How to Successfully Write a Letter of Continued Interest

Mar 19, 2021

The weather is perfect, you just had a good meal, you are enjoying time with your family, everything is going great, and boom, you suddenly find out that you are waitlisted or deferred from your dream school, this might make you worried and frustrated. 

What exactly does being on the waitlist mean? Do you anyhow still have a chance of getting in? What can you do to improve your chances?

While there’s no one way of guaranteeing your eventual admission to your perfect dream school, a letter of continued interest will make the admission committee understand your continued dedication.

In this article, we’ll discuss what exactly a continued interest letter is and give a letter of continued interest sample, so you will understand how to write your own if you need to.

Meaning of Letter of Continued Interest 

In simple terms, if you have been waitlisted or deferred from a college, you may feel rejected or confused. But you have to understand that a waitlist or deferment isn’t always a bad thing — it means that the college thinks you could be a good candidate. However, they have made different reservations about your application, or else they would have accepted you already.

So, a letter of continued interest lets the admissions committee know that you’re excited about the chances of attending that school. Not only this but, a continued interest letter is a way to recondition the admissions committee on your achievements, which will make them contemplate about you, pushing them to the edge and finally decide to admit you.

What exactly should you include in a Letter of Continued Interest?

All colleges want to have the best and resourceful freshmen class possible. Your continued interest letter must make them realize that you belong among the admitted applicants.

You can talk about:

  • An indication/proof that you want to attend the school badly.
  • Updates on your current operations and accomplishments (academic, extracurricular, and personal).

Fundamentally, you want to show the admissions committee that you’re putting lots of effort and still interested in attending their school. As with any college essay, you should make the letter personal and particular — here, your letter of continued interest is a chance you give the admissions committee to have a greater insight into who you are as a person.

Your progress and achievement that you will mention will be specific to the school you’re applying to. If you’re applying to a college that doesn’t accept SAT scores, it doesn’t make sense to include your SAT scores. Do your research, create a good plan on what your school looks at, and only update what you require. 

What Should Not be Included in the Letter of Continued Interest?

It’s perfectly fine to get sad and angry if you’re deferred or waitlisted; even the best people among us fall- but the important thing is that you do not have to show your disappointment and anger in your letter of continued interest.

No need to express any frustration or negative feelings. Your letter should show your optimism, pride and must focus on your accomplishments.

You must highlight positive personality traits, like perseverance or self-control, not ones like jealousy or anger.

Sample Letter of Continued Interest

Your letter of continued interest will be different if you’re waitlisted or deferred. If you are deferred from an early decision pool to the regular candidate pool, you should indicate that the college is still your first choice, even though you may not have heard from anyone else yet.

In case you’ve been waitlisted, you’ll likely have heard from other colleges, so you can be more specific about why the waitlisted school is your top choice.

Let’s check-out samples for each scenario.

1. Sample- Letter of Continued Interest Waitlisted

Dear, Name of your dream college (put the actual college name here)

I would like to sincerely thank the Admissions Committee for taking the time to go through my application among the thousands of applicants and allowing me to be on the waitlist. (Name of your dream college) is still my dream school, and if accepted off the waitlist, I would love to attend. I would like to take this opportunity to display my continued interest in your college and update the Admissions Committee on some of my accomplishments since applying.

Since applying in December, I have been progressing in my research project for Intel ISEF. My project attempts to test whether statistical regression and neural networking can predict geopolitical conflicts in developing nations.

This project blew my mind and changed my perceptions of the unique dynamics implicit in a complex geopolitical struggle. Also, I have acquired an even greater appreciation for computer science’s broad applicability to solve qualitative challenges while feeding my lifelong curiosity about international relations.

I strive super hard to perform my role as a leader on the varsity basketball team this spring. Recently I was named California's Northeast Elite Team’s MVP.

(Your college name) has recognized itself as a top institution for me, and I am always in awe as I read about its great work in helping students achieve their dreams

Thank you so much for your valuable time. If you have any other questions, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
(Your Name)

This letter tells the admissions committee about a new honor, showing that the student progresses and puts lots of effort, even late into his senior year. It also gives an updated resume of achievements for the committee to review.

2. Sample- Letter of Continued Interest Waitlisted

Jenny’s Letter

Mr. Harvey Dent

Director of Admissions

University of Michigan

Michigan, USA

Dear Mr. Dent,

I was lately waitlisted for the [current year] school year; I am writing this letter to express my continued interest in the University of Michigan. I am especially drawn to the university’s Music Education program — the outstanding faculty and state-of-the-art recording studio are what specifically make the University of Michigan my top choice.

