Check out our video to hear Brooke discuss a secret awesome tool in college admissions. Writing a letter of continued interest (LOCI) can sometimes help you gain admission, and we’ll be going over all the details into the LOCI.
Should You Write the LOCI?
While you may be worried about bothering the colleges you applied to, doing so in a friendly, short, and courteous way is a great way to signal to the school that you really like them, and that you’ll likely go to that school if you’re offered admission. Many schools like to hear this, and you can make sure by researching that school’s particular policy.
Who Should Write the LOCI?
1. Deferred Students
When you are deferred from early action, early decision, or any sort of early admissions plan, you will definitely want to write a letter of continued interest (unless schools explicitly refuse to accept these).
2. Waitlisted Students
Because of COVID-19 related test optional policies, many colleges have exceptionally high amounts of applicants, and much uncertainty remains about yield numbers and general admissions patterns. Hence, it can be expected that many students will be waitlisted this year. If you’re waitlisted, you’ll also want to send a letter of continued interest.
3. Students with Broadly Changed Circumstances
Some students whose circumstances have changed dramatically – for example, if they have won some award, or if they have accomplished something extraordinarily impressive – would find it beneficial to share it with the colleges and universities they applied to. These letters might be called “update” emails as well.
When Should You Write the LOCI?
You should write the LOCI as soon as possible – if deferred, ideally by the end of February, and the latest by the day regular admissions results come out. If you’re waitlisted, before April 15th is ideal, but you want to wait until all your decisions come back first in some cases so you can focus efforts on schools you actually want to attend rather than waste time with schools that no longer interest you given your current admissions on hand.
What Qualifies You to Write the LOCI?
Anything that can improve your ability to get into college warrants sending a LOCI. Some examples include improved grades, “wow” factors, and anything that’s super awesome or impressive. Winning any kind of major award, participating in new activities, or publishing a research papers all warrant writing a LOCI. Even having stories to tell that didn’t make your original application may be appropriate material to discuss.
When Not to Write the LOCI?
Never send a LOCI if the school explicitly states not to on their website, on your deferral letter, or on your waitlist letter. An example is the University of Virginia. You should absolutely research before sending the LOCI. But we recommend you to send a LOCI to any college that doesn’t explicitly forbid one. Even if schools forbid a LOCI there may be space to update awards or grades. Reach out to the admissions office if you have questions!
Where Should You Send Your LOCI?
Some colleges have designated systems for accepting LOCIs. For those that don’t, you will want to contact your regional representative – a person who’s assigned to read all the applications from a specific region. To find your regional representative, look on the college/university’s website. They may have also visited your school during the past year. As a last resort, email the college’s admissions office and just ask!
How to Write the LOCI?
First, don’t type more than a page. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time. In the first paragraph, you want to write about why you love their school. The more specific you can get the better. If there’s a particular program that fits you super perfectly, you can reiterate that. This paragraph should just be a couple of sentences. Any reason that makes you seem more likely to attend the school – especially if demonstrated interest is on their common data set – are things you can mention.
Finally, talk about updates that you want to bring to their attention such as grades, activities, awards, and other wins that you’ve had. If you were deferred or waitlisted and you know that your application was weak in some way, you should acknowledge and speak to your weaknesses.
If you have any comments or questions, please drop them by our YouTube video!