When Should You Write a Letter of Continued Interest?

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Waitlisted senior writes a letter of continued interest to his top-choice school.A letter of continued interest (often referred to as a LOCI) is a written statement that a student sends to the admissions office of a school they are still interested in attending, despite being deferred or waitlisted. Generally, these letters reiterate the student’s interest in and fit for the college in question and update the admissions office on any achievements that the student has earned since submitting their initial application. 

What is a Letter of Continued Interest?

When college admissions decisions are released, being deferred or placed on a waitlist can feel like the most frustrating outcome possible. Unlike rejected and accepted applicants, deferred and waitlisted students must grapple with the uncertainty that comes with being told “maybe.” While writing a letter of continued interest is generally considered to be an impactful way to boost deferred or waitlisted applicants’ admissions odds, some schools don’t accept these documents — which is why research and attention to detail are key. When you receive your decision, review all of the information provided closely to determine if such a letter will be considered in the review process.

What Do You Put In a LOCI?

LOCIs should focus on presenting new information to the admissions office. Being deferred or placed on a waitlist indicates that you’re already a competitive applicant, and writing a LOCI is your final opportunity to make the case for why you deserve a seat in the upcoming class. That’s why it’s important to include updates on extracurricular activities, improvements in GPA or test scores, and any scholarships, rewards, or recognitions that you’ve received since submitting your application.

Additionally, students should make sure to thank the admissions office for reevaluating their application materials and reaffirm their interest in attending the school. If this college is your first choice and you would attend if admitted, a LOCI is the ideal place to say so. To strengthen this assertion, consider weaving in a few details that highlight your demonstrated interest, such as what you enjoyed about your campus visit or a reason you think you are a perfect match for the school. (But be careful not to simply repeat what was stated in your initial application, particularly if it included a “Why X College?” supplement essay.)

Students should closely read their waitlist or deferral letter and search for any specific instructions from the school regarding materials they can send to the admissions office. Some schools will outline very specific information that applicants should include, while others will tell students not to send additional communications at all.

Schools That Don’t Accept LOCIs

Students should not write a LOCI if the school asks applicants not to send additional information. Some colleges that make this request include:

 

Even among the colleges listed above, deferral and waitlist admissions policies vary and can be nuanced. For example, Carnegie Mellon will request a single paragraph when there are additional places to fill, while the University of Southern California asks students to submit a deferral form in their application portal. Therefore, it’s important to understand what the admissions office wants and consult your college or independent counselor for advice on how to proceed.

What Can You Do Instead?

The most important step that deferred or waitlisted students can take is to follow the instructions that the admissions office includes in their letter. If students are asked not to send any additional materials, they must adhere to those guidelines. Sending in your information anyway will not help your admissions odds.

Most colleges that do not accept LOCIs will still consider mid-year grade updates. If this is the case for your prospective school, you should request these update reports to be sent by your school counselor. Regardless of the school’s LOCI policy, all students who are waitlisted or deferred should channel some of their energy into getting excited about other schools on their best-fit list that have offered them acceptances and stay optimistic about the future. If you have been waitlisted, you will likely need to submit an enrollment deposit to another college, even if you have opted to remain on the waitlist, as most waitlist decisions are not released until after the May 1 enrollment deadline.

If you’re waitlisted and looking for additional guidance on improving your odds of acceptance, contact our team of college admissions experts to create a plan of action that aligns with the school you’re looking to get into and your academic goals.

Related Topics

College Admission Advice, College Application Tips, College Planning, Waitlist
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