Since I submitted my application, I also wanted to inform you that I have been awarded the Nelson Fletcher Prize for Excellence in Music by the Treville Community Foundation. This award is given to a high school senior every year after a state-wide competition. 

This award means a lot to me, and I believe it shows my dedication and continued passion for music and music education. I have attached an updated resumé with this information added to it.

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. If you have any further questions, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Jenny Student

Jenny directly addressed her letter to the Director of Admissions, which is always a good choice. If possible, use the name of the person who mailed you the letter or email telling you of your admissions status.

Jenny's letter is short and precise, which is a good idea. Writing long essays about your interest, improved test scores, or your passion for education may sound desperate, and it wastes the admissions committee’s time. Here, with only a few short paragraphs, Jenny gets his message across without being too wordy.

Sample- Letter of Continued Interest Deferred.

Dear Ms. Admissions,

I appreciate your taking the time to read my application. I know that (Name of College) is heavily competitive, and I’m super glad that I am still being evaluated as a candidate for admission. Furthermore, I'm writing to express my excitement about attending and to include some new information to add to my application.

Since I applied to (Name of the college), I have retaken the SAT to improve my score. My current math score is 770, and my reading score is 740. I'm proud of this achievement, and I am sending an official score report to the school.

I just wanted to say that I'm still super excited about the prospect of getting my acceptance letter to (Your College and joining the history department this fall.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Regards,

(Your Name)

This letter gives updates on the student’s SAT scores. Since the student has been deferred, sending an updated score report is a wise choice.

Sample- Bad Letter of Continued Interest 

Mr. Alfred Miller

Director of Admissions

Northeastern University

Boston, USA

To Whom It May Concern:

I'm writing this letter in regards to my current admissions situation. Northeastern University is my favorite university, and while I understand being on the waitlist isn't a rejection, I was sad about being put on this list. I anticipate to state my case for you and convince you to move me to the top of the list or change my status to admitted with all due respect.

As I wrote in my application, I have been on the Honor Roll for the past six semesters. I've also received many awards at area art shows. My art portfolio, which I submitted as part of my application, got me a lot of applause and college-level work. When I'm enrolled at Northeastern University, my work will only become day-by-day, and I will continue to work hard.

Northeastern University is my top choice, and I want to attend. I was rejected from four other schools and accepted to a school that I don't like. 

I'm waiting for you to admit me, or at least move me to the top of the waitlist.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Sincerely,

Selena Willams

Right from the beginning, Selena is writing in the wrong tone. She starts the letter with "To Whom It May Concern," even though she is writing it to the Admissions Director. Wherever possible, address your letter to a person and spell his or her name and title correctly. 

In her first paragraph, Selena makes the mistake of sounding both frustrated and arrogant. We all know being waitlisted is not a positive feeling, but you shouldn't let that disappointment come through in your letter. She points out how the admissions office has made a mistake in placing her on the waitlist; you should avoid this.

Instead of providing new information, such as higher test scores or a new award, she repeats the achievements she has already listed on her application.

In the end, Selena’s letter is desperate; she's been rejected at other schools and accepted to a school she doesn't want to attend. Coming across as desperate won't help your chances. If Selena doesn't want to go to the school that admitted her, why did she apply? Selena comes across as someone who planned her application process poorly.

While Selena is polite in her letter, and her spelling/grammar/syntax is all fine, her tone and approach make this letter a bad one. If you decide to write a letter of continued interest, make sure to be respectful and humble. 

How to Successfully Write a Continued Interest

Keep it short and precise

The college is not interested in reading a ten-page essay on your achievements. Keep your letter brief, simple, and polite. Honestly, you don’t need to write more than 300 words to get your point across.

Attach Significant Materials 

If you received any essential upgrades to your application, be sure to highlight them in the letter. If your SAT/ACT scores have improved, send along the official reports. If your grades are up, get new transcripts. Only include these materials if they are relevant to the school you’re applying to.

Be Clear and Specific

You have limited words on your letter so just focus on specific achievements, like an improved grade. Give precise details of what you have done and how you’ve improved. Remember, you have to make it easy for the admissions committee to see what you’ve done.

Summing Up

A letter of continued interest is a great way to show the admissions committee that you still want to be part of their school. It won’t just be the one factor to move your application one way or the other, but it can’t hurt! If you’re waitlisted or deferred at your dream school, take the time to write and send a letter of continued interest.

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