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How to write a great Letter of Continued Interest & A Successful Example

So, you’ve been waitlisted (or deferred) from a school you love. Go ahead and toss salt over your shoulder, light incense, and rub your hands together praying to get off the waitlist.

Or you could write a Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI)–your best shot at turning the tide.

What is a LOCI?

A LOCI (we pronounce it ‘Loki’ like the trickster god) is a letter that states your commitment to the school, updates them about your life since you’ve submitted your application, and explains why you and the school are the perfect fit for each other.

Before you fire up the old spelling machine, double check if then what your school’s deferral or waitlist process is. Not every school will allow or want a letter sent to them. Some may only require that you hit ‘Yes’ on a form in your application portal while others may not give any instructions at all. Always double check.

If a school doesn’t give any specific instructions, you should always send a LOCI to confirm your commitment to a school. While chances are slim that you get off the waitlist, this letter can be the difference between acceptance and rejection.

Guide to Your LOCI

This guide is meant to give you a solid structure that works, but remember that real people read these letters. These people argue why you should come off the waitlist over another candidate. So get creative, make people laugh, cry, and reflect with you.


PA Points:

  • Length: 1 to 1.5 pages max
  • ID: Include your name and any ID numbers, such as your Common App or School ID, in the header. This will allow admissions to identify you more easily.
  • Content: Focus on new accomplishments and insights not previously included in the submitted application–you don’t want to retread old information

The Content and Flow

1, Introduction: stating your interest in the school as your top choice

2, Updates:

  1. What new accomplishments or developments in your life have been there since you’ve submitted the application to the school? These can include competitions, club/organization updates, new test scores, GPA changes, even new books or movies you’ve seen, or anything else that has been meaningful to you. Aim to talk about the 1-3 most meaningful moments since you’ve submitted your application.
  2. New reflections or insights you’ve had related to your new accomplishments. Don’t just list them out, show readers why these events are so meaningful to you.

3, Why are you and the school the perfect match?

  1. What totally unique program does the school offer that you plan to take advantage of?
  2. What very specific piece of research is only that school doing that no one else is?
  3. What special skill or perspective will you bring to the campus that will enrich the community there? What do you plan or hope to contribute?

PA Case Study

Morning. Eyes still searching for focus:

“We regret to inform you…However, we offer you a spot on the waitlist…”

There are fewer crushing feelings than starting a new day with the news that you’ve been waitlisted to yet another school. Patrick (a pseudonym) felt this pain on a chilly morning in 2020 after being rejected or waitlisted from almost all of his schools. Things looked grim, and we advised Patrick to write letters of continued interest (LOCI) to all of his waitlisted schools. To write was the last thing on Patrick’s mind, but to wait and do nothing while he could still do something was absolutely the wrong move.

Patrick gathered up his remaining willpower to write a letter outlining how he has grown since submitting his application and why he believes the University of Chicago should be his future home. The day after Patrick sent the letter, an admissions officer from Chicago called him and offered a spot in the freshman class if he was willing to commit to Chicago right then and there.

Patrick took the offer.

Let’s take a look at Patrick’s letter.

Note: specific names have been edited for anonymity.

Analysis

Dear University of Chicago Admissions,

I sincerely hope that you and your families are safe and well. I was disappointed to have been placed on the waitlist; however, my commitment to The University of Chicago remains steadfast. If I am accepted, I will submit my deposit, hang up my UChicago pennant, and plan my trip to Chicago for move-in day immediately. Please allow me to reiterate my interest in The University of Chicago and share one final update here.


Introduction: Clearly and creatively stating his commitment to UChicago.

Like many students, my senior year has been defined by the Covid-19 pandemic. While I’m disappointed that my graduation has been canceled and that I will not be able to spend the remainder of my senior year with my peers, this global crisis has driven me to grow both as a student and as a citizen. Local college closures left me as the sole intern in the district office of Congressman Clay Davis where I fielded calls from frightened constituents. The duties of an intern are often viewed as busy-work. However, I was able to alleviate fears and inspire hope by providing people with locations for Covid-19 testing sites, explaining why the government is promoting social distancing, and simply reminding them that there are people working hard everyday to ensure their safety and the safety of their loved ones. Since our office closed, I started volunteering at our local food shelter to help protect the most at-risk members of my community from having to put their lives on the line to get basic necessities. My experience serving my community during these extraordinary times has cemented my resolve to be a public servant.


Updates Pt. 1

  • The letter isn’t a list of his latest achievements, rather a description of how he has grown as a person since the last update.
  • Specific examples of actions he has been taking to help his community.
  • Restating his driving intent and purpose.

I have remained dedicated to my scholastic pursuits and community, in two months I will graduate having received straight A’s during my senior year and as a member of the Cum Laude society. More importantly, as the senior class president, I have worked to assuage the frustration and confusion that I’ve felt in my peers. Much like I did as an intern, I’ve served as a bridge between my school’s administration in New York and our seniors who have returned home around the world. I send regular updates about our yearbook, graduation, and our move to online schooling. It’s heartbreaking to know that we will not see each other for the rest of the year, but with the help of my peers, I’ve started to devise ways of holding senior events, like our commencement, over Zoom to maintain some sense of togetherness. This crisis has taught me that regardless of one’s age or position in life, by being involved and offering a helping hand, anyone can have a positive impact on their community.


Updates Pt. 2

  • Academic update that reemphasizes his scholastic ability, rigor, and achievements
  • More than just a number, Patrick has responsibilities and duties that are important and impactful for his community.
  • Even though he has submitted his applications, Patrick isn’t just coasting, he’s identifying problems in his community and thinking of novel solutions.
  • The reflection, the takeaway for his experiences that he has shared with the reader. This gives us further insight into how his mind operates and his worldview.

My first exposure to UChicago was on bestdelegate.com, where UChicago’s Model UN team is ranked number 1 in the nation. I have been involved in Model UN since eighth grade, and I can’t think of a better place to keep debating than UChicago. I visited campus last October. After speaking with my tour guide about the amazing opportunities available to students interested in politics, such as The Institute of Politics Internship and Opportunities Board, I knew I had to apply. My academic interests stem from policy-making and economic research, and I am fascinated by the research that comes out of UChicago. I side with Professor Goolsbee and his analysis of the recent $2 trillion economic aid package passed by our government. I agree the aid package does not address the needs of our retirees and the tax loopholes in the bill which help real-estate tycoons are sickening.


Why Chicago?

  • Patrick makes a connection between debate, Patrick’s longest running passion, and Chicago’s own excellent debate team.
  • By making the effort to visit the campus, he has shown the school that he is interested. The pandemic has made virtual tours and sessions all the more important. We require our students to attend these events, take notes, and ask questions.
  • Clearly stating his specific academic interest.
  • Pointing out a professor and his research by name, and goes on to provide his own opinion on the research. This showcases his seriousness in the subject and niche.

From the nearly limitless opportunities at UChicago, to the university’s world class Model UN team, to the amazing research done both in UChicago’s campus and its international centers, I can think of no university that suits me better. Give me a chance; I won’t let you down

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Patrick S.


Conclusion: A nice note to end on, wrapping up the entire letter.

Don’t let the school of your dreams slip through your fingers because you were waiting! Take action and seize your future!

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