Before you start writing, do some homework on how your choice college handles appeals. Certain colleges may provide online guides on how to submit an effective appeal [source: Simon Fraser University, Georgian College]. Some colleges will even provide you with details as specific as margin size [source: University of Washington]. However, even if a school is not open about its appeal policy, it doesn't mean that appeals are out of the question. A persistent applicant may still be able to persuade an admissions board to review his or her case [source: Clark].
You may be able to find pre-written appeal letters at Web sites such as Docstoc or Pdfdatabase.com. For a fee, the site Letterrep.com says you can task one of its writers with crafting you a tailor-made letter in 24 hours. You may even be tempted to have a close friend or relative write your appeal letter for you.
However, the ideal appeal letter is a very specific and individualized document. Admissions officers will not only be looking at the content of the letter, but they'll be examining your ability to write clearly and argue your case [source: Beck]. It's one thing to get inspiration or advice from a sample letter, but it's quite another to pass someone else's work off as your own. Your success in college will revolve largely around your ability to express yourself with written words. If one of your first acts as a college student is to cheat, you're probably starting out on the wrong foot.
Feel free to ask around for letter-writing advice, but make sure you look in the right places. Don't rely too heavily on online university and essay forums, though they may be able to provide tips on structure and style [source: Essay Forum]. Your high school guidance counselor will be able to suggest changes to an appeal letter, and may even be able to point you to people with better background knowledge on your chosen school [source: Beck].
Still stumped? The University of Ottawa students society offers an easy three-step process for writing academic appeals [source: University of Ottawa]:
- Reasons. In the first sentence, outline why you're writing the letter. ("This is a letter asking you to reconsider your decision to deny my admission to your institution.")
- Facts. Present concrete details to support your appeal ("In the past four months I have improved my grade point average by a full percentage point.")
- Arguments. In this section, explain what the university may have missed in your initial application and argue your case for being a suitable applicant. Don't just disagree with their decision; persuade them that it was mistaken and that they have plenty to gain by taking you on as a student.
Now that you know how to write an appeal, read on to find out what else to include along with it.