How to write a short and sweet letter to your AO!!

Just to be clear, there is no right way of approaching this letter, especially since those applying to special programs would inevitably have to tweak the letter’s format. With that said, any sort of “template” would work well as long as you prioritize courtesy and concision. 

Here’s a very rough template for the AO letter that I mentioned in a previous blog! Make sure that the email landing in your admissions officer’s inbox is concise and courteous, but it should also be an extension of your self-expression and an emphasis on your demonstrated interest. Also, steer clear of flowery prose, over-the-top flattery, and essay-length ranting. 

Ultimately, this email can be viewed as a final touch-up of your application–a simple garnish that complements your content-rich essays. 

Dear _____,

My name is [NAME], and I attend [YOUR HIGH SCHOOL]. I’ve just submitted my application for [PROSPECTIVE COLLEGE], and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to apply because [COLLEGE] is my top choice (don’t lie if it isn’t one of your top choices)! 

[In the next paragraph, you could VERY BRIEFLY mention how you’ve met the AO at a (virtual) info session and how his/her portrayal of your prospective college really struck a chord with you or shaped your favorable impression of the school. If you never had the chance of meeting the AO, you could throw in a sentence or two on why this particular college appeals to you].

Thank you so much!

Sincerely,

[NAME]

Just to be clear, there is no right way of approaching this letter, especially since those applying to special programs would inevitably have to tweak the letter’s format. With that said, any sort of “template” would work well as long as you prioritize courtesy and concision. 

For further reference (with a grain of salt), here’s my email to the Duke AO. Although I was later accepted, the fact that I opened the letter with “happy New Year” shows you the extent of procrastination 🙂

Happy New Year! My name is Alex Lin, and I’m a senior in the [MY SCHOOL]. I learned a lot about Duke from your presentation at the Marriott Quorum Information Session, and your brief discussion about food in Durham was really memorable; it inspired me to write about food in the “Why Duke” essay.

I’ve sent my application for Duke (I’ve also applied for the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program)! Duke is definitely my top choice, and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to apply!

Thank you so much!

Sincerely,

Alex

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