How To Write A Letter Of Continued Interest

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a female student reading a letter

How To Write A Letter Of Continued Interest

Have you ever found yourself on a college waitlist or deferred after applying for early decision or early action? It’s a position that can leave you feeling uncertain about your next steps. However, you can take a proactive measure by writing a Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI). This document is your chance to reaffirm your desire to attend the college or university, providing updates on your academic and extracurricular achievements since your initial application.

Typically, a LOCI is for students who have not been outright rejected but have yet to be accepted. It’s your opportunity to make a case for why you would be a great fit for the school, despite not making the initial cut. Think of it as a way to update the admissions committee on your continued interest in their institution and any new accomplishments or awards you’ve earned since applying.

In this post, we’re diving into how to write a compelling LOCI (Letter of Continued Interest). We’ll cover everything from structuring your letter, showcasing your latest achievements, and setting the perfect tone. Whether you’re waitlisted or deferred, we’ve got your back. This guide aims to boost your odds of turning that “maybe” into a “yes.”

How To Write a Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI)

Writing a letter of continued interest is an important move in the college admissions game. It’s your chance to show how excited you are about a specific college or university, even after you’ve sent in your first application.

How To Prepare For Grad School

This letter is a great way to tell the admissions team about any new achievements or experiences that have made you even more eager to be part of their community. It’s your opportunity to reinforce your enthusiasm and showcase how recent developments have only deepened your desire to attend.

1. Review program guidelines

Before diving into your letter, ensure you’ve reviewed any specific guidelines the college may have for submitting a LOCI. Some schools have particular preferences regarding format, content, or submission methods. Adhering to these guidelines demonstrates your attention to detail and respect for the institution’s processes.

2. Thank them for offering you a spot on the waitlist/deferred list

Saying thanks for being put on a waitlist or deferred list shows you value the chance to stay in the running. It’s a way to show you’re thankful that the school sees potential in you. Plus, it keeps the conversation going for any news down the line. This move not only looks good on you, showing you’re professional and still keen on the opportunity, but it also keeps you in the loop as things evolve. This can be put in the introduction of the letter. 

3. Add relevant updates

Use this section to brief the admissions committee on significant achievements or milestones you’ve reached since your initial application. This could include academic honors, new leadership roles, or any special projects that align with your desired field of study. Keep the updates concise and relevant.

When updating the admissions committee on your achievements, the key is to focus on developments that underscore your commitment, growth, and suitability for the program you’ve applied to. Think about any academic honors you’ve received that showcase your scholarly excellence, such as making the Dean’s List or winning a subject-specific award. These honors speak volumes about your dedication and potential as a student.

If you’ve taken on new leadership roles, such as becoming the president of a club or organizing a major event, mention these to demonstrate your initiative and ability to positively influence your community. Leadership roles highlight your soft skills, like teamwork, communication, and project management, all of which are valuable in a collegiate environment.

For those involved in special projects, especially those aligned with your intended field of study, detailing these experiences can significantly strengthen your LOCI. Whether it’s independent research, a collaborative project, or a creative endeavor, these activities indicate your passion and proactive engagement with your interests. They can also offer insights into your problem-solving capabilities and innovative thinking.

Remember to keep your updates concise and directly relevant to the program and institution you’re eager to join. The aim is to provide a snapshot of your recent accomplishments that bolsters your application and reiterates your commitment to your academic and career goals.

Female student writing on a sofa.

4. Include why you believe the particular university remains your first choice and the perfect place to explore your academic/extracurricular interests

Highlight specifics about the school that resonate with you. Whether it’s a particular program, the campus culture, or extracurricular opportunities, showing that you’ve done your homework underscores your genuine interest.

When writing your letter of continued interest, make it clear why this university is your first choice. Dive into how the school’s specific programs, the knowledge of its faculty, available research options, and the lively campus culture align perfectly with what you want academically and for your extracurricular activities. Talk about the courses, clubs, or programs that excite you the most and how they match up with your plans for personal and academic growth.

