Do We Really Need Another Acronym in College Admissions? – LOCI

By Lee Shulman Bierer, College Admissions Strategies

If you applied Early Decision or Early Action you may have received notification that you’ve been deferred. It’s the purgatory of the college admissions process. You definitely weren’t accepted and yet you definitely weren’t rejected.

Is there anything you can do if you’re deferred or later on in the application season, wait-listed?

Many counselors recommend their students respond to the deferral or wait-list with a “Letter of Continued Interest” – now officially known as a LOCI.

What is a LOCI? It’s an email or snail mail letter that a student sends directly to the admissions office and if possible, directly to the college’s admissions representative responsible for their high school. The purpose of the letter is to let the college know that you are still very interested in attending and why.

Remember – follow the instructions that accompanied your deferral notification. If they tell you to “please don’t send any new letters of recommendations” – then, don’t. Ask yourself if you are still very interested in attending the school and determine if you want to make the effort.

What to include in your LOCI?

Remember – admissions officers’ time is valuable, make every effort to share NEW information and be concise. A lengthy, boring LOCI could hurt more than it can help. Don’t whine about how disappointed you were to receive the news. Think about what new information you can add that wasn’t included in your initial application. Don’t rehash what was already in your application. Have you won any awards? Do you have new/improved test scores? Did you get a job? Have you taken on a leadership role in any of your extracurricular activities? Have you been involved in any events this past fall, raised money for a fundraiser, etc. If you have sat in on a webinar or virtual meeting, that’s important to share. If you don’t have much “news,” focus on why the college is a good academic fit for you, but be careful – don’t make it generic and something that could be sent to any college on your list. Do your homework and understand specific majors, specific courses and specific opportunities. This is where you’ll need to differentiate each college.

Start your letter and end your letter with a thank you. Thank them for reevaluating your application and taking the time to reconsider your application.

One last item… if you are certain if you are accepted to the college, then be sure to communicate that information. Yield (actually attending the school) is an important piece of the puzzle.

Will a LOCI work?

Asking different people and different schools with provide you will a variety of answers. A Letter of Continued Interest can’t do much damage as long as you follow the above tips.

Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte. Send questions to: lee@collegeadmissionsstrategies.com; www.collegeadmissionsstrategies.com

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