When you need to write an appeal letter for just about anything in life, you will need the right tools and the right things to say to get the attention of the reader. Whether it is an appeal to a college, your health insurance or even housing association, you are trying to convince them to give you a second chance. This article is designed to show you how to write an appeal letter for college or any life situation that it may apply to. Follow these helpful guidelines to write the most effective appeal letter in a very professional tone.

How to Write an Appeal for College: Format and Steps


Follow The Format

  • Use letterhead. Create a letterhead at the top of your page with your name, address, phone and email contact information.

  • Use proper date format. Write out your date using the full month name, day and year i.e. August 24, 2014.

  • Address the recipient. Use and “inside address” to identify who the letter is going to. Use their full name, title, and address.

  • Use a reference line. This is the part of a letter that is written in “RE” and tells the reader what the letter is about. For example:   “RE: College Admissions Appeal”

  • Start with a salutation. Start your letter with a salutation that addresses the person’s title, first and last name. If you do not know exactly who the receiver is, address it to “Dear sir or Dear Madam. You can also use, “To whom it may concern.”

  • The body of your letter. This is where you will plead your case to the college.

  • Closing line. End your letter with a closing line. Make it a few spaces below the body and use words like, “Cordially,” or “Sincerely.”

  • Signature block. You will need to leave a few spaces so you can sign your letter.

  • Notations. This is where you notate any attachments to your letter. Use the word “Enclosure” or “Enclosures” a few lines below your signature. 


Know What to Write in Different Paragraphs

  • Opening paragraph. In this first paragraph, let the reader know exactly what the letter is about.

  • Paragraph two. Tell your side of the story, give any details that you have documented and any other pertinent information. Just state the fact of what happened with a calm and professional tone.

  • Paragraph three. This is where you may need to do some research. Check out the school admission codes and rules or other pertinent information and explain logically in a calm and convincing way why your appeal should be accepted.

  • Closing paragraph. This should be a summary of your letter. Ask again for a reconsideration and offer thanks for the reader’s time.


Print, Sign and Send

Print the letter, sign it and enclose it in a certified envelope.

Sample of Appeal for College Rejection

After reading how to write an appeal letter for college, if you are still not clear, then the samples below can provide more help:

Purpose/Why this is important

For the most part, appeals are not warranted in a college rejection. However, if you have a legitimate reason they may be considered.


Mr. Joe Howard

Admissions Counselor

Breamer University

Studytown, USA


Dear Mr. Howard:

I fully understand your reasons for my rejection from admission to Breamer University. At the time of my application, my SAT scores were too low and did not show my strengths as a student. I would like to ask you to reconsider my admission.

I have taken the SAT testing again and my scores have improved immensely. My reading scores improved by 100 points and math scores are up to 675. I have included copies of my new test results in an enclosure.

I understand that Breamer does not usually accept appeals, but I am asking for you to reconsider my application based on the new and improved scores. My grades in high school have also improved to a 4.0 and I am enclosing my latest report card.

Thank you kindly for taking the time to read my letter and I hope you can reopen my application and give me a second chance. This is still my first choice in colleges.


Karen Johnson



  • Read over your rejection letter slowly and thoroughly. Find the points and reasons why they are rejecting you and look for what you may need to change for reconsideration.

  • Use a professional tone when writing. Take some time to calm down your emotions before starting your appeal letter. If you are feeling hurt or angry, the tone may come across in your letter. Keep a professional tone when writing.

  • Don’t repeat information contained in your application. Keep the letter to the point and only give new information that will help with your second consideration.

  • Make sure your letter is addressed to the proper person. Make sure you are sending your letter to the proper department and person. If you send it to the wrong department, it may not get read or considered.

  • Give a thank you and show appreciation. Tell the reader thank you and that you appreciate the time they took to look over your appeal.  

Sample of Appeal for College Dismiss

Purpose/Why this is important

A college dismissal can always be reversed if it is due to low grade performance. Going in to talk to a guidance counselor and appealing in person is always best, but a letter will work if necessary. 


Glen Ivy College

Guidance Department

Anywhere, USA


To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to appeal my dismissal from Glen Ivy University for academic performance issues. While I understand the reasons for your decision, I would like reinstatement to your school.

I understand my performance was less than your requirements to remain in school and would like to make a few points about the things I have done to rectify the situation. I suffered an illness during the last semester and my GPA fell below your limits.

Over the summer, I took a few remedial classes at my local community college and carried a 3.8 GPA. I have also enclosed a letter from my doctor that I have fully recovered and am on track to return to a full 12 units of classes in the fall semester. Last week, I met with my academic advisor and we discussed ways to keep me on track with my classes in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and reconsider my readmission to your school for the fall semester.


Yours Truly,

Emily Carson


  • Go directly to the school to appeal. A letter is helpful, but in person is better. An appeal letter needs to be very well written to make your point, but speaking to an appeal committee is much more powerful.

  • Make your appeal yourself. You need to either speak to the school personally or write the letter yourself. Your parents, your friends or partner should never make an appeal for you. The school will look at how interested you are in going there, not someone else.

  • Honesty is the best policy. The real reason for low academic performance needs to be addressed. The school will appreciate your honesty and tell them what you did to fix it.

  • Take responsibility. Never make excuses for low grades. Don’t blame others, don’t blame anything else but yourself for not putting all your effort into your studies.

  • Tell them your plan. Let the school know that you have identified your issues at hand and what you are going to do to keep from having the same issues.

  • Be professional and humble. You are at their mercy. While you may be upset over dismissal, you need to be humble and realize you are asking them for something they are not obligated to give back to you. 

Sample of Appeal for College Financial Aid


Purpose/Why this is important

Submitting an appeal for college aid is very important because every dollar to help get through college helps! 



Mr. Steven Lang, Financial Aid Office

University of School Studies

456 College Street

Anytown, USA


Dear Mr. Lang,

Thank you for my offer of financial aid. I appreciate the generosity, but am writing to request a review of the amount offered. Unfortunately, I have been laid off work and my amount of financial need has increased. Without additional financial aid, I will not to be able to attend University of School Studies.

I have taken the time to gather necessary documentation and have enclosed it with this letter. When I applied back in January, I was working 20 hours a week. Since then, I have been laid off work and am on unemployment. Enclosed is the letter of my unemployment award dated March 22, 2011. I am asking for you to reconsider my amount of financial aid.

Thank you for your consideration and taking the time to read my letter. University of School Studies is my top choice of schools and with my SAT scores, I would greatly benefit from attending your school.



Jane Ludlow



  • Make sure you reach the right person. Give the financial aid office a quick call and get the name of the person who handles appeals. Try not to generalize the salutation such as; “To Whom It May Concern.”

  • Offer a “Thank You” for the offer. Thank them for the original offer, but state your circumstances for asking for more money to attend.

  • Give the details of why you can’t pay. Even if the situation is embarrassing, like being laid-off, you need to disclose the circumstances honestly.

  • Lay out the consequences. In an appreciative manner, let them know that you cannot attend the school without additional help.

  • Remain humble. This is not the time to be pushy. Stay gracious for the original offer and remain humble in asking for more money.

  • Contact a paralegal or attorney’s office. They can help with proper wording and letter writing to help you state your needs and win a higher award.

  • Use proper grammar, punctuation and format. Make sure your letter sounds right and looks right. 


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