Waitlisted? Don't Write This Letter of Continued Interest

A Letter Like This Won't Help You Out

Student Typing
Student Typing. Nicole Abalde / Flickr

If you've been Waitlisted or deferred at one of your top college choices, you might choose to write a letter of continued interest (LOCI). Writing such a letter can help your admissions chances, although it's certainly not a guarantee of eventual acceptance.

In some cases, however, a letter of continued interest can work against you. The following letter shows you what NOT to do when writing this letter.


Sample Bad Letter of Continued Interest

Ms. Molly Monitor
Director of Admissions
Higher Ed University
Cityville, USA

To Whom It May Concern:

I'm writing to you in regards to my current admissions status. HEU is my top choice, and while I understand being on the waitlist isn't a rejection, I was very disappointed in being put on this list. I am hoping to state my case for you and convince you to move me to the top of the list, or to change my status to admitted.

As I wrote in my application, I've been on the Honor Roll for the past six semesters. I've also received numerous awards at area art shows. My art portfolio, which I submitted as part of my application, was some of my best work, and clearly college-level work. When I'm enrolled at HEU, my work will only improve, and I will continue to work hard.

HEU is my top choice, and I really want to attend. I've been rejected from three other schools, and accepted to a school that I don't really want to go to. I'm hoping you can find a way to admit me, or least move me to the top of the waitlist.

Thank you in advance for your help!


Lana Anystudent

A Critique of Lana's Letter of Continued Interest

Before talking about Lana's letting, keep in mind that even a successful, well-crafted letter may not move you from waitlisted to accepted. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, and even if you have information that would improve your chances—higher test scores, new honors or awards—there are other factors that effect the waitlist and admissions processes.

As long as the school allows LOCI, it's okay to write one and it does help demonstrate your interest in the college. Just don't assume it automatically means you'll be admitted. Now on to Lana's letter.

Right from the start, Lana is taking the wrong tone. While it's not a major issue, she starts the letter with "To Whom It May Concern," even though she is writing it to the Director of Admissions. If possible, address your letter to a person, being sure to spell his or her name and title correctly. 

In her first paragraph, Lana makes the mistake of sounding both frustrated and presumptuous. While being waitlisted is not a positive experience, you shouldn't let that disappointment come through in your LOCI. She goes on to point out the ways in which the admissions office has made a mistake in placing her on the waitlist. Instead of presenting new information—higher test scores, a new award—she reiterates the achievements she has already listed on her application. By using the phrase "when I'm enrolled..." she is presuming that her letter will be enough to take her off the waitlist; this makes her come off as arrogant and less likely to succeed in her attempt.

Finally, Lana writes that she is desperate; she's been rejected at other schools, and accepted to a school she doesn't want to attend.

It's one thing to let the school know they are your top choice, for this is a small but helpful piece of information. It's another thing to act as though this is your only option, your last resort. Coming across as desperate won't help your chances, and Lana comes across as someone who planned her application process poorly.

While Lana is generally polite in her letter, and her spelling/grammar/syntax is all fine, her tone and approach are what make this letter a bad one. If you decide to write a letter of continued interest, make sure to be respectful, honest, and humble. While it still might not make a difference, showing you are interested in the school, done well, can be a good idea. These letters by Alex and Hannah show what a good letter of continued interest looks like.

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Your Citation
Wager, Liz. "Waitlisted? Don't Write This Letter of Continued Interest." ThoughtCo, Oct. 9, 2017, thoughtco.com/waitlisted-continued-interest-letter-dont-4040231. Wager, Liz. (2017, October 9). Waitlisted? Don't Write This Letter of Continued Interest. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/waitlisted-continued-interest-letter-dont-4040231 Wager, Liz. "Waitlisted? Don't Write This Letter of Continued Interest." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/waitlisted-continued-interest-letter-dont-4040231 (accessed January 19, 2018).