How to Create a Cover Letter

How to Create a Cover Letter

A cover letter accompanies your resume. It states your intentions, introduces your voice, highlights specific qualifications and skills. Lastly, it encourages the reader to look at your resume. Your interview starts the moment you apply for an opportunity!

Cover Letter Look & Format:
1. Scannable
Be direct and to the point
3-4 short paragraphs

2. Clean
White space is important!
Avoid italicizing or underlining

3. Keep it Professional
Correct terms (but not jargon)
Consistent, professional font

Parts of a Cover Letter
1. Header
– The header of your cover letter should reflect the organization’s location, hiring manager and the date in which you send in your application. Make sure to do your research before submitting your materials so that you have the most up to date information!
– If the recruiters name is not available, search the organization/company on LinkedIn to see who works there and to get an idea of who might be reading your application

2. Greeting
– Specific name
– Dear Hiring Manager
– Dear Director of Human Resources
– Use a colon or comma

3. Introduction (The Ask)
– State your interest
– Identify connections (if applicable)
– Identify 2-3 skills that make you an excellent fit for the position

4. Body
– States qualifications/skills
– Previous work experience
– Concrete examples
– Impact /results

5. Closing
– Demonstrate research!
– Brand-specific information
– Mission-alignment
– Enthusiasm

6. Thank you
Include closing phrases such as:
– I look forward to speaking with you in the near future.
– Thank you for taking the time to review my credentials.
– Thank you for considering my application.

7. Include signature
– Kind regards,
– Best regards,
– Best,

Cover Letter Building Resources:
How to Write a Cover Letter
Complete guide to writing a cover letter
How to Write a Cover Letter as a College Student
College Student Cover Letter Examples

Make sure to create a new cover letter for each application (but yes, you can use a template). We look forward to helping you get that next big opportunity!

Let’s Go Team

Filing Taxes as a College Student FAQs

Filing Taxes as a College Student FAQs

Adulting is scary! Suddenly, money is everywhere and confusing. Part of that confusion can definitely stem from filing taxes. Taxes, however, can be tackled, no matter how mysterious. Here are some FAQs about filing taxes as a college student.

***Please note that Let’s Go to College CA can not offer professional tax advice. This post serves as a collection of answers found online. Consult a tax professional for specific questions regarding your unique situation***

Q: Do college students need to file taxes?

A: ANYONE who is single (not legally married) AND earned at least $12,950 is required to file taxes. Earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and taxable scholarships and fellowship grants. 

Additionally, you are required to file taxes if your unearned income was more than $1,100. Unearned income includes taxable interest, ordinary dividends, capital gain distributions, unemployment compensation, taxable social security benefits, pensions, annuities, and distributions of unearned income from a trust.   

Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 

Q: Can my parents still claim me as a dependent?

A: Yes! Your parents can claim you as a dependent until you are 24 years old AS LONG AS they provide more than HALF of your living support AND you are a full-time college student. If your parents provide less than half of your support and/or if you are not a full-time student, you should file your taxes independently from them.

Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 

Q: Can I file my own taxes as a dependent?

A: Yes! Even if you are a dependent, you may still file taxes if you had earned income in the last year. If you had a job where you were taxed, you may be entitled to a refund. All you have to do is note in your tax return that you will be claimed as a dependent with your parents. A tax preparer or tax preparing website will assist you with this. 

Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 

Q: What is the American Opportunity Tax Credit?

A: If you/your parents make less than $80,000 a year, you may be entitled up to a $2,500 credit from the government. The credit is meant to help you pay for qualified education expenses. The main factors of eligibility are being enrolled at least half-time during the beginning of year, not having finished the first 4-years of higher education, and having no felony or drug conviction.

If the credit brings down the overall tax you owe to zero, you can have 40 percent of any remaining amount of credit (up to $1,000) refunded to you.

Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Q: What information do I need to file taxes?

A: The main things you will need to file your taxes are your social security number, your mailing address, a W-2 form(s) (provided by your employers), a 1098-T (provided by your school), and a 1098-E (provided by your school loan servicer). 

Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 

Q: Can I file taxes if I am undocumented?

A: Yes! If you are undocumented, you are required to file taxes.

Source: The Balance

Q: What if I don’t have a social security number?

A: If you do not have a social security number, but still are required to file taxes, you can use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The ITIN does not allow you to work legally in the U.S., but can be used when reporting taxes. To get an ITIN, you can apply for one through the IRS. 

Source: Internal Revenue Service and The Balance

Q: What if I don’t have a mailing address?

A: You can choose to use a P.O box for tax filing purposes. If you are experiencing homelessness, however, you can ask a shelter or service center if you may use their address on your records and they may allow it.

Source: Get It Back 

Q: Can I claim a device such as a laptop or a tablet as a qualifying educational expense?

