? Highlight your academic achievements. Focus on school subjects relevant to your selected college program. For example, if you want to major in business, mention you excelled in math courses or completed electives in business education. Other personal achievements you can mention include extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and athletic accomplishments.

Just bear this in mind: you need to be selective. Don’t mention every single thing you’ve done—only the activities and achievements that are relevant to your selected school program. Just like in the example below:

College Letter of Intent Sample: Middle Part

Right
I earned my high school diploma from Key West High School in June this year. I graduated in the top 5% of my class and received the humanities award for academic excellence in social science and history. While at Key West High School, I served as the president of the Animal Wellbeing Club and bursar of the Health & Wellbeing Club. My membership in both student associations allowed me to gain deeper insight into charity work and fundraising. Together with the student council, I organized a school campaign to raise awareness about mental health, which was featured in the local media. We’ve also collected over $8,700 in donations for the local pet shelter by organizing a bake sale.

This applicant wants to study Social Work, so they described relevant schoolwork as well as volunteer activities that show their interest in this type of study.

Wrong
I graduated from Sacramento High School with honors. I excelled in photography, Spanish, and accounting classes, and I was an active member of the school marching band. I like sports activities, so I played basketball and learned to surf in my free time. I think my versatility will make me a good candidate for the English Literature program at your school.

Ummm… How about no. This person might be cool and all, but their interests are all over the place. The admissions director might worry they won’t be able to commit to their studies.

There’s a nice trick for talking about your achievements. Learn more: How to Use the STAR Method to Show Your Worth

5. Show Your Goals Align with the Program

The next part of your college letter of intent must outline how your interests match the school’s philosophy. Sounds a bit pretentious? Don’t worry—it can be as simple as describing how you’d like to use knowledge from the program to aid your future career. But if you can see beyond your own goals and think about how you can contribute to the community, that’s even better. See the example below for inspo:

Sample Letter of Intent for School: Middle Part

Right
My family has always been engaged in volunteering activities, and I have also participated in local community projects since I was 15. During my senior year, I volunteered three times per week at the Women’s Shelter to lead activities for children and help sort the inventory. I would like to continue doing volunteer work throughout my studies at Florida Keys College, and I believe that dedicating myself to the Social Work program will provide me with the means to improve the lives of others. I’m also very keen to participate in your student exchange program affiliated with Habitat for Humanity.

Sure, not everyone wants to spend their life doing social work. But still, try to come up with a goal that can also benefit other people. For example, if you want to study medicine, think beyond “I always wanted to be a doctor because people respect them”. Try: “I improve my patients’ wellbeing and help them live healthier lives.”

Wrong
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. I’ve been making my own money since I was 13. I hope that I will be able to develop my side hustle while studying at Boston Business School, as I think that my fellow students could become prospective clients of my company.

Having a knack for business is a good thing, but seeing everyone around you as potential clients makes you sound like a scamfluencer. Also, The author of this statement could’ve said: “I hope that studying at Boston Business School will brace me with the knowledge necessary to run a successful enterprise, and that it will help me to connect with like-minded individuals and build strong networking relationships.” 

Your future may depend on the skills you gain while at university. Learn more: The Skills That Employers Value the Most

6. Conclude the Letter of Interest for School

Let’s focus now on the last part of the letter. Before you can drop the mike, you need to sum up what you’ve already said—that you have the potential to succeed academically at your chosen school. Highlight the idea that you need this program to reach your goals. Then, finish the school letter of interest with a professional sign-off such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely”, and add your name plus signature.

This is the way to go:

Sample Letter of Intent for School Admission: Conclusion

Right

I am certain that my academic aptitude and personal interest in social work would make me a valuable addition to Florida Keys College’s student body. I am ready to prove that I have what it takes to succeed in the chosen field of study and inspire other students to work for the betterment of humanity.

Best regards,

Josephine Lavard

See? You don’t have to go on forever—just two or three sentences are perfect.

Wrong

All in all, I think I’m probably the best applicant for this program, because I will not only bring you my tuition money but also my 784,500 TikTok followers who can’t wait to see the campus tour. See you all in the fall semester!

Peace,

Jen Poycoy

Jen might know how to attract followers, but her elevator pitch won’t impress an admission board officer. Don’t follow in her footsteps. Instead, stick to the formal tone till the end of your college letter of intent.

Once your letter is complete, make sure that your resume for college applications is as good as it gets. Use our resume builder to create it in a matter of minutes. Just start by selecting a resume template that will impress the admissions committee.

Sample resume made with our builder—see more resume examples here.

Key Takeaways

You’ve got to the end of this guide! If you read it closely, you should know everything about school letters of intent by now. Need a tl;dr version? Here we go:

How to write a letter of intent for school or college:

  1. Research and make notes about your chosen school or study program.
  2. Use professional formatting for your school letter of intent.
  3. Introduce yourself and show your interest in the school.
  4. Highlight your academic and extracurricular achievements.
  5. Prove the selected program is relevant to your goals.
  6. Finish the letter of intent for school on a good note.

Now you’re ready to write a school letter of intent that’s serving.

Got any questions about writing a letter of intent for college? Have you already written one and want to share tips for other college applicants? Spill the tea in the comments below.

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This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

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Roma Kończak, CPRW
Roma is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and career expert with international work experience and a background in education and humanities. She has spent considerable time assisting individuals in advancing their careers by helping them improve their communication skills in diverse cultural and professional settings. She has written over 50 articles on effective approaches to resume writing and career advice.
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