Tips on Sending Letters of Interest and Updates to Schools

Claire Cornell

After an interview, you may receive notice from a school informing you that you have been placed on the waitlist. It is appropriate (but not required) to submit a letter of interest to these schools to indicate your continued interest in their program as well as provide a relevant update about yourself.

If you have not heard anything back from a school after you submitted their secondary application, sending an update is an option (but not required). An update can convey continued interest in a particular school, as well as provide information about a significant event or improvement in your candidacy. 

Typical reasons for an update:

  • A significant event has occurred: If a noteworthy event, such as winning an award, starting a new job or clinical experience, publication of your research, etc. occurred post-application submission, conveying this information may enrich your application. 
  • You want to highlight an area of improvement in your candidacy: If there was an area of your candidacy you knew needed more work when you applied and you've been working toward it, be sure to emphasize the improvement when updating your schools. 
  • You've gained a new perspective on a school: If you gained new perspective on a school and your fit for it (by further researching the program or meeting someone affiliated with the school, etc.), it can be helpful to include that insight in your update. 

Letters of Interest and/or Updates should be: 

  • Professional: You should strive for a tone that is confident, courteous, and sincere throughout your document.
  • Limited: Updates sent too frequently or with little content will convey a lack of effort on your part. 
  • Concise: Keep updates concise and clear. A page is sufficient. 
  • Appropriate: Only send updates if a school is open to them. If it's unclear whether they welcome updates, contact the admissions office to ask. 

Submit letters of interest and/or updates in whatever manner the school prefers. Often, this is through their application portal. Do not send updates if a school asks you not to send additional information and be sure to keep copies of everything you send. If you are uncertain about the timing or appropriateness of your letter of interest and/or update, schedule a meeting with a pre-health advisor!