How to write an email to a college admissions office: 3 sample emails

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    There are many reasons to email an admissions officer. You may need to ask some clarifying questions about a specific program, you may need help understanding your financial aid package, or you may want to confirm the college has received every part of your application. No matter the reason, you must ensure that your letter to the admissions office is both professional and authentic. In this article, we will review several successful samples of how to write an email to a college admissions office.

    When should you send an email to a college admissions office?

    Most college admissions officers consider emails from high school students a form of demonstrated interest or the degree to which you express an interest in attending a school. Demonstrated interest is one of the many factors college admissions officers consider when evaluating your application.

    It is the best way to show an admissions officer that you have done your research about their college and are eager to learn more. In fact, a study performed by the National Association for College Admission Counseling found that demonstrated interest was one of the most important factors in the college admissions decision process. As such, it is important that your email presents your best self.

    Things to consider before writing your college admissions letter/email

    There are many factors to consider when drafting your email. In this article, we will discuss several important strategies as well as review key factors such as: appropriate subject lines for college admissions emails, how to address the admissions office in an email, and how to ask thoughtful, well-researched questions.

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    01

    Find your admissions officer

    If possible, locate the email of the admissions officer for your region. For example, if you live in Florida, you want to target the email to the admissions officer that reads for the Southeast. It is important to locate the admissions officer for your region since they will be the person reading your college application when you submit it. They should be familiar with your name and remember you positively.

    02

    Have a clear purpose for your email

    Don’t email a college admissions officer without a clear reason. College admissions officers have busy schedules, especially during college application season. Be respectful of their time. Do not send a generic email introducing yourself. Be concise, and straightforward, and have a clear reason for emailing them.

    03

    Research your question before reaching out

    Research your questions thoroughly before reaching out to them. College websites include lots of important information and frequently asked questions and answers. Make sure you read all of this information. 

    If you reach out to a college admissions officer with a question that’s already been answered on the school’s website, the officer may doubt your ability to conduct your own research. Impress college admissions committees by asking precise and specific questions. 

    For example, do not ask college admissions officers questions such as:

    Rather ask questions such as:

    04

    Do not be afraid to ask questions about your required materials

    You can also follow up with an admissions officer to confirm they have received all of your materials, such as your test scores and letters of recommendation. This is particularly important as the application deadline approaches. For example, if you have sent in your SAT/ACT scores but haven’t received a confirmation email from the school that they received it, you can follow up with the school. The email should be detailed, concise, and professional.

    How to write a letter to a college admissions office in 5 steps & what to include

    It’s important to know when and how to email a college admissions office during the college application process. You will be evaluated on the quality and nature of your correspondence so it’s important to be prepared. Read the following tips on how to email an admissions officer before you reach out with any questions. 

    If you are wondering how to start an email to a college, read on! In this section of the article, we will review several college admissions email samples and discuss how to write an email to college admissions successfully.

    01

    Address the admissions officer properly

    Begin your email by addressing the admissions officer in a kind, proper manner. Don’t use slang or abbreviations that you might use with your peers while texting. Your writing should highlight your maturity and ability to communicate in a professional setting

    02

    Introduce yourself

    Admissions teams receive hundreds of emails a day from prospective students so a concise email that simply gets to the point saves time and energy. Therefore, you shouldn’t spend a great deal of time introducing yourself. You are unlikely to increase your probability of acceptance by sending an email detailing your life’s accomplishments. Instead, write a brief sentence or two, providing your name and any relevant background information that may inform their answer such as whether you have previously spoken to them during the college admissions process at a college fair.

    “My name is Hayley Hall and I am applying to Pomona College in the Fall of 2022. I am particularly interested in majoring in Engineering.”

    03

    Be specific

    Once you have provided your name and relevant information, ask specific questions. Don’t ask generic questions you should already know the answer to from your college search.

    Avoid questions like:

    “What’s the acceptance rate for UCLA?”

    “What does Yale look for?”

    “How much does each credit hour cost for in-state students?”

    Instead, ask more detailed questions like:

    “What types of companies does the College of Engineering have partnerships with?”

    “When do most students start performing research?” 

    “What would you say students are most excited about on campus?” 

    These kinds of questions prove that you have done your research but want more in-depth information about their university. Your curiosity will bode well with an admission officer. It will signal you are seriously considering their university. Their answers will help you make informed decisions about the schools you are considering and potentially provide information for your “Why This College” essay!

    04

    Make sure to thank the admissions officer

    You want to leave a good impression on the admissions officer. Therefore, you should thank the admissions officer for his/her help. Your email correspondence with an admissions officer is often your first communication with a university as a prospective college student. Take your emails seriously while maintaining your own voice. Try to keep your emails to a minimum; don’t email admissions officers every day as that can likely become burdensome as well.

    05

    List your full contact information

    A college admissions officer will most likely email you back. It is polite, however, to give them the option to call you. This will also come in handy if they need to reach you urgently. Therefore, make sure to list your phone number at the end of your email. You should also list your mailing address. 

