How to Write a Strong Petition Letter for College

A petition letter can either accompany a formal petition or request a change in the status of a particular situation. A letter may be the most effective way to give all the details, express personal opinion and recommend or request a solution. 

Talking to the concerned individual, sending an email or filling out required forms all have their limitations, but a formal business letter lends professionalism and weight to the petitioner.

To have the best chance of success, the content and tone of the letter needs to be accurate and polite. The petitioner may be upset, but this letter is not the place to express anger. 

It will not help them if they threaten, beg, flatter, cajole or make extravagant promises. This will only result in alienating the reader. 

For example, they should not say they promise to do well if their request is granted, or if their request is denied, it will kill their aged mother or that they have always admired the receiver of the letter. 

However, the petitioner can honestly and briefly express emotions such as I was extremely upset when I was informed about my grade, but not say, when I saw my grade I wanted to kill myself.

The petitioner should find out the policy of the institution they are petitioning before they write the letter. They should also find out what information the person receiving the petition needs in order to act on the request or appeal. 

If the relevant information is not included, it could, at best, delay a response or, at worst, may cause the receiver to deny the request. The petition letter should be typed, as free of spelling and grammatical errors as possible and meet any deadlines required by the institution.

Petitioners should only include facts and documents that directly relate to their situation. They should not include information that has no connection to their main issue. 

Busy administrators appreciate it when a petitioner makes the effort to write a brief and to-the-point letter. This shows respect for the receiver and may help put him or her in the frame of mind to grant the request. 

Here is a sample petition letter. All enclosures should be copies and not original documents. It is wise for the petitioner to keep a copy of all communications in regards to his or her petition even after the matter is settled. The letter should be sent by certified mail, so the petitioner has proof of the time and date the letter was sent and received.

petition letter sample for college

Petitioner’s Name
Petitioner’s Address
City, State, Zip Code

DATE

Admissions Officer 
Name of College
Address of College
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Name of Admission’s Officer,

I am writing this letter to bring to your attention something that I believe is unfair and requires attention. I would like to appeal my dismissal from Name of College. I was ready to appear for my Name of Subject exam on DATE, but was diagnosed with West Nile virus and was hospitalized for two weeks at that time. I sent a letter to the college informing of my medical condition and inability to appear for the exam. 

I had understood that I was entitled to appear for the exam when I had been certified healthy by my doctor. When I sent an application to appear for the exam, I was informed that I had been dismissed from the college. This caused me considerable mental anguish and confusion, because the reason for missing the exam was out of my control. 

I am requesting that my status be reinstated in the institution, and that I be allowed to take the exam. I have understood that this is in keeping with the rules and regulations of the college.

Enclosed are copies of my letter informing the college about my illness and inability to appear for the exam as well as the exam schedule, my medical records and my medical certificate stating that I am well.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions or would like more information, I can be reached at 555-123-4567 or at Name@email.com

Sincerely,

Petitioner’s signature
Petitioner’s name printed
List of enclosure