6 Tips for Writing Professional College Emails

Application Strategies
August 18, 2020
For One Reason Or Another, Your Student Has Realized They Need To Send An Email To A College Official...

Regardless of the reason for their email, your student should be aware of the details that go into a well-written college email. Students who send professional emails not only leave the recipient with a good impression, but it can also be yet one more way that they demonstrate an interest in their potential future college.

The Many Reasons To Master Writing Emails

It’s no secret that the world of professional careers requires you to send countless emails. However, there are also many more immediate reasons why a college-bound student would want to know how to write a professional email.

To start, there are various points where a student will want to email a college official during the application process. Whether they have a specific question they can’t seem to find an answer to online, need to reach out to determine if the school would be the right fit for them, or simply want to demonstrate interest, knowing how to write a professional email is a valuable skill.

Another common reason that students find themselves needing to email a college is due to missed deadlines. Even after the application process, a student may want to contact their future college further about their enrollment.

Additionally, learning how to write a strong email now will help your student in college and beyond. Students often send emails to professors, support staff, networking connections, and peers throughout their college career. Knowing how to write an eye-catching yet professional email will serve your student’s needs as they make their way through life.

6 Ways To Write Professional College Emails

There are several different ways to approach writing an email, but in order to provide the best impression, your student should aim for polished and polite. An overly professional or formal email can seem out of place, and a casual slang-filled email will end up in the bottom of an admin official’s priority list. The following tips will help your student find the middle ground that makes for the perfect college email.

BE DIRECT AND CONCISE

Above all else, your student shouldn’t leave the person reading their email guessing as to the purpose of the email. Additionally, while details can help provide important context to your student’s questions or concerns, keeping emails short and easily read is best for a professional image. Your student should aim to write the shortest email possible while still covering the topic and remaining polite.

A short email that covers all your student’s questions will be appreciated over a long, flowery email that details the beauty of a campus that the recipient works at. Reading and responding to emails can take a significant amount of time for admin offices, and keeping your email on-topic will be appreciated, and remembered.

USE YOUR NATURAL VOICE

While it may be tempting for your student to “write like a professional” in emails to their dream college, this should be avoided. Colleges are used to dealing with polite and courteous young adults. Using flowery language or technical jargon can make your email a headache for the admin office or a professor to read.

Even though one of the goals of a college email is to leave a good impression, trying too hard to come off as knowledgeable or professional in your word choice can backfire. These emails should be written like how one would address a teacher, mentor, or another respected adult. This simply means avoiding slang, jokes, and abbreviations. Your student wants to sound polished, but not as if they used a thesaurus for every other word.

KEEP THE FORMAT CLEAN

A solid college email should start with a formal greeting, preferably with the recipient’s name and title, and end with a sincere send-off. Keep the font size and color legible while avoiding frequent use of emojis, formatting, or images. If the email is difficult to read, it will not come across as if your student takes the email or its contents seriously.

Additionally, make sure your student is sending any college-related emails from an appropriate and direct email address, such as firstnamelastname@email.com. This will help prevent their email from ending up in a spam folder or being disregarded for its lack of seriousness.

Finally, make sure the email’s subject line is clear and direct. “Questions Regarding the Economics Major” is much better than “asking about a few of your majors.”

DEMONSTRATE REAL INTEREST

By “demonstrate real interest, we mean that your student should be asking questions that can’t be found with a quick online search; questions that show your student is seriously considering attending this college and needs clarification on specific programs, departments, or requirements of the school. This is another reason to avoid using boilerplate template emails that admin offices have read thousands of times before.

One of the best ways to demonstrate interest in a college email is to keep the email focused on the school itself rather than your student. While your student may want to provide important context about their background, history, or intentions during college they will want to make sure their email makes sense in the context of the college.

SHOW SINCERE APPRECIATION

While your student should avoid showering the college’s admin office with praise in every email, the tone of your email can show a lot of sincere appreciation and interest in a college. Be sure that the email reads politely, professionally, and makes clear sense from start to finish.

As tone can be difficult to read, it’s important that a second person reads over these emails before they are sent to ensure that your student is showing proper gratitude for the recipient's time rather than sounding like an entitled student. As more colleges begin to consider demonstrated interest during admissions, your student’s college emails are more important than ever. More than this, emails are permanent; your student can’t take back anything they’ve written once they hit send.

NEVER SEND THE FIRST DRAFT

Even professionals make mistakes in emails. There is no rush to send a college email, and your student should never send the first draft. Make sure they proofread the email before sending it to a second pair of eyes for another edit. After writing an email, your student will be less likely to notice their own mistakes and areas where they could improve. This second set of eyes can help your student feel confident that they’re sending the best possible email to represent them to their potential college.

Writing Emails For College Is Just One Step

Once your student has composed the perfect college email, they can begin to take the next steps in their college admission journey. Whether this is an email filled with excited questions or simply a follow-up with additional information for their application, a professional college email is a small, but important step that many students take as they apply for college.

Fortunately, our WeAdmit counselors are here to help you with the small details that make a college email go from good to great, and we would love to hear your student’s questions and concerns. Our expertise allows us to work with students together to make the college application process as painless as possible; and this includes all the extra work that students may not think about, like college emails, demonstrating interest, and perfecting their college application!

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