    Sample email to college admissions office: 3 examples with analysis

    Successful emails to admissions officer samples are professional, concise, and detailed. Let’s take a look at some sample emails to a college admissions counselor.

    Sample 1

    This email is polite and personal. It is also highly specific, with lots of key details and dates. The college admissions officer knows exactly who the student is and what they want. The email is very clear; the college admissions officer will not have to ask any clarifying questions before getting back to the student with the necessary information.

    Sample 2

    This email is friendly, organized, and to the point. The student presents several clear, well-researched questions that the admission officer is uniquely qualified to answer.

    Sample 3

    This is an effective email because it is detailed, thorough, and professional. The student clearly states who they are, what their questions are, and what sort of assistance and guidance they hope to receive. It is also clear that the student researched their academic programs thoroughly before drafting this email.

    Why email a college admissions office?

    Most college admissions officers consider emails from students a form of demonstrated interest or the degree to which you express an interest in attending a school. Demonstrated interest is one of the many factors college admissions officers consider when evaluating your application. It is the best way to show an admissions officer that you have done your research about their college and are eager to learn more. In fact, a study performed by the National Association for College Admission Counseling found that demonstrated interest was one of the most important factors in the college admissions decision process. As such, it is important that your email presents your best self.

    7 extra tips on how to write a formal letter to college administration and mistakes to avoid

    01

    Be professional

    Always be professional. Address university admissions officers properly. Avoid slang and informal language. Always thank them for their time. Use a standard sign-off, such as Sincerely or Best Regards, and always sign your full name, along with your phone number.

    Mistakes to avoid

    Review your social media and online presence carefully. Now that you have reached out and the college admissions officer knows your full name, they will likely look you up. Also, always use a professional email address. Make a new one specifically for college correspondence if necessary. 

    02

    Keep it brief

    Be respectful of their time. Keep your message brief and succinct. Do not overwhelm them with too many questions. Try to limit yourself to two or three questions. You do not want them to feel like answering your email is a chore. 

    Mistakes to avoid

    This is not the time to list your credentials and qualifications. Keep your email to a single screen. Introduce yourself briefly in a sentence or two. 

    03

    Be purposeful

    Have a clear reason for reaching out. Ask thoughtful, well-researched questions. Avoid writing vague or generic emails.

    Mistakes to avoid

    Do not email a college admissions officer simply to express your interest in attending or to list your credentials and qualifications. These details are already included in your application materials. There is no reason to repeat yourself.

    04

    Format it properly

    Base your email off of an email template if you are unsure how to format it correctly. Use a standard font, size, and color. Do not write in all capitals. Address them properly by their preferred name and title. 

    Mistakes to avoid

    Do not use informal language, slang, or abbreviations. You want to impress college admissions officers. Show them that you are professional and capable of writing professional correspondence. 

    05

    Write a clear subject title

    Always write a clear subject title. Do not simply label your email as a “question.” Instead, try something like: “Fall 2022 Admissions Question” or “Joseph Smith, Prospective Biology Major, Application Status Question.” 

    Mistakes to avoid

    Subject titles help college admissions officers stay organized, so avoid being vague. Do your best to concisely signal what your email is about.

    06

    Personalize the message​

    Always write detailed, personalized, well-researched emails. You do not want college admissions officers to feel like answering your email is a chore. Be polite, and personable, and ask relevant questions that they are uniquely qualified to answer.

    Mistakes to avoid

    Avoid sending the same email to multiple schools. It will likely come across as generic and vague.

    07

    Proofread!

    Always proofread your emails. Have someone else review them for you before you send them. Take your time and make sure your email is kind, concise, and clearly communicates your needs.

    Mistakes to avoid

    You do not want an email with typos and grammatical errors to reflect poorly on you or your application. Always proofread carefully before pressing send.

    Key takeaways on how to write an email to a college admissions office

    Writing a thoughtful, well-researched email to a college admissions officer communicates that you are serious about your education and your application. Use this opportunity to put your best foot forward. Use professional language, and proper formatting, and ask specific questions. Be respectful of admissions officers’ time and always thank them for their assistance.

    FAQs

    Still have questions? Review some frequently asked questions and answers below for further insight before drafting your email. 

    Do your best to find out the name of the college admissions officer specific to your region. It’s important to personalize your email and avoid sending vague or generic messages. Use standard greetings such as: “Hello, Mr. Davidson,” or “Good morning, Mrs. Baldwin.”

    There is no need to be overly formal. Write the way that you would speak naturally. do not want to use slang, abbreviations, or informal language. Try your best to be personable, professional, and precise.

    As application deadlines approach, feel free to reach out to the admissions office to confirm that they received all of your application materials. Not only will this help relieve some stress, but it will also communicate to the admissions office that you are thorough and well-organized.

    Contact a Prepory college admissions coach and start your college admissions journey.

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