Common Mistakes In Student’s LOI

Common Mistakes In Student’s LOI

Common Mistakes In Student’s LOI
Santosh Dhamala

If you plan to study abroad, you must write a Letter of Intent (LOI) as part of your application. This letter is crucial as it can make or break your chances of acceptance into your dream college. However, many students must correct their LOIs, which can hurt their admission chances. This article discusses students' mistakes when writing their LOIs and how to avoid them.

Introductions

Applying for college abroad can be daunting, and writing a Letter of Intent (LOI) is one of the most critical parts of the application process. An LOI is a letter that explains why you want to study at a particular college or university and what makes you a suitable candidate for the program. Many students need to correct their LOIs, harming their acceptance chances. In this article, we'll review students' most common mistakes when writing their LOIs and how to avoid them.

The Common Mistakes In Student’s LOI When Applying For College Abroad

Here are some of the most common mistakes students make when writing their LOIs:

1. Failing to Customize

One of the most common mistakes students make when writing their LOIs is failing to customise the letter for each college they're applying to. Admissions officers can easily tell when a student has sent a generic letter, showing a lack of effort and interest in the school. To avoid this mistake, research the college you're applying to and mention specific programs or professors that interest you. This shows that you've done your research and are genuinely interested in the school.

2. Being Overly Formal

While being professional in your LOI is essential, overly formal can make your letter sound robotic and impersonal. Admissions officers want to get to know the real you, so it's okay to inject some personality into your letter. Avoid using overly complex language and write in a conversational tone. Your LOI should sound like you're conversing with the admissions officer.

3. Focusing Too Much on Yourself

Your LOI should focus on why you're a suitable candidate for the program but don't just talk about yourself. Admissions officers want to see how you'll contribute to the school community, so mentioning your extracurricular activities, volunteer work or other experiences that show you're a team player is crucial. This demonstrates that you're interested in what the school can do for you and what you can do for the school.

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4. Not Proofreading

Spelling and grammar mistakes can harm your chances of acceptance into your dream school. Admissions officers want to see that you're detail-oriented and can communicate effectively, so it's essential to proofread your LOI carefully. Use online tools like Grammarly to catch any errors you have missed.

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5. Not Following Directions

Each college will have specific instructions for writing the LOI. Failing to follow these instructions can show a lack of attention to detail, hurting your chances of acceptance. Make sure you read the instructions carefully and follow them to the letter.

6. Copying from Online Templates

Many students need to learn to avoid copying LOI templates from online sources. While these templates can be helpful, they can also be generic and sound like every other letter. Admissions officers can spot these templates a mile away, so writing your LOI from scratch is crucial. Use the templates as a guide, but make sure your letter is unique and personal.

How to Avoid These Common Mistakes

Now that we've discussed the common mistakes students make when writing their LOIs, let's look at some ways to avoid them:

1. Research the College

Before writing your LOI, research the college you're applying to thoroughly. Visit their website, read their mission statement, and look for any programs or professors that interest you. This will help you customise your letter and show the admissions officers that you're genuinely interested in the school.

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2. Be Yourself

Feel free to inject some personality into your LOI. Write in a conversational tone and avoid using overly complex language. Remember that admissions officers want to get to know the real you, so be yourself.

3. Focus on Your Contributions

While it's essential to highlight your achievements and qualifications, remember to mention how you'll contribute to the school community. Mention your extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or other experiences showing you're a team player. This demonstrates that you're interested in more than what the school can do for you but also in what you can do for the school.

4. Proofread Carefully

Spelling and grammar mistakes can harm your chances of acceptance, so it's essential to proofread your LOI carefully. Use online tools like Grammarly to catch any errors you have missed.

5. Follow the Instructions

Make sure you read the instructions carefully and follow them to the letter. Each college will have specific instructions for writing the LOI, and failing to follow them can hurt your chances of acceptance.

6. Write from Scratch

Avoid copying LOI templates from online sources. Use them as a guide, but make sure your letter is unique and personal. Write your LOI from scratch and show the admissions officers you've put in the effort.

FAQs

Q1. What is an LOI?

An LOI is a letter that explains why you want to study at a particular college or university and what makes you a suitable candidate for the program. It's an essential part of the college application process.

Q2. Why is an LOI important?

An LOI is important because it's your first impression of the admissions officers. It's your chance to show them why you're a suitable candidate for the program.

Q3. How long should an LOI be?

An LOI should be one page at maximum. Keep it concise and to the point.

Q4. How can I make my LOI stand out?

To make your LOI stand out, customise it for each college you're applying to, inject some personality into it, and focus on your contributions to the school community.

Q5. Should I use a template for my LOI?

While templates can be helpful, writing your LOI from scratch is best. Use the templates as a guide, but make sure your letter is unique and personal.

Q6. Can I get help writing my LOI?

Yes, you can get help writing your LOI. Many college counsellors and writing centres offer assistance with writing your LOI.

Conclusion

Writing an LOI is an essential part of the college application process, and it's crucial to avoid the common mistakes students make when writing their LOIs. By customising your letter, being yourself, focusing on your contributions, proofreading carefully, following instructions, and writing from scratch, you can increase your chances of being accepted into your dream college abroad. Good luck with your application!

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