This year college acceptance rates have lowered even more due to factors related to COVID-19, including going test-optional.
Because of this, more students were rejected from their dream colleges. However, some were waitlisted, which means there still might be a chance: Writing a letter of continued interest.
A letter of continued interest is written a few days (usually less than a week) after college results are out, and they are sent to the admissions office. This letter essentially talks about your "continued interest" in the school, and also includes updates regarding your applications.
These updates might be new awards you received after submission, new clubs or extracurriculars, and other improvements that you have made that might further supplement your application.
Letters of continued interest do not 100% guarantee that you will be taken off the waitlist, but they do allow colleges to know that you are still interested, which may increase your chances.
How do I write one?
1) Start off by thanking the admissions officer for reviewing your application, including how the school is still your top choice, and discuss how you have further immersed yourself in extra activities outside your application.
2) List new updates, activities, events, etc. that you have participated in and briefly discuss why they are important to you.
3) Connect these activities to your goals and to the school itself, and mention how you wish to build on your passions at the school. Then dive into more on why it is perfect for you.
4) Tie everything together, thank the admissions again for their time, and send!