How To Write a Statement of Intent (With Tips and Sample)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 23, 2022

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A statement of intent to study in a college or university is an integral aspect of admission processes. Your statement of intent, or letter of purpose, expresses your desire to have an institution accept you into their academic program. Understanding how to write a statement of intent can increase your chances of getting accepted into your preferred institution. In this article, we discuss what a statement of intent is, highlight how to write a statement of intent, and provide tips to ensure the impeccable quality of your statement of intent.

What is a statement of intent?

A statement of intent, also known as a letter of intent or a statement of purpose, is an essay that expresses the writer's desire to undertake an activity. Because of their intrinsic importance, many organizations and platforms require a statement of intent during their application process. In addition, academic institutions often require prospective students to write statements of intent as part of their application process. In most institutions, your statement of intent constitutes a formal document.

College application statements of intent are essays prospective students write and submit to their preferred college. They describe who you are as a student and your professional targets and aspirations, especially career-wise. The statement of intent is usually the first thing the admission committee reads about you. This helps the committee determine whether you can be a good fit in their institution. In addition, a statement of intent usually expresses why you can optimally use the opportunity the institution provides if they admit you into their program.

How to write a statement of intent

Knowing how to write a statement of intent is essential to increase your chances of getting an admission offer, and here's how to do it:

1. Salutations

Starting your statement of intent with a personal salutation helps to make it more personal. To make the statement of intent more personal, you can reach out to the institution to learn to whom to address the letter. Nevertheless, if you're unable to determine the name, you can address it vaguely. For example, it can be Dear Mrs. Grey or Dear admissions committee. The personal salutation can help you create a feeling of familiarity between you and the eventual reader.

Read more: How To Write Salutations (With Examples)

2. Self-introduction

The next step is to introduce yourself. You are to concisely describe yourself here, including your professional and academic record, background, and qualifications. Furthermore, this is the opportunity to point out what program you have an interest in undertaking. Likewise, you can include your feats and accomplishments, especially in your academic life. Because there are usually various candidates, ensuring your introduction is unique and memorable is in your best interests. Furthermore, a memorable introduction can stir up the curiosity of the decision-makers and leave a positive impression on them, which can improve your chances of success.

3. The body

Here are the important aspects of the body of a statement of intent:

Professional experience and achievements

In this paragraph, you detail your academic achievements, starting with the most impressive ones. This paragraph aims to convince the decision-maker that you're academically proficient and consequently worthy of consideration. Furthermore, it's vital that you include any relevant experience you've gained in the industry or field you intend to build your career. For example, you can include the internship experiences you've completed. Also, ensure your experiences and achievements align with the program you seek to study in the institution to improve its relevance.

Related: 4 Steps To Highlight Your Achievements on a Resume

Professional aspirations in the institution

In this paragraph, you set out your professional and academic targets and how your time in the institution can help you realize them. When including your career aspirations, you can also include how you came about these goals. It's important that you set out these details as precisely as possible to avoid generic statements. This is because your objective is to ensure your essay is memorable. Furthermore, it's essential that you find your reasons convincing. This is because being certain of your reasons is vital if you intend to convince the decision-maker.

4. Conclusion

Conclude by summarizing why you believe you're worthy of receiving an offer of admission. Furthermore, you can include that you're available for an interview. If you do this, provide a medium of contact and communication. In addition, in your conclusion, ensure you express sincere gratitude to the reader for their time assessing your essay and considering your application. Finally, if you attached any document, you can leverage this opportunity to state that you have done so, directing their attention to the documents.

Tips for writing a good statement of intent

Here are some of the important tips when writing a statement of intent:

Make sure your application is concise

Usually, the person in charge of reading the statements of intent assesses multiple essays, so it's important that your essay is straight to the point. For example, include only the relevant information instead of including all your academic qualifications, experience, goals, and aspirations. Also, fit the necessary information into a single page. Writing more than a page can give the impression that you're incapable of clearly articulating your thoughts, especially where it's a requirement.

Related: How to Write a Common App Essay for University (With Steps)

Research the institution before writing the statement of intent

Indicating interest in the institution you're applying to is important because institutions often only consider candidates who are genuinely interested. One of the ways to express interest in the institution is by incorporating information about the institution into your essay. You can achieve this by researching the institution before writing your essay. For example, you can reference the new grants the institution just won or how the institution recently became the recipient of an award. In addition, you can research the institution by going through its website, journals, and social media accounts.

Proofread the essay

Because the readers go through many essays, they commonly disqualify entries due to poor grammar and spelling errors. As such, it's beneficial that your statement of intent is completely devoid of any error. If you're unsure of your proofreading abilities, you can request the help of a family member or a close friend.

Personalize the statement of intent

Customizing each essay to an institution is important despite writing multiple statements of intent for several institutions. Ensure you describe how your qualifications and goals align with the institution. Furthermore, explain how you believe the institution can positively affect the career you desire. Avoid making general statements. Ensure that your statement of intent is full of proof of your motivation and passion for attending the institution.

Related: Tips for Writing a Personal Statement for Graduate School

Understand the requirements

It's essential that you follow the requirements that the institution itemizes. Because the readers go through many essays, discovering that you didn't follow the specific rules can have them abandon your essay. It may help to read the requirements and compare your essay to ensure it complies fully with all instructions, including font size, margins, and word count.

Submit your statement of intent early

This is important for many reasons. First, late submissions commonly risk being ignored, especially if the slots fill up early. Furthermore, submitting your statement of intent early can convince the admissions office that you're steadfast and diligent. Likewise, due to general human nature, the level of desire and concentration often drops with every additional essay the committee reads. As such, to increase your application's chances, submitting early is a great idea.

Statement of intent sample

Here is a sample statement of intent:

Dear Ted Mosby,

I intend to obtain my bachelor's degree in English literature from Wesleyan University. This is because of the exceptional work the institution has done in the English Literature sphere. A budding interest in Shakespeare, Alexander Pope, Margaret Atwood, Lorna Crozier, and Oscar Wilde informed my decision to obtain a degree in English Literature. Through Wesleyan's educative English Literature department, I seek to establish my aspirations in the field of English Literature. I completed my standard education at Trudeau High School, maintaining a GPA of 3.96.

I was first the deputy head of the literary club in high school before becoming the club's head. Furthermore, I have volunteered at both my school's library and my local library. I have also worked as an intern in my local theatre club. Here I observed the practical nature of drama, especially Shakespeare. I have also written several short stories, one of which the African Agbowo magazine has published.

In my period within the institution, I intend to harness the English and Literature department's wealth of impeccable experience to my benefit. Furthermore, with my little experience in the sphere, I intend to bolster the university's English and Literature department. My passion for the literary arts shall spur me to develop myself as a fine practitioner of the literary arts. Studying at the institution's English and Literature department can be immensely beneficial for the university and me.

I intend to hone my literary arts skills and become an important ambassador of the university. As such, I believe I'm worthy to receive the opportunity to obtain a bachelor's degree from your prestigious institution. Thank you very much for your consideration.


Marshall Bruce

Now that we've discussed what a statement of intent is and highlighted how to write a statement of intent, you'll be better prepared to write your own.

The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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