If you’ve been deferred–also known as being waitlisted–you probably want to know what you should do to alert your desired college’s admissions team to your continued interest. That’s where a letter of continued interest comes in.
What Is a Letter of Continued Interest?
A deferral occurs when a college admissions team decides to delay their decision regarding an early applicant to a later round of admissions. We have an article all about deferrals. Deferral or waitlisting can occur for a variety of reasons, but the result is always the same: applicants must wait until a later round of admission to learn their fates. But, that doesn’t mean a deferral is a failure. In fact, it can be an opportunity.
Generally, the students who benefit the most from a deferral are those who take this delay as an opportunity to improve themselves in various ways. Perhaps they retake their standardized tests to improve their test scores. Or, maybe they improve their resume with more volunteer hours, high school extra credits, work experience, etc. Doing so allows you to take advantage of the downtime before the next round of admissions to make yourself into a stronger candidate.
Aside from boosting your high school resume, it’s also wise to write a letter to the admissions committees, letting them know that you’re still interested.
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Why Write a Letter of Continued Interest?
A letter of continued interest, which differs from a personal statement, can be a great way to keep open the line of communication between you and the admissions team. Often, deferred or waitlisted students are only waitlisted because the university wants to give them a bit more time to ‘ready’ themselves for their school. They want to see what you do with your time, how you improve yourself.
A letter of continued interest allows you the chance to reach out and keep your name in their sights. It shows your determination to attend their school, and that you want them to know your seriousness about your further education with them.
It’s important to note, however, that not every university wants or even accepts letters of continued interest. Once you’ve been deferred, pay attention to their ‘next steps’ process in the deferral letter. They will detail what they expect you to do next in the waiting process. If it expressly states do not submit a letter of continued interest, then you should follow their wishes. Always check beforehand!
How to Write a Letter of Continued Interest.
Letter of continued interest are generally extremely simple. All you want to do is hit a few key points, and keep the letter as short and concise as possible. Here are the five areas that you should touch on:
- Reason for sending the letter
- Expressed interest in the school and why
- Most recent self-improvements
- Closing regards
What does this look like when put into practice? Well, let’s take a look at a sample letter that you can use as a template. Note: This is only a sample, with generic terminology, program names, etc.
Mrs. Angela Bishop.
Director of Admissions
University of Albany
Albany, New York.
Dear Mrs. Bishop,
My name is Jackson Banner, and I am a hopeful student who has been waitlisted for the next round of admissions at the University of Albany. I am reaching out to express my continued interest in your institution I remain certain that your school is the best fit for me and my academic future. I’m particularly interested in Albany’s social media marketing program, whose cutting-edge marketing research makes the University of Albany my top choice. I wanted to also inform you that I was recently awarded the Marion County Student Excellence Award for my essay on the power of short-form video marketing in the Gen Z-era. This award is given once per year to the student with the most convincing and best-researched marketing essay in the state. Winning this award helped build my confidence that pursuing an education and career in digital marketing is truly the path for me. I’ve attached my most current resume with this new information added to it.
I thank you kindly for your time, as well as your consideration. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at your leisure. I look forward to hearing more from you.
In this letter we can see that the student has done a few appropriate things:
- They’ve addressed the letter to the director of admissions personally.
- They’ve clearly established in the first paragraph both who they are and why they are sending the letter.
- They’ve stated why they are so interested in this particular school.
- They’ve announced new achievements or improvements to their resume.
- They’ve ended the letter with an invitation to action on the college’s part.
By keeping the letter short, concise, and expressive, the student has clearly demonstrated their interest while also remaining professional and courteous. This is the mark of an excellent letter of continued interest.
It’s important that deferred students keep their spirits high and do everything they can to increase their odds of admission in the next round. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that a letter of continued interest is not a guarantee that the admissions team will bump your application to the top of the pile. You should remain optimistic, but also realistic.
College admissions can be stressful. Luckily, you have our team at HelloCollege to help provide you with the tools to ensure you are prepared for every step of the college admissions process, from application to acceptance!
Read more about deferrals in these blog posts: