Letter of interest to Elite School

<p>I will be applying early to an extremely selective school within the next few days and I find myself extremely nervous. There is nothing I want more than to go to this school and I feel if the admissions staff knew how much I wanted to go and how I would take full advantage of the opportunity of going there, then they would view me in a more positive light. Is it too risky to write a letter, a heartfelt letter, telling them just how badly I want to get in while not seeming whiny or desperate? Would this make me look bad? Thanks.</p>

<p>If it's any of the super-popular top ivy league schools like harvard,yale,princeton,mit,stanford, etc, that's not going to help you. They're good, and they know it, and OH do the students. Nearly everyone who is applying to a school like that "wants desperately to get in because they lovelovelove it." You will be no different and you'll be lost in a crowd. </p>

<p>Unless you can come up with some way of approaching your love letter that will knock the adcom's socks off, I'd recommend against writing one for the elite private schools.</p>

<p>But good luck regardless :)</p>

<p>the letter will take up time... i wouldnt do it</p>

<p>my opinion: it's ass-kissing to the max.</p>

<p>Don't do it.</p>

<p>I don't think a letter will do any harm at all. And it might do some good. You know you don't want a whiney, begging type of letter. But a well written letter hitting on some things that you particularly like about the school other than obvious things is really a nice touch. It is not going to give you any points on the admission checklist but the fact that you have taken the time and trouble to write a nice letter can make the adcom looking at your file feel a little more kindly towards you. </p>

<p>At the private prep school where my children are, the counselors recommend a personal cover letter to accompany all applications. It just makes the process a little more personal.</p>

<p>do you think a letter to, say, UCSD would make any difference?</p>

<p>(sighs in desperation)</p>

<p>Letters to the most selective colleges, the large state schools and the schools where admissions is not a personal process are not going to have any impact most of the time. For example, an application to the SUNY schools go through a process where depending on where you send that letter, it goes directly to a data entry person who is inputting your info and basically pitching any ancillary data. However, there is something called "serendipity" that the former admissions head of Princeton put a huge premium on, and I do believe that serendipity does play a role in some interesting things that happen to us in life. And doing things like a writing a little cover letter or a personal, heartfelt thank you note or giving some a heads-up on something give serendipity a chance to work its magic. You can't do it expecting something out of it as you may never get anything. But there is the possibility of something which makes it important for each of us to work in the personal niceities even for impersonal processes. It leaves room for serendipity. </p>

<p>So do I believe a personal letter to a UC school makes much difference? 99.999% of the time, no. But is it possible, yes. But more important than it making a difference that one time is the fact that you are learning to incorporate these things in your life and making it part of your style. Some day it will be natural for you, and it could make a difference when you are not even looking for it doing so. Just like doing little good deeds--many times the individual deed is not going to reap any benefit directly to you, in fact may inconvenience you and cost you. But over the long run, it defines who you are and will be rewarding.</p>

<p>A more appropriate time to write the letter would be if you got waitlisted or deferred. Be very careful about the content of the letter though - show that you're interested but don't be desperate or emotional</p>

<p>I agree with everything Jamimom wrote. </p>

<p>Many schools actually ask for an essay on why you want to go to that college. I believe all application submissions need to include such thoughts. If no essay is assigned on that topic, then such things should be mentioned in the cover letter. My own kids wrote very sprecific cover letters for all applications and they did not gush or whine but spoke specifically and from the heart about wanting to go to that school and why. </p>

<p>Susan</p>

<p>I want to add that just going through the motions of doing things like visiting a school, writing a cover letter, make personal references about a school in the essays and short answers are not going to be helpful, and can backfire if it is obvious that you are just doing this to up your chances. The whole idea of adding personal touches to the app is to do it well, and if you are not going to put the time and though into it, it is really not going to help you as many kids who do this are putting their hearts into it. A lack of passion in these endeavors really shows, unlike the fill in the blank parts of the app.</p>

<p>"Many schools actually ask for an essay on why you want to go to that college. I believe all application submissions need to include such thoughts"</p>

<p>Correct... and if the school does not specifically ask why you want to go to that college, do not take it upon yourself to write an additional supplement to your application telling them why.</p>

<p>The admission staff at each school knows what they are doing, if they wanted a letter like that, they would ask for it in the application</p>

<p>the issue is... UC's have a general application for all UC's and you can't send a different essay to a particular UC, it's just a one time big application. I really wanted to tailor my application to SD specifically but I guess it's not gonna work. If I WAS gonna write a letter of interest, it would be separately through regular mail since the application is going through online..</p>

<p>oh woe is me</p>