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Advice on Letter of Intent for funding purposes

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I have no idea how to approach this particular letter of intent so I'll give you guys some back story and if you have any insight or advice that would be awesome!

Last application season, I was accepted at North Carolina State University in their Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media Ph.D. program but without funding. I was told I could fund myself or I could defer my acceptance until Fall 2016 and be reconsidered for funding then.  I have to send the director of the program a letter of intent to be considered for funding by Jan 16. I am not sure how to approach it. I've written what is a much better SOP for this current application season and I was going to tailor that but I'm not sure how to tackle the specifics of funding language (which I have not addressed in my SOP whatsoever). As I would be relocating from AZ to NC to go there and a few various other reasons, I cannot and will not continue without being fully funded. I already have an MA, so this is really the end of the line of education for me.

My thesis chair has only advised me to tailor my current SOP to this but she doesn't really know how to address the funding issue either as she's never been part of a Ph.D. adcom; my program at ASU only offered terminal MA degrees.

Any advice? Thank you!!

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Here is my brief, but hopefully helpful advice: funding (unless you are up for fellowships) represents a symbiotic relationship between the student and the department. You could stress how crucial funding is for you and how it is a determining factor as to whether or not you will pursue your studies. Another way to tackle this is to focus on the potential assistantship that you may have at that university. What is the school going to get from you? (either as a TA, instructor, RA, etc.) Why should they give you funding, What strengths do you have that others may not, etc... 

I am not sure if that helps, but good luck!


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