A: Yes! If you bought a device in the last year because it was required for school, then it qualifies as an education expense. However, if you are claiming the Lifetime Learning Credit, you may not deduct equipment purchased from the education institution. 

Source: Turbo Tax

Dealing with College Expenses

Dealing with College Expenses

Managing finances is one of the biggest challenges for college students, especially for those living independently for the first time. Fortunately, there are many resources available to students through their college or university to help with the costs of living and college expenses. 

Tapping into the Financial Resources at Your School

The first step is to always fill out a FAFSA or CADAA. The priority deadline is March 2, and aid is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Even if students are not expecting much federal aid these applications are necessary for other financial aid like state grants and scholarships. We’ll link the FAFSA and CADAA websites down below, as well as places to find and apply for scholarships. At each college there are resources for students of all backgrounds, such as first-generation college students, POC students, students who are parents and many more. Most California colleges have an EOP, Educational Opportunity Program, which offers academic and financial support to historically underserved populations of students. It may have different names at different schools, but regardless it serves the student population with financial resources. Some of these resources include, but are not limited to transportation assistance like free/reduced bus passes, discounts on Uber rides to and from campus, textbook assistance, and much more. Working on-campus is a great way for students to pay for living expenses and cut down on the  cost of transportation to a job off-campus. It also helps students hear about financial resources, opportunities and events on campus much sooner, as well as contributing to their resume. Students can also actively seek out paid internships that align with their career goals and receive payments or a stipend from these programs. Lastly, students should be mindful of the financial resources available through the state, county, or city they live in. We encourage everyone to apply for CalFresh, look into their local food pantry or food distribution sites. Budget with priority for their necessities and later factor in expenses for entertainment and leisure. Being mindful of these expenses while trying to manage school life is not easy, but knowing where to access help and how to allocate money wisely is a necessary skill for college students. 

Budgeting Food 

In college, food options are endless, so it can be difficult to avoid spending excess amounts of money on food. College meal plans are convenient for certain students such as for those living in the dorms or spending long hours on campus. These plans offer them on-site dining and time preferences. Most colleges have established on-campus food pantries that provide emergency relief resources for those in need. What’s more, quick bites to eat are often offered on campus through student organizations, it’s just a matter of finding them. There is certainly no shortage of food options on campus, but off-campus resources are just as abundant. EBT, such as CalFresh, provides food assistance in the form of monthly stipends. Food discounts are widely available both online or on print. In addition, certain areas across California offer mobile food discount platforms. 

Acquiring Textbooks 

Textbooks for college are unnecessarily expensive. Students want to avoid paying the market price for textbooks as the money spent on them could be used for various other goods. Students can avoid this problem by applying to textbooks waivers provided by organizations or  financial assistance programs at their college. What’s more, online websites such as Chegg, Amazon, and often have reduced priced books for purchase or rent in new or used conditions. Free or affordable PDF versions of textbooks are also available through the internet. Sharing textbooks with a peer or purchasing it from former students is yet another budget friendly option. Bottom line is, unless the textbook is an investment for future courses, it is worth looking into free or low-cost textbook options. 

Student Discounts 

There are a lot of discounts that are exclusively available to students if they search online, view websites, or even ask in person. Options range from technology, clothing, entertainment, and utilities among others. By taking full advantage of student discounts, budgeting and saving, are two of the many benefits incurred. Popular examples are UniDays, Honey extension, and Student Beans. In addition, various platforms such as Amazon Prime,  Doordash, Chegg, Hulu, Spotify, and Youtube among others, offer student plans. 


Free Application for Federal Student Aid

CA Dream Act Application


California Scholarships

Chegg – Used Textbooks


The Commuter Student Experience & Advocating for Accessible Transportation

The Commuter Student Experience & Advocating for Accessible Transportation

Commuter students are an incredibly diverse group of students. They consist of full-time students living at home, part-time students who live off campus in apartments, or even parents who commute for night classes. Commuter students often have to use various modes of transportation in order to get to school, which includes their own car, bus, or even Uber. A commuter student might have to make sacrifices in order to attend school, which makes it important for colleges to have flexibility for their students. Despite this, there are several benefits for commuter students, as well as disadvantages. 


  1. Saving on tuition – Commuter students tend to live at home with their parents or even in apartments in the city. This is usually much cheaper than paying for housing on campus, with funds going up to even $40,000 a school year. 
  2. More control in schedule – Being a commuter student allows more flexibility in your schedule, you are able to have a job and set your own times for your activities and school work. 
  3. Ensured privacy – Privacy goes out the door once you get a roommate in college. You see each other’s way of living and some boundaries will eventually be broken. Living at home or somewhere else as a commuter student allows you to be fully comfortable in your surroundings.
  4. Comfort and stability – College can be a big step for many students and a big step that not everyone is ready to take. If you still live with your parents you can still have access to comfort and stability central home can provide. This can grant you the confidence in your school life knowing you have a sense of stability at home. 


