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The Importance of Writing A Letter of Continued Interest

I remember one student telling me, “But Meilin, they deferred me! And I’m so tired of writing apps! Why do I have to keep writing to these people if they don’t want me?”

She was indeed tired of this application process. She had in fact worked very diligently, thoroughly, and even passionately (believe it or not!) on the essays within her college applications. And she was quite dejected after hearing from her dream school, only to hear that she was to join the waitlist. It’s not fun to receive a deferral letter, telling you that you have the option to join a waitlist. I asked her point-blank if she still wanted a chance at getting in. She did. Well then, there was only one thing to do: write a letter of continued interest. But how to go about doing that?

 

Before we dive in, consider a few things.

 

  1. Reflect. Is the school still a top choice? Because it is possible that you applied to some Early Actions or even an Early Decision half-heartedly. You might decide to not express your interest.
  2. Instead, if there are more schools with Regular Decision deadlines that are appealing to you, you could focus your energies on those applications.
  3. Prepare. What are the mechanics of your response? Does the school wish to receive more materials from people on the waitlist? If not, do not send more materials (which would waste the precious time of the admissions office). If you need to fill out a form within a specific platform, then, do that. If you need to email a specific person in the admissions office, then by all means do that.

 

Mechanics

 

  • Follow their wishes – platform, format, etc.
  • Compose a respectful, informative, and enthusiastic letter.

 

Content of the Letter of Continued Interest

 

    • If the school is in fact YOUR absolute top choice, then by all means, please state that outright.
    • Be sure to:
                – Give new information
                – Express appreciation
                – Take a tone of positivity
                – Include the most appealing aspects of the college that you have not previously discussed
    • Remember, this is still a writing sample so put your best foot forward.

 

The college applications process is a long, arduous road. But it is important to consider it as a marathon – not a sprint. So pace yourself, and remember that each bit of effort you put into the process may yield something later – or not – but you never want to regret missing an opportunity to take a step that would get you closer to a result you want.

 

By the way, in case you are wondering, this student later learned that she was moved from the waitlist and was offered an acceptance. That made her quite happy. Regardless of the result, the thing I would like you to think about is – as people say in basketball – you miss every shot you do not take. And, if it’s something you really want, then, please take the best shot you can!

 

Read More: How to Focus Forward After an Initial Rejection

 


Written by Meilin Obinata

This article is written by Insight Senior College Admissions Counselor Meilin Obinata.

Meilin Obinata is a Senior College Counselor who enjoys learning from her students. She believes education is a creative endeavor and creates a space that allows students to explore new ideas. As a Bay Area native who grew up in Santa Cruz, she is familiar with the local schools. Read her full bio here.

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