Applying to private schools in Los Angeles for your child's education can be a stressful time for many families, as there are many factors to consider and decisions to be made. One option to increase your chances of being accepted into your top choice school is to send a first choice letter. In order to decide if this is something you might want to do, it is important to understand this part of the admission process. Here is a brief description of what a first choice letter is, why you should consider sending one, the type of content it should include, when to send it, and the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
What is a first choice letter?
A first choice letter is a formal written statement addressed to a private school expressing your family's strong interest in attending that school and making it your first choice. It is essentially a letter of intent that helps to demonstrate your commitment to the school. The letter emphasizes why you and your child would be a good fit for the school and how attending the school would benefit your child's education and growth. It is a notice to the school that you will accept their offer of admission if they believe your child/family is a good fit.
Why should you consider sending a first choice letter?
A first choice letter serves as a unique opportunity to highlight your child's connection to the school beyond what's stated in the application. It's a chance to exhibit your enthusiasm, align your values with the school's mission, and illustrate why you believe the school is the perfect fit. If you are VERY clear that ONE school is the best fit for your child/family, you should tell the school by writing a first choice letter. A first choice letter can set you apart from other applicants and help you stand out in a competitive admissions process. It shows the school that you have done your research, are serious about your child's education, and are committed to the school's mission. It can also demonstrate your family's values and priorities, helping the school to determine if you are a good fit for their community. Schools care about their admissions yield, so it is important to tell them that you will definitely enroll if you are offered a spot....potentially tipping the scales in your favor during the admission decision process. **** It is important to note that you can only have ONE first choice. You cannot send a letter to more than one school because you are making a commitment to enroll if you are accepted.
What content should it include?
A first choice letter should be personalized and heartfelt, addressing your child's unique needs and interests. It should briefly reintroduce your family and your reasons for wanting your child to attend the school. Share personal experiences, anecdotes, or aspirations that align with the school's values. It may also include any relevant information or achievements that demonstrate your child's potential as a student or contributor to the school community. It should express your commitment and enthusiasm for the school and you should use the words FIRST CHOICE. Finally, it should clearly state that you will accept enthusiastically if your child is offered a spot in the class.
When should you send a first choice letter?
The best time to send a first choice letter is after you have completed your application, interview, and assessments. It should be sent before the admissions decisions are made, ideally a few weeks to a month before the notification deadline. In LA, a first choice letter should be sent during the last week of January or the first week of February. This gives the school enough time to review your letter and take it into consideration when making their decision.
Advantages and Disadvantages of first choice letters.
The main advantage of sending a first choice letter is that it can help you stand out and demonstrate your commitment to the school. A first choice letter shows how serious you are about the school. It can also provide an opportunity to highlight your child's strengths and alignment with the school's values and mission. However, it is important to recognize that a first choice letter is not a guarantee of acceptance. It's essential to note the potential disadvantages as well. If the letter isn't crafted authentically or if it seems insincere or formulaic, it could detract from your application. Also, if not well-timed, it might not receive the attention it deserves from the admissions team.
Sending a first choice letter can be a strategic way to increase your chances of being accepted into your top choice private school in Los Angeles. It can demonstrate your commitment, showcase your child's potential, and allow you to personalize your application. While there is no guarantee that it will result in acceptance, it can provide a valuable opportunity to differentiate yourself from other applicants.
Good luck with your application process! Contact Lisa Marfisi if you want help with your first choice letter or if you have questions about private school admission in LA.