  1. Traffic – Accessible transportation is often a huge challenge for commuter students, and traffic in transportation is a problem. The lack of routes can often lead to huge traffic when getting to and from school. 
  2. More effort in making connections/friendships/social life – When you live on campus, you automatically get opportunities to make friends and meet new people. Whether it’s your roommates or the people across the hall, you eventually get to know everyone. However, once you’re commuting, you have to put in more effort to make friends. Folks involved in organizations and clubs usually live on campus, so the lack of a social life is a challenge for commuter students. 
  3. Effect on academic performance – the stress and time it takes to commute can take a toll on a student. Often, a commuter student will start to skip class because of the lack of accessible transportation or because they don’t think it’s worth it. This eventually leads to a negative impact on their academic performance. 
  4. Can sometimes be exhausting – Commuting can sometimes be exhausting. Depending on the time of your commute, traffic of your commute, or your mode of transportation. Commuting can take from 30 minutes to 3 hours for some students. Waking up early to get to school and leaving school really late in the day can really put a tax on your mental/ physical state and add excess stress to your school life.


While being a commuter student can make higher education cheaper and more flexible, a prominent barrier that many commuters face is accessible transportation. Convenient and reliable transportation helps commuter students remain in control of their academics without having to worry about getting to class on time. Whether it be public transportation costs or parking permit rates, colleges should acknowledge the barriers commuter students face compared to their on-campus living counterparts. Removing transportation barriers builds a more inclusive and supportive environment for all students regardless of their circumstances. If university officials do not prioritize basic needs such as accessible transportation for their students, it may be up to the public and students alike to advocate for themselves until their needs are met. 


The topic of advocacy may be overwhelming for some. However, there are many opportunities available, some unique to each university and some more applicable to the public, that can help individuals begin to advocate for accessible transportation in their own communities. 

  1. Get involved in commuter support clubs on campus – Joining clubs/organizations tailored towards commuters can help students meet new people with similar situations and expose more opportunities for advocacy directly within their university.
  2. Utilizing public transportation in your city – By using public transportation more often, individuals can help build a support system for the local public transportation programs and this may lead leaders to recognize the public transport demand and improve the current state of public transportation.  
  3. Expressing support for advancing public transportation – Participating in public transportation campaigns and signing petitions concerning the progression in the accessibility and quality of public transportation systems can be an effective way to promote increases in funding and attention towards this objective.  

Commuter student resources:

American Public Transportation Association: LINK

How to Network With Professors on a College Campus

How to Network With Professors on a College Campus

Building a relationship with your professors has many benefits for your academic and career success. Connecting with your professors will allow you to have a strong academic connection for the future, you will be able to ask them for letters of recommendation, and you will be having a better workflow. Since they will be able to see the effort you are putting into the class as well as they can help you with future assignments. 

Start by introducing yourself on the first day of the course. Introduce yourself, what you are majoring in, and the year you are being attentive at the college or university that you are in. Lastly, show how much you are appreciative of being in their course and that you would hope to learn more from it. Another option would be to send them an email introducing yourself such as your major and how that class is related to your major, why you are interested in that class, or anything you would like to bring up. It should not be a stressed component but rather have fun and play around with the email and how you would want to present yourself. It is really important to connect with your professors, especially if you may be virtually learning with them online. If you are an online learner, you would need to meet these same adjustments. 

Weekly office hours

The place where you are able to strongly connect with your professor is through office hours. During the first-week professors will send out their syllabus where office hours will be located and at the time they are available as well as the time that the teacher assistants are available. It is suggested and highly encouraged to attend them because it allows you to ask questions in a small group and discuss class materials which can help with future class material. Professors will also take that into account since it is very common for students to not attend office hours. Although this is extra time and students can see it as wasteful and choose not to attend it has many positive benefits. Most students are afraid to attend office hours, only because they are mostly afraid to ask for help. Most students feel that they don’t need office hours so they encourage themselves not to go. Attending office hours regularly even if you do not need to attend them. Attending office hours can make you more efficient in your future assignments, and also can prepare you for your quizzes and exams. 

There may be times when to meet with your professor during office hours on their syllabus. Email your professor on the days, and times when you can come into their office hours to check-in. Professors can tend to be busy, you can also email your course TA for further information on the times that you can meet with your TA or your professor. They are both there to help you academically for the course. Email the professors a couple of days earlier before the due date of the assignment.


Tips for Networking with your Professors 

– Work with your schedule to set aside a time to meet with your professors. – Research more about your professor through the University Website so you get an idea of the professor’s specialized field. 

– Remember that professors are there to work with you and help you. 

– It’s always helpful to write down questions to ask your professors before attending office hours, so you can have more of a clarification of being in the course of what you are learning in that particular assignment. 

– Professors are connected with the school and will send opportunities that they are open to sharing.



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