This part of your letter should show you’ve done your homework on what makes the university stand out. It’s your chance to tell the admissions committee that you’re not just really interested but also a great fit. By doing this, you’re highlighting your commitment and how the school is the right place for you to succeed.

5. Discuss why your background would make a great addition to the school, and how you plan to contribute to the school community

Explain how your unique background will add value to the school in your letter. Show off your experiences, viewpoints, or skills, and connect them to what the university values, whether that’s different ways of thinking, community involvement, leadership, or innovation. Point out how these qualities don’t just make you a perfect match for the school but also how you plan to get involved on campus. Whether you’re eager to join certain clubs, dive into research, or bring new ideas to class discussions, make it clear you’re ready to make a meaningful contribution.

This part of your letter should be full of energy and show how excited you are to be part of the university. You’re aiming to show a win-win situation: your unique traits will enrich the campus, and at the same time, the school will support your personal and academic growth.

6. Reaffirm your desire to enroll if admitted

In your letter, clearly say that you’ll enroll if accepted. This part is simple but powerful. It tells the admissions team you’re seriously considering their school and excited to join their community. Make sure to state that this university is your number one choice and that you’d accept an offer right away.

Doing this sets you apart as someone who’s not just highly interested but also ready to dive into the university’s life. This kind of enthusiasm could be a game-changer, especially when competition is tight and showing real interest could sway decisions your way.

7. Review and Revise Your Document

Finally, proofread your letter carefully for any grammatical or spelling errors. Before sending your Letter of Continued Interest, take the time to meticulously review it for any grammatical or spelling mistakes. A polished, error-free letter reflects your professionalism and attention to detail. Additionally, seeking feedback from a mentor or guidance counselor can provide valuable insights, helping ensure your letter is not only free from errors but also compelling and effectively communicates your enthusiasm and suitability for the school.

More Tips for Writing a Letter of Continued Interest

Focus on Your Chosen Program

If you’re on the waitlist at several schools, focus your initial effort on the one or two programs you’re most excited about. Writing a Letter of Continued Interest tailored just for these top-choice schools lets you dive into why you’re so drawn to them and how you fit with their culture and aspirations. This customization not only shows your real interest but also helps you stand out to the admissions teams.

View of a young woman browsing through books.

If you have the time, apply this personalized tactic to the other schools where you’re waitlisted. Crafting unique letters for each, highlighting why you’re attracted to them and how you’d contribute, can greatly boost your chances of moving from the waitlist to the acceptance list. By taking this approach, you signal your dedication and potential fit, making a stronger case for your admission.

Review Your Personal Statements and Essays

If your initial application had a personal statement or essay, take another look at these pieces. The admissions committee reviews your entire application, so your Letter of Continued Interest is a chance to share new information they haven’t seen before.

Going over your earlier submissions helps you keep a consistent story throughout your application, making sure your main message is both consistent and engaging. This step ensures that every part of your application contributes to a strong, unified impression of who you are and what you bring to the table.

Example of A Letter of Continued Interest

Example #1

Dear Stanford Admissions Committee,

I’d like to thank you for continuing to consider my candidacy by offering a spot on the waitlist at Stanford. I am eager to study English, and more specifically Comparative Literature, at Stanford, especially given its reputation for interdisciplinary studies. From examining Comparative Fictions of Ethnicity COMPLIT 51Q with Professor Palumbo, Stanford is the perfect institution to continue my studies in global literature. I dream of browsing the Anderson Collection and contemplating my theories on the art’s intersection with my studies of literature.

These past couple months have afforded me the opportunity to continue honing my skills in creative writing. I had a mentor once tell me that “the most ridiculous thing a writer can say is that they have mastered their craft.” Recently, I published a short story and poetry collection titled, grandma said, which is available on ebook platforms such as Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/bdd6vpp8. This collection was a demonstration of my mentor’s sentiment; I drew on my understanding of Classical narratives like the Aeneid or the Odyssey and experimented with my writing. Recently, I was awarded three honorable mentions in the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing awards.

