How to Write a Letter of Continued Interest for Your College Applications

 

Deferred from your target law school? Waitlisted from your top undergraduate college? Feeling discouraged is natural, but don’t let your feelings of rejection stop you from taking one last step toward your dream school.

If you’re on the waitlist or were deferred, one option is to write a letter of continued interest to let the school know you are still interested in attending. A letter of continued interest also allows you to share updates with the admissions team.  Command Education notes, “while it is generally written at a time when you have many negative emotions swirling at the hurt of initial rejection and uncertainty going forward, if written correctly it can be a polite and professional way to keep the school updated.” By strengthening your profile and demonstrating genuine interest in the school, you are increasing your chances of acceptance.

Guidelines for your Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI)

  • Make sure your document is formatted like a letter, with a proper greeting, introduction, and two to three body paragraphs. The letter shouldn’t be more than one page.

  • Do not send a template letter to each of the schools. Believe it or not, admissions counselors can tell when your letter is formulaic.

  • Be honest and genuine. Only tell an admissions team that their school is your top choice if it actually is your top choice--“you can also express an authentic level of enthusiasm for a school even if it is not your first choice.”

  • Write from the perspective of gratefulness.

If the school expressly says that they don’t want more information, then you should not write a letter of continued interest...In this case, it will look like you don’t know how to follow directions or respect rules, which can hurt your chances of getting off the waitlist.
— Ashley Cullens, college, graduate school, and career expert from Transizion
 
Photo by  Cristi Tohatan  on  Unsplash

Photo by Cristi Tohatan on Unsplash

 

What to include in your LOCI

In your LOCI, you should share any new, relevant information. This isn’t a time for blatant bragging. Include information in a way that is humble while demonstrating your commitment to achieving success at your dream school.  

  • Improved grades--Was your spring semester stronger than your fall semester?

  • Summer plans--Are you participating in an internship or taking on a new job this summer? Will you be volunteering abroad?

  • Awards--Did you receive any awards, honors, or recognitions?

  • Extracurriculars-- Did you take on another club or volunteer activity in the spring semester? Did you lead a project with your organization?

  • Research Projects--Did you complete a substantial research project? Present your findings to a group? Write a 50 page paper for your honors coursework?


 
Photo by  Matt Wildbore  on  Unsplash

Photo by Matt Wildbore on Unsplash

 

When and Where to Send

Double check your waitlist or deferment letter to determine any deadlines or any other important information from the school. Find the name and contact information for a specific admissions counselor and send them the letter, ideally the admissions counselor will be someone you’ve spoken to before or the regional representative for your area. Don’t send your letter to the general admissions inbox or the director of admissions--that won’t help your chances of having your letter read.

When your dream school doesn’t admit you immediately, feeling disheartened is natural. However, swallowing your pride and approaching the situation with gratitude could lead to another opportunity for acceptance. Whether you are applying to law school, undergraduate, or grad school, writing a letter of continued interest is a great opportunity to share information with the admissions committee and take one last step toward that dream school.



Karonica Davidson