How to Write a Letter of Continued Interest
Getting deferred or waitlisted by your dream college is disappointing, but you still have a chance!
And if you’re growing frustrated with waiting around for a final decision, there’s something you can do about it: Write a letter of continued interest (LOCI).
If you’ve never heard of a LOCI before, don’t worry—we’re here to guide you through it.
What is a letter of continued interest?
A letter of continued interest tells a college that although you’ve been waitlisted or deferred, you’re still interested in attending. Your strong interest in the school continues. Makes sense, right?
The LOCI is also an opportunity to share any new accomplishments with the college. These may include improved test scores or GPA, or new awards and honors. Even if you don’t have any major new accomplishments, it’s best to include something new if you want to write an impactful LOCI.
Think about a sports or concert season you’ve recently completed and how you contributed.
Consider any new volunteer or work experience and what you learned.
You can even mention ways you’ve recently taken initiative to learn something new, like job shadowing, signing up for an online course, or conducting your own experiment or research project.
Share your new experience or accomplishment, what it says about you and your character, and how it will help you contribute on campus.
Ultimately, the goal is to show you’re likely to attend the school—and succeed there—if offered a spot. Of course, there’s no guarantee that writing a LOCI will boost your chances of admission. Still, if you put in the time and effort to send a letter and similarly qualified applicants don’t, your LOCI could give you the edge.
When should I send a letter of continued interest?
You should send a LOCI as soon as possible after learning that you’ve been waitlisted or deferred.
However, the best time to send your letter depends on the school.
Some schools accept more information and materials, some only accept them after a certain date, and some specifically say not to send anything extra.
Check your letter of waitlist or deferral for any instructions related to additional communication. Some schools accept more information and materials, while others accept further communication only after a certain date. Still others specifically tell you not to send any additional communication.
If the school doesn’t want you to communicate, honor their request. Ignoring their instructions and sending a letter anyway could actually hurt your chances of getting off the waitlist.
Finally, if the school doesn’t mention additional communication at all, go ahead and send the letter.
If you’re expecting positive updates soon (e.g., higher GPA, improved test scores, awards or recognition), then wait until you receive them to send the letter. Otherwise, get started on your letter right away.
Who do I send my letter of continued interest to?
When you send your letter of continued interest, you should address it to a specific person. Avoid generic greetings like “To Whom It May Concern.”
In some cases, the school will tell you where to send follow-up communication and materials. Follow these instructions exactly.
What if the school doesn’t provide clear instructions?
If the letter notifying you of your deferral/waitlisted status was signed by an individual, you can address your LOCI to this person. Another option is to address your letter to the director of admissions. Whomever you send your letter to, make absolutely certain that the name is spelled correctly.
Some schools provide a form for LOCIs or a place in the application portal to include new information, so use these options if they’re available.
If not, send your letter to the admissions office via mail, email or fax. Call or email the admissions office if you’re feeling nervous or uncertain, and they’ll answer any specific questions you have about where and how to send your LOCI.
What do I include in a letter of continued interest?
Limit your letter of continued interest to one page.
It should be clear, concise and written in your own voice. It’s always helpful to remind the admissions team that you’re an actual person with a real personality. (This doesn’t mean you should make jokes or include off topic information—the LOCI isn’t the place for that.)
Keep a positive attitude and never point fingers or complain about not gaining acceptance.
Here’s what to include in your letter:
- Thank the school for reviewing your application/considering you for admission.
- Confirm you are still interested in attending.
- If the school is your first choice, let them know!
- Briefly list some specific reasons you’re interested in the school (e.g., facilities, programs, courses, professors, unique opportunities).
- If you’ve visited the school, mention it, since this further indicates your interest.
- Briefly mention how you think you could contribute to the school (optional). Be very specific and concise here; you aren’t writing a second personal statement.
- Improved test scores (if applicable).
- Improved GPA and/or class rank (if applicable).
- New awards, honors, and achievements (if applicable).
- Close with another thank you for their time and consideration.
On the other hand, there are a few things you should not include in your LOCI. Avoid complaining, and don’t imply that the admissions office made the wrong decision. Your letter should sound upbeat and confident, but not arrogant. Demonstrate a positive attitude that reveals your resilience and optimism.
Don’t include information the admissions officer already knows about you. Share new accomplishments and honors, but don’t mention the achievements highlighted in your initial application. This suggests that the admissions committee misunderstood or made a mistake by deferring/waitlisting you.
How do I format a letter of continued interest?
Use professional formatting for your letter of continued interest. Choose a standard font, like Times New Roman size 12. If you’re sending an email, you can make it more formal by attaching your LOCI as a PDF.
In the top left corner, write the contact person’s “inside address.” That includes:
- Line 1: The person you’re addressing on one line,
- Line 2: The person’s title
- Line 3: The name of the college or university
- Line 4: The school’s city and state
The salutation is next, and you can use “Dear _____________,” followed by the body of your letter.
The body should be no more than three or four paragraphs. Keep the paragraphs left-aligned, without indenting. Include vertical space between each paragraph (like the paragraphs in this article).
Close with “Sincerely, [Your Name].”
Put “Sincerely” on its own line, with your name below it.
Should I follow up on my letter of continued interest?
You should only send one letter of continued interest.
Follow up with an additional letter only if you have any meaningful updates to share with the school.
Only follow up once, unless you have major news to share.
Meaningful updates include test scores, significant improvements to your GPA, and awards or special recognition. There’s no need to send a second letter for new volunteer experiences, job shadowing, or a successful sports season.
Make sure your initial LOCI is strong and communicates all of the information you want to share.
Final Thoughts: How to Write a Letter of Continued Interest
If you’re deferred or waitlisted, it’s always a good idea to send a letter of continued interest—unless the school specifically says not to.
The LOCI tells the school you’re still enthusiastic about attending. It’s also a chance to share any new accomplishments that might help you go from waitlisted/deferred to accepted.
Writing a LOCI won’t necessarily get you into the school of your choice, but it certainly won’t hurt your chances. Any action that might give you a competitive edge is worth taking.
So, write that letter of continued interest using the tips and advice in this article. It just might boost you into the “accepted” category.
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