Advertiser disclosure

How To Write a Letter of Continued Interest (with example)

Getting deferred or waitlisted from a college can be a frustrating experience. On the bright side, it means that the admissions office thinks you’re a potential fit. If they didn’t see you succeeding at the institution, they wouldn’t keep you around. In the meantime, you can try to maximize your chances of acceptance with a letter of continued interest.

What is a letter of continued interest?

A letter of continued interest is a brief document stating your desire to attend an institution, as well as any relevant developments that may affect your candidacy. You can look at it as an opportunity to show the admissions committee what you’d bring to the school.

Keep in mind that a stellar letter probably won’t be your ticket to getting into a school. Receiving an acceptance or getting off the waitlist can depend on a wide variety of factors, including the strength of your initial application. Your likelihood of getting in from the waitlist can change from year to year, depending on the number of students who have accepted their admission. Regardless, a strong letter of continued interest can still boost your chances.

What to include in your letter of continued interest

When writing a letter of continued interest, it’s important to keep it short and sweet. The admissions committee has a lot of applications and letters to get through. Therefore, you’ll want to be respectful of their time. Try to settle on a couple of main points to express your interest and demonstrate your recent accomplishments.

Show your gratitude

Getting deferred or waitlisted can be difficult, especially at one of your top choice schools. While you may be experiencing feelings of disappointment or frustration, this is not the place to express them. Instead, thank the admissions committee for giving you a second chance. Spinning the situation into a positive can exemplify your resilience and professionalism.

Restate your interest

While simply sending a letter may be enough to convey continued interest, you’ll want to make it clear. Colleges want to admit students who are more likely to attend their institution. Therefore, if you would jump at the opportunity to go to the school, let them know.

Update your achievements

The turnaround time for college applications can stretch for months, and a lot can happen in that time. If you’ve done anything noteworthy since submitting your application, state it in the letter. However, only include the most significant achievements to keep your letter strong.

For example, receiving an academic award or winning a national competition may raise the level of your application. On the other hand, raising your chemistry grade from a B to an A may not be worth including. Additionally, if there are any files or attachments that may further your explanation, feel free to include them.

How to write a letter of continued interest

Experts recommend sending a letter of continued interest within one or two weeks of receiving your decision. This may seem like a quick turnaround, especially in-between all of your other obligations. Fortunately, drafting a letter can be a relatively quick process, as long as you follow a few simple steps.

Introduce yourself

Address your letter to the regional admissions officer. If you don’t know who it is, look it up on the school website. Then, take a sentence or two to introduce yourself. If you’ve had any memorable personal interactions with the admissions officer, you can bring them up. Remember to thank them for reviewing your application and deferring or waitlisting you.

State your interest

Emphasize your enthusiasm for the school. Let them know if they’re your first choice, or if you’ll definitely attend if accepted. Try to make this section personal while keeping it concise. For example, you can mention classes or programs that are only offered at this particular institution.

Give an update

As previously mentioned, you’ll want to discuss achievements that you made after submitting your application. If “senioritis” or other circumstances caused your academic and extracurricular performance to fall, feel free to skip this section. Many find that it’s better to leave it blank than to fill it with pointless information.

If you have made significant strides in the past few months, pick two or three accomplishments to describe in detail. Ideally, choose something that will easily connect to what you’d like to pursue in college. Then, present your achievements clearly and concisely.

Close it out

End the letter on a positive note. Reiterate your gratitude to the admissions committee, and restate how excited you are about the prospect of attending their school.

Here is a sample letter:

Ms. Mary Smith

Regional Admissions Officer

Dream University

Dream City, USA

Dear Ms. Smith,

I’m a graduating senior at Lincoln High School aiming to major in Chemistry in the pre-med program next year. Thank you for taking the time to read my application and for offering me a spot on the waitlist. Dream University has been my top choice since I got the chance to sit in on an Organic Chemistry lecture with Professor Johnson in the fall.

I’m excited to tell you about some new developments over the past few months. At the start of April, my Science Olympiad team took 2nd place at the National Tournament. I helped bring us to victory by placing 1st in both my Chem Lab and Anatomy events.

In other news, I also finished up my last season on the board of Relay For Life. This year, I set a record donation by raising over $20,000. I’m sad to leave it behind, but I’m so proud of the impact that we’ve made over the past four years.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.


Emily Wong

Although a letter of continued interest won’t guarantee you admittance, it’s still a great way to enhance your application. Just remember to stay positive, and you’ll leave a great second impression. Good luck!