If you find yourself waitlisted or declined by the school of your dreams, you do still have an option: Appeal. If you choose to write a letter of appeal, however, remember that it must be strategically precise above and beyond all else. Although we know you’re really, truly a great candidate and a perfect match, the truth is that Mom and Dad aren’t always the best diplomats. This type of writing needs to focus on the strengths that reveal your ideal candidacy, and it needs to be written in the voice of the student, i.e. YOU.
To begin with, take the time to research the school to which you are appealing, at least to the point that you can directly address or cc the letter to a targeted regional contact. The more direct connections you can make with your future educational institution, the more you reveal your dedication to being a student there. If you show how much you care with tangible results of good research, the Admissions Committee will take note. Step 1: You have their attention.
From there on, you need to reveal your compatibility with an informed and enthusiastic conviction. A good deal of this is also dependent upon doing your research on the school in question. The more grounded your argument for acceptance can be, the likelier it is to ring true to the reader. Seek out the details and distinct elements of the school, and match them with your own unique interests and qualities. Don’t go on and on about how much you want to go to school there, just show them why a better match hasn’t been made since bread and butter.
Remember that good storytelling can increase your persuasiveness. Even when writing a letter, the quality of your prose counts, as does a strong narrative arc. (We’re experts on this, and happy to give your work a good once-over.) It’s important to construct your argument in a way that leads the reader in, entices them with irresistible logic, and then wallops them with the irrefutable conclusion that you’re the student of their dreams.
In short, writing a letter of appeal is your time to pull out the most strategic flair you can muster, with the greatest elegance you can sustain. You need to be simultaneously passionate and grounded, eager and convincing. Get specific, and maintain a strong picture of your past and an inspired vision for your future.
Remember, if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, Mohammed darn well better go to that mountain. And he better be well prepared. Trust us: It’s all in the details.
Ivy Eyes Editing