How to Write A Letter of Continued Interest

A letter of continued interest is exactly what it sounds like – a letter that expresses continued interest in attending a particular college or university.

Being put on the waitlist of your college of choice, is a frustrating experience.  You’ve gotten SO CLOSE.  However, being waitlisted is not the end of the road. In fact, each year I get students off the waitlist, and there are specific steps that students can take to increase their chances of still getting accepted — the main one being to write a letter of continued interest.

Think of it as a way for you to update the admissions committee on any new developments since you submitted their application, as well as reiterate your desire to attend the school. You want to be IMPRESSIVE and to the POINT.

Here are some tips on how to write a good, effective letter of continued interest and hopefully still be in the game when it comes to getting in!

1. Keep it concise and to the point

Admissions committees are busy and have a lot of applications to review, so it’s important to keep your letter brief and to the point. Start with a short introduction and then get straight to the updates you want to share. Make sure you express your continued interest in attending the school, but avoid repeating information that was already included in your original application. Your letter should not be more than 1 page, and ideally, not more than 1-2 paragraphs tops.  DO NOT GO ON TO A SECOND PAGE!

2. Highlight any new accomplishments or achievements

Since submitting your application, have you won any awards, received any special recognition, taken on any new leadership roles?  Published a book?  Filed a patent? Use your letter of continued interest to highlight these accomplishments and explain how they demonstrate your continued commitment to your education and personal growth.

3. Be specific about WHY you want to attend the school

Use your letter of continued interest as an opportunity to reaffirm why you want to attend the school in question. Be specific about what draws you to THAT school and what you hope to gain from your education once there. Tailor your letter to the specific school and department but do not repeat what you wrote in the application!

4. Show enthusiasm and passion

Admissions committees want to see that you are truly excited about the prospect of attending their school. Use your letter to demonstrate your enthusiasm and passion for your field of study and your desire to learn and grow as a student. Be genuine in your tone and avoid sounding too rehearsed or formulaic (a.k.a. “fake”).

5. Follow up appropriately. Appropriately being the key word!

After you’ve sent your letter of continued interest, it’s important to follow up ONLY if you have additional, significant updates since your last letter. Be mindful of the admissions committee’s time however as more than 2 letters post-waitlist, unless you’ve seriously published a book, or won the Noble Prize otherwise, it is really being too aggressive.

The adcom is BUSY.  They all know you want to go to your targeted school more than anything, but don’t be too desperate — as in dating, appear desperate and it will get you REJECTED. Instead, just be calm and cool…truly believe that the school would be lucky to have you.  That is the attitude you need to take.  Even with Princeton or Harvard.

So, in conclusion, I know that being waitlisted can be a disappointing experience, but it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of the world and there is still hope.

By writing a well-crafted letter of continued interest, you can increase your chances of achieving your goal of attending your desired school. Keep these tips in mind when crafting your letter, reach out to me if you want more one-on-one help (I charge $250 a letter, which includes me looking over your proposed updates in light of your application) and remember to be genuine, passionate, and specific in your communication with the school. Good luck, and you want to send them that letter within a week!

I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer + a Harvard grad.  Contact me today for help with your Letter of Continued Interest, or any other of your college admissions needs:

And, check out my other blog articles, as well!

  1. How to Get Off Harvard’s Waitlist
  2. Want to Transfer to an Ivy League College — There’s Still Hope!
  3. The Best Ivy League College Admissions Blog