Step-by-Step: How to Write a Letter of Continued Interest for College

So, you’ve got on a waitlist? Don’t give up hope just yet. Colleges typically admit up to 20% of waitlisted students. So, you must ensure you remain in the admission committee’s mind.

A well-crafted letter of continued interest can do that and more. Some schools even require waitlisted students to send updates. So, you must know how to craft this simple but valuable letter.

Keep reading to learn how to write a letter of continued interest and understand the next steps after getting waitlisted.

What Is A Letter of Continued Interest?

A letter of continued interest is addressed to a university where you got waitlisted. It serves as a reminder and a thank you to the admission committee. This way, you’ll make a lasting impact.

In the letter, students often add any new achievements and information that might interest the university. This includes GPA, extracurricular activities, and recent awards.

It would be best to remember that after getting waitlisted, universities often include instructions on the next steps. They might specifically request that students don’t send any letters. In that case, it’s best to follow their guidance.

On the other hand, many universities appreciate updates and might even invite you to send a letter.

If you’re unsure, you can mail the school with a simple request to send a letter. This way, you avoid spending extra time and effort on an unnecessary letter.

Benefits of Writing a Letter of Continued Interest

If your university of choice doesn’t specify whether you should send a letter of continued interest, you should consider it.

This simple letter is more than just a confirmation of your decision to stay on the waitlist. It also offers the following benefits:

1. Enhance Your Chances

Many students relax after submitting their college applications. However, a lot can happen between submitting an application and receiving a reply.

You might up your GPA, participate in academic activities, or earn an honor at the end of the school year.

All your achievements can make you a stronger candidate in the admissions committee’s eyes. If you don’t write a letter of continued interest, there’s no way this positive information will reach them.

2. Make an Impact

Here’s the thing: if you don’t put in any effort, even after getting waitlisted, you’re significantly decreasing your chances. It implies to the school that you’ve decided on another university.

Instead, you should show your excitement about enrolling in the school as if you’ve got no other options. Most admissions officers look for this enthusiasm and will consider your application for the university’s appreciation!

You can think of getting waitlisted as another round of admissions, where you’re competing with other students on the waitlist. You want to do whatever you can to prove you deserve a spot.

Alternatively, students who don’t express interest after getting on the waitlist will have no advantage.

3. Ease Your Mind

If your dream school waitlists you, there’s nothing worse to do than waiting with your hands tied. Well, you can ease the unbearable anxiety by doing your part.

The university throws the ball in your court when you get on a waitlist. 20% of waitlisted students eventually get into their schools of choice. So, how does the college board make a decision?

It’s all about what you do after getting on a waitlist. Following the instructions provided by the university isn’t enough; you must go the extra mile. Then, a creative letter of continued interest will solve all your issues, putting you back in the race.

How to Write a Letter of Continued Interest for College

How to Write a Letter of Continued Interest?

I understand how stressful the college application process can be. It can be even more challenging to repeat this experience after getting waitlisted.

Luckily, the hard part of the application process is over. Writing a letter of continued interest is easier than you imagine. You can write the letter in a couple of minutes if you know what to include.

So, here’s a step-by-step guide on writing a letter of continued interest:

1. Structure the Letter

Your letter of continued interest must be unique. After all, the university probably receives a letter from everyone who decides to stay on the waitlist.

Still, not only will understanding how to structure the letter show professionalism, but it’ll also make the writing process seamless.

Here are all the sections that must be present in your letter:

Thank the College Board

First, thank the college board or admissions committee for placing you on the waitlist.

Mention how you appreciate the admission officer’s time evaluating your application and accepting your letter of continued interest.

Express Your Excitement

Next, show a positive attitude by expressing excitement over making the waitlist. After all, you understand that your school of choice is sought after and that only 10% of students are waitlisted.

If you’ve visited the school’s campus, this is the right time to recount your visit. In two or three sentences, talking about your favorite parts of the school will make the letter more personal and memorable.

Offer New Information

The letter of continued interest is where you get to show off all your achievements since submitting your application. Since most schools open submissions as early as August or September, they expect to hear back about all your senior-year feats.

Even if you believe you don’t have any interesting information, adding your current GPA will be sufficient.

Avoid mentioning any other schools that you got accepted into. Instead, reaffirm to the college board that this is your top choice despite getting waitlisted.

Recap Your Application

Lastly, it would be best if you pleaded your case. Make an argument expressing why you would make a great addition to the university. You probably included all the reasons in your application, so this serves as a reminder.

2. Keep It Short and Sweet

You probably want to give it everything when writing a letter of continued interest. Yet, it’s best to keep the letter as precise as possible.

Admissions officers read tons of applications and letters every day. So, you want to make an impact without droning on.

The letter should also have an enthusiastic and engaging tone, all while being professional. Be simple, straightforward, and yourself!

3. Be as Accurate as Possible

There’s no need to embellish information to increase your chances of acceptance. Getting on the waitlist is solid proof that you impressed the admissions committee.

From there, all you have to do is provide accurate updates and express your interest. While achievements are essential, those won’t typically sway the college board in your direction. In contrast, if the admissions officer suspects misinformation, they’ll immediately disqualify you.

That’s why it’s best to be confident in your abilities and achievements. Make your connection to the school central to the letter. If you prove your morals and goals align with the school, you’ll lead the waitlist race.

4. Properly Addressing the Letter

It’s crucial to follow the school’s instructions for the waitlist process. This makes the best impression on the admissions committee and ensures your efforts aren’t in vain.

Usually, the school will include a waitlist form for you to fill out and mail back. They’ll also encourage you to send updates or explicitly ask for a letter of continued interest. In this case, sending back your statement with the waitlist form is safe.

You can still send your letter if you’ve already sent the waitlist form. You can ask the admissions office about the specifics to ensure it gets read.

After the Letter of Continued Interest: What’s Next?

Mailing the letter of continued interest is the last part of applying to a school. Afterward, you can sit back and wait to hear a reply.

It’s crucial to realize that a university might reject you after receiving your letter. It all depends on whether a spot opens up.

Moreover, you can get an acceptance letter days or months after getting waitlisted. It would be best to wait until the last moment to decide.

You must keep your options open by depositing to another university before decision day. The deposit is usually non-refundable, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to write a letter of continued interest can make or break your college application. That’s because a waitlist is even more competitive than the application process. So, you must increase your chances by submitting a memorable letter.

Keep in mind that this is different from your application essay. The letter of continued interest should be a short thank you to the admissions office for considering your application. Adding your recent achievements doesn’t hurt!

Some schools advise against sending letters of continued interest. In this case, you must follow their waitlist instructions and confidently apply.

Ruthie H. Adams

I embrace life with joy, seeking the sparkle in ordinary moments. Despite being far from a success story, we can still live fabulously.
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