I hope to immerse in all that the Stanford Comparative Literature and Creative Writing programs have to offer, pushing the boundaries of what I previously thought possible in my writing. Observing the work published by former Stanford Creative Writing undergraduates, such as Chang Rae Lee or Eavan Boland, whose stories of reconciling identity and place or poems of Irish feminism marked significant changes in my writer’s voice, inspires me to explore the liminal spaces between my real self, and my fictitious self: am I exactly who I am on the page? Do all writers put on a mask? I hope to perhaps approach answers to these questions. I hope to share the same experiences as these renowned authors and absorb the stories they unraveled at Stanford.

Outside of the classroom, I hope to pursue active leadership roles in Stanford’s publication and Classics spheres—especially any community service activities that feature the two. Currently, I serve as a Genre Managing Editor for Polyphony Lit—a non-profit high school literary magazine—that provides feedback to all submitting writers, as a way to freely share a wealth of creative writing knowledge. Furthermore, I have recently edited a poetry collection, called the water shines so brightly, of a young poet; the collection is set to be published in June. Having the opportunity to interact closely with someone else’s story—and to help hone their voice—reaffirmed my enthusiasm for community engagement through creative writing.

I have always believed that studying English and literature could help me tackle myriad social issues, such as racial inequality, disparity in global education, and the intersections between these problems. I have already taken small steps towards solutions, whether through holding educational roles under non-profits or producing affordable teaching materials on accessible websites. I believe Stanford to be the perfect place for me to continue these efforts.

From the Aisthesis Classics journal to the Leland Quarterly, I plan to make an impact upon the Classics and English literature community at Stanford, a place that provides fertile grounds for me to grow as a student and a leader in activism. I would be thrilled to pursue my undergraduate education at Stanford and, if offered admission, I would definitely attend. Thank you for taking the time to consider my application.

Best regards,


Sample #2

Dear Admissions Committee,

My name is Josh and I am thrilled to be offered an opportunity to be on the priority waitlist at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Engineering and Computer Science. I am writing this letter to express my interest and desire to study at Carnegie Mellon given its reputation as a powerhouse in computer science. I strongly believe that Carnegie Mellon is the perfect institution for me to pursue my both my academic and extracurricular interests, and it would be a dream come true for me to attend an institution that is a world leader in engineering, technology, and leadership. If offered admission, I will definitely advantage of the vast opportunities that Carnegie Mellon has to offer that are difficult to find at any other institution.

Carnegie Mellon’s renowned faculty and cutting-edge research provide an intellectual environment to tackle society’s most pressing problems. I would relish the opportunity to become part of this unique student body that values core leadership and engineering skills to create a better society for the future. Throughout high school, I believe my past academic and extracurricular experiences have prepared me for the rigors and challenges of Carnegie Mellon.

My internship at Datastax, a software data management company, exposed me to the power of technology in enterprise and as a tool to facilitate efficient processes. In high school, I have always valued programming and technology to change and mold the world and society in which we live. In addition, I am President of Associated and Computing Machinery (ACM) and an avid coder who has advanced to Silver Division in the USA Computing Olympiad. With my background in software engineering and technology, I would love to delve into Carnegie Mellon’s advanced computer science curriculum and explore cutting-edge fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics.

Outside of academics, I hope to take active leadership in and outside the school community. From hackathons to community service, I plan to make a meaningful impact on campus, and a place like Carnegie Mellon provides a stimulating environment to both grow as a student and a well-rounded individual. I would be thrilled to be given the opportunity to obtain my undergraduate education at world-renowned institution such as Carnegie Mellon. If offered admission, I will definitely attend as I set my sights to immerse in technology and shape the society in which we live.



When Is The Perfect Time To Send The Letter of Continued Interest?

A Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI) is appropriate not only when you’re on a waitlist or have been deferred but also under several other circumstances, such as:

Female student using a laptop

If you are expecting better test results

It’s common for applicants to retake exams like the SAT or GRE after they’ve applied, hoping to boost their scores. If your new scores are higher and show your academic skills more accurately, including this information in your LOCI can give the admissions committees a strong reason to give your application another look. Highlighting improved test scores is a solid way to strengthen your case for admission.

If you applied early

If you applied early decision, writing a letter to reaffirm your commitment can show admissions officers that you’re still all in on the school. This move could help you stand out from those who applied by the regular deadlines, giving you an extra boost in the selection process. This approach underlines your dedication and could tip the scales in your favor.

How Long Should A Letter of Continued Interest Be?

The ideal length for a Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI) is typically one page and should be anywhere between 400 – 600 words. This length allows you to concisely articulate your continued interest in the program, update the admissions committee on any new achievements or developments since your original application, and reaffirm your commitment without overwhelming them with information. Keeping your letter clear, to the point, and respectful of the admissions committee’s time can help ensure your message is effectively communicated.

Where Should A Letter of Continued Interest Be Sent?

A Letter of Continued Interest should be sent directly to the admissions office of the college or university you’re interested in. It’s important to follow any specific instructions provided by the institution regarding the submission of such letters.

If no specific guidelines are provided, you can address and send your LOCI to the Director of Admissions or the specific admissions officer (if you have one) assigned to your application. Before sending, verify the email or mailing address for the admissions office to ensure your letter is received. If sending by email, consider a professional subject line like “Letter of Continued Interest – [Your Full Name].”

How Many Students Do Colleges Take Off The Waitlist?

The number of students taken off the waitlist can vary significantly from school to school and year to year, making it hard to predict a consistent figure. Some factors that influence this number include the school’s enrollment goals, the yield rate (the percentage of admitted students who choose to enroll), and how many spots are available after regular admissions decisions are made.

In some years, a college might admit dozens or even hundreds of students from the waitlist if their incoming class is not filling as expected. In other years, the same college might admit very few or none at all if the yield from regular admissions meets or exceeds their targets.

Highly selective colleges often have more extensive waitlists and may admit only a small percentage of those students, sometimes as low as single digits or none. In contrast, less selective institutions might have higher rates of admitting students from their waitlists.

Male student smiling in front of a class.

To get an idea of a particular school’s practices, you can look at their Common Data Set (if available), which provides information on admissions and enrollment, including waitlist statistics. However, keep in mind these figures are historical and can change.

Should You Send A Letter of Continued Interest To Every School?

Sending a Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI) to every school where you’re waitlisted or deferred can be a strategic move, but it’s essential to consider a few key points before doing so:

Genuine Interest: Only send a LOCI to schools you are genuinely interested in attending. Admissions committees value authenticity and can often discern whether a candidate is truly enthusiastic about their institution. If you wouldn’t seriously consider an offer of admission from a school, it may not be worth the effort to send a LOCI.

Time and Effort: Crafting a thoughtful and personalized LOCI takes time and effort. Each letter should be tailored to the specific school, highlighting why you’re a great fit for their program and updating them on new achievements or milestones since your original application. This level of customization means you should prioritize schools based on your interest and the likelihood of attending if admitted.

School Policy: Some schools explicitly state they do not want additional materials from waitlisted or deferred applicants, including LOCIs. Before sending a letter, check the school’s admissions website or reach out to the admissions office to confirm their policy. Respecting the school’s process is crucial.

Practicality: Consider the practical aspects, such as your capacity to write multiple unique letters and the time frame you have. If you’re managing a busy schedule, it may be more practical to focus on a few top-choice schools where a LOCI could make a significant impact.

In summary, while sending a LOCI to every school where you’re waitlisted or deferred might increase your chances in theory, it’s more effective to selectively send well-crafted, personalized letters to schools you’re genuinely excited about and where you would likely enroll if given the opportunity.


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