Written by Cutter Jones, University of Virginia, College Contact Counselor
Welcome back to College Contact's blog! Today, I'll be talking to you a little bit more about what a letter of continued interest (LOCI) is and how it can potentially help you get off that waitlist.
So you've been deferred or waitlisted... CHIN UP! That doesn't mean that this college or university is rejecting you; if anything, it means that you were a very competitive applicant and that they are still considering you! In short, you still have a good shot. That's why we are here to help!
Now you may be asking, what the heck is a letter of continued interest??? Well, a LOCI is a letter sent to a college admissions office in which you reiterate your strong interest in attending the university, normally sent after being deferred or waitlisted. LOCIs give a student like yourself an opportunity to show why you are a great candidate and why this particular university is the place for YOU.
Before we begin, there is one really important thing to keep in mind. Not all universities necessarily welcome a LOCI, while others may strongly encourage it. Because of this, it is imperative that you research the university's waitlist/deferral process. If you can't find any information on this, it would not hurt at all to shoot an email to your admissions counselor– so don't be afraid to do so! Even if they say they don't want a LOCI, you are still showing interest, which is what universities want to see (even if they don't act like it).
Let's say you learn that your university of interest strongly welcomes a LOCI. Great! If you are still thinking about whether or not you should even write a LOCI, here's what you should consider. If you really don't see yourself enrolling in this university if offered acceptance, then maybe focus your attention elsewhere. On the other hand, if this college is undoubtedly your first choice, then absolutely write a LOCI. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take!
So you've made it this far– you got the green light to write a LOCI. Time to get writing! Now, where to begin? First, be sure to begin with a friendly introduction: send your bests their way and thank the reader for taking the time to reevaluate your application. Keep it short and sweet, but also show genuine appreciation for their time. The next part is by far the most important part of a LOCI. In your main paragraphs, you need to mention two imperative things: reiterate your strong interest in the university and update the university with any new accomplishments.
When discussing your interest in the college, emphasize that this university is your top choice/dream school. Colleges are much more likely to accept students off the waitlist who they know are going to enroll. So, if you want to go to this particular college, tell them that!
Something else you could mention is that you visited the college recently how you spoke with an alumni about his time in college, and how you would like to share the same experiences. However, in doing so, be specific. If there was a particular building that you loved or a professor that you enjoyed, mention that in the LOCI. This shows genuine interest, which is what these universities are looking for.
In your LOCI, it is really important to not mention the accomplishments stated in your initial application. If you were student body president at your high school or the captain of your swim team– that's great. However, these colleges already know this, and they want to learn of any new accomplishments. For example, if you retook the ACT and scored 3 points higher, tell them that!!! If you received a new award, also tell them that!!! It is important to discuss any updates on your extracurriculars, improved GPA/test scores, awards won, etc. These colleges want to see that you are continuing to succeed and that you are putting yourself in the best position to grow as a student and person. If you don't have any recent accomplishments, DON'T PANIC! Instead, really try to focus on why this university is the place for you and why you'd be a good fit.
Now, time to discuss the big "do's" and "don't's" of a LOCI. As far as "do's," be sure to format the LOCI formally. It's nice to begin the letter with "Dear, _____" and end the letter with "Sincerely, _____. " When you are beginning and concluding the letter, again, be sure to thank them for their time and be respectful– it's both a nice and very important thing to do. When you are addressing someone, also be sure to be specific. Address the letter to a specific person, such as your admissions counselor. Lastly, be sure to keep this letter under a page. Be concise in your writing when you are telling them why you'd be a good fit!
As far as the don'ts, a big one is to not mention any acceptances you've received from other colleges and universities. If you've been accepted into every other university, that's awesome! But, the college you are writing a LOCI may think that you will go elsewhere and that you won't go to their college if you are admitted. Remember, these colleges want kids who they know will enroll in their university.
Next, don't rewrite anything that you already discussed in your essays. Instead, bring attention to other strengths or skills you have and how you've utilized these throughout your high school career. It would be especially great if you could tie these strengths or skills into any recent accomplishments that aren't mentioned in
your original application.
This all may sound like a lot, but don't worry– you got this. LOCIs can really be beneficial to your application process. As long as you take the time to really dig deep, be specific, and show why this university is the place for you, you have a great shot at writing a fantastic LOCI. At College Contact, we are here to help. If you have any other questions about writing a LOCI or need assistance in writing your letter, don't hesitate to reach out! We love helping out students like you, as we were in the same place not too long ago.
- Cutter Jones