Preparing for College

Will "Love Letter" Improve Admission Chances?

Question: I really want to attend Princeton because of its excellent international relations program and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and Foreign Service, and I'm planning on letting the admissions committee know that by attaching an additional essay. Is that a good idea?

This is certainly a good question, but whether or not it's also a good idea depends largely on how successfully--or creatively--you can pull it off. In other words, can you write an essay that doesn't sound like you're regurgitating the Princeton Web site or viewbook? Can you present your reasons for aspiring to Woodrow Wilson in a way that won't sound superficial or trite? Colleges do get a fair amount of these sorts of unsolicited affidavits or "love letters"--no, certainly not from the majority of candidates, but from a sufficient number to make admission folks fairly jaded or cynical about yet another "suck up" missive.

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