What is a letter of continued interest (LOCI)?
If you were waitlisted or deferred from your dream school, there are still opportunities to prove to admissions offices that you are a competitive applicant. Just because you have already submitted your personal statement, supplemental essays, resume, and transcript does not mean there is nothing else you can do. The best way to express your passion for the school is through a letter of continued interest (LOCI). The LOCI is a way to express interest in the school despite your current waitlist or deferral status.
How to write a letter of continued interest
Current students interested in proving they are still interested in gaining acceptance at an institution should write a formal letter to their designated admissions officer. The letter should stress that the school you are writing to is your first choice and dream college. By indicating that the school is your top choice, colleges are more likely to pay attention to your application. After all, they want to accept high school students they believe will ultimately enroll in their institution.
You also want to prove you are continuously improving yourself to be the best version of yourself.
What to include in a letter of continued interest
You can use letters of continued interest strategically to prove you are still interested in a school and bring attention once again to your original application. This may be factored into admissions committees’ decisions as they reevaluate your college application during regular decision. There are many things you can include in your LOCI to help convince the admissions committee that you deserve to gain acceptance at the university.
Here are some examples of additional information you can include in your letter of continued interest:
Your GPA improved since applying to college or university.
Improved GPA proves that you have not caught senioritis. In fact, you have done the opposite! You are continuing to strive for greatness in high school, improve test scores, and learn more before heading off to college.
You gained new awards or were published in a newspaper, publication, etc. since applying to college or university.
Publications and awards are a great way to highlight your unique and exceptional qualifications. New achievements highlight your dedication to your interests even after the application process.
You earned a leadership position in an extracurricular activity since applying to the college or university.
If you choose to highlight a leadership position, be sure to explain your accomplishments. For example, it isn’t enough to say you are now the President of the Science Club. You should explain what work you’ve done to improve the organization.
Since your decision, I became the President of the Science Club, where I spearheaded a recycling project on our school’s campus. The initiative collects nearly 100 soda cans a week.
You completed the requirements or instructions stated in your waitlist or deferral letter.
Some colleges and universities ask students to perform certain tasks before gaining acceptance. One of the most common waitlist stipulations is achieving a higher test score. Once you have the ACT scores or SAT scores they require, be sure to send them in as soon as you can along with an additional letter of continued interest. Notify the college that you achieved the scores necessary and are still interested in attending the school.
What to avoid when writing a letter of continued interest
Do not rewrite your personal statement
Your letter should focus on the new strengths you bring to the table as well as your continued interest in the school. In other words, do not include information the school knows. Include new information that makes you look more competitive.
Do not name what schools you received acceptances from
Mentioning other choice schools does not make you look more competitive. Instead, it may come off as if you are bragging or underscoring the fact that you have options. Mentioning other schools can actually work against you as the college may believe you will ultimately choose to enroll at another university. Instead, focus on why the school you are writing to is most important to you.
How to format a letter of continued interest
Begin with “Dear [the name of the college admissions officer you are writing to]”. Try to avoid cliches such as “to whom it may concern” Then, say thank you for the consideration in the form of a waitlist or deferral. Explain that you are still interested and that this school is your first choice. After that, highlight one of the above bullet points to prove you are improving yourself and your profile to be a more competitive applicant in the regular decision pool. Be sure to be respectful and thankful of the admissions officers’ time.
Where to send your letter of continued interest
Send your letter of continued interest to the person who sent you your deferral or waitlist. If there was no name on the letter, try looking for the admissions office email on the school’s website.
How can waitlisted or deferred applicants increase their chances?
While sometimes used interchangeably, deferrals and waitlists are different. Deferrals mean they are choosing to make a decision about your application status at a later date. If you apply early action or early decision, you will most likely be deferred to the regular decision pool. A deferral may also mean the college wants more information to consider you. This may mean grades from the spring semester of your senior year or additional test scores.
The waitlist means the admissions committee read your application and is still unsure of your application. There is no guarantee that waitlisted students will gain admission to the college or university. You should do some research on the school to learn more about your chances of coming off of the waitlist. Some schools often pull from the waitlist while others seldom choose students on the waitlist. An informed decision will help you make the best decision about how to move forward.
Should I send a letter of interest for college to every college?
It is better to focus your energy on your top choice university than trying to send a LOCI to many different institutions. It may complicate your process if you send multiple LOCIs and every school accepts you. Try to be strategic when sending these types of letters.
LOCI example: Sample letter of continued interest
Dear Dr. Smith,
My name is Alyssa Rodriguez and I applied Early Action to Prepory University on November 1st, 2021. Firstly, I would like to thank you for your time in reviewing my application. Although I am currently deferred, I would like to formally declare my continued interest in Prepory University. I know that the PU is an excellent fit for me.
Although I have received other acceptances, Prepory University is my dream college. As I mentioned in my application, no other school has a Journalism major with a concentration in Reporting in Applied Science. I recently read a report by Dr. Tao about the data visualizations in journalism and was reminded why this school perfectly embodies all of my interests.
Since I submitted my application in November, I raised my GPA from a 3.66 to a 3.84 in a single semester by earning As in my AP Statistics, AP Literature, and Newspaper Publishing classes. I hope to finish my senior year with a strong GPA and even stronger AP exam scores.
In addition to improved academics, I also published my third op-ed article in the San Diego Chronicle. Titled “Misunderstood, Misguided, & Misused,” the article focused on the misinformation campaigns caused by poor journalism and misinterpretation of data. I am excited to share the article has over 1,500 views this month alone and over 25 shares via social media. I have linked the article to my email if you would like to read it.
I have also expanded my leadership skills by heading a new section of our school newspaper. The new section will be focused on new discoveries in the science field. I am tasked with pitching story ideas, overseeing the section layout, and editing stories. My editing skills and interpersonal skills have significantly improved since assuming this role. I am confident these new personal and academic developments will make me an even better fit at Prepory University.
I hope this letter reaffirms my interest in becoming Prepory University student. I am happy to provide more information to help prove my interest and qualifications in PU. If there is any other information I can provide, please let me know. I hope to hear from the admissions committee soon.
Your letter should be no longer than one page. Admissions officers are busy and may not take too kindly to long-winded letters. Try to stick to the point as much as possible.
In some cases, deferrals may mean you have to meet a few requirements before your official acceptance. In this case, you know exactly what you need to do to be accepted. If this is not the case, neither decision is better or worse. Both mean you have an opportunity to attend the school, but the admissions committee needs more time. The best thing you can do is put your best foot forward!