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When is the best time to send a LOCI as the Deposit Deadline (DD) approaches? Before or after?

Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Free Trial Member Admissions Consultant

If the target school has specific instructions on how to submit LOCIs, follow the school’s instructions.

If the target school provides no such guidance, it may be better to send a LOCI shortly before a school’s DD. Prior to the DD, the school would have been receiving deposits all spring. The outlines of the class are likely coming into focus. At the same time, they may be previewing their WL to see who are the best candidates to admit if necessary. Depending on the size of the WL, which may differ from school to school and from year to year, someone in the admissions office is probably keeping track of the WL and taking note of strong files, very interested files, and notable files based on admissions officers’ interactions throughout the cycle. This is where points of contact and LOCIs are distinguishing.

If it looks like the school is going to receive a total number of deposits that is short of their expectations, given the expected melt through the summer, they will go to the WL. Some schools may have already been reaching out to current admits by phone or by email to get a sense of how many deposits to expect in the lead up to and on the DD. When the DD has come and gone, if the deposits are down, some schools may chase down earlier admitted students to see if they forgot or could be persuaded to deposit with enhanced admissions offers. Some schools will not follow up and go directly to the WL if necessary. If a school has received more deposits than expected and they are concerned about bringing in too large a class, they may do neither.

Continuous curating of the WL throughout the spring by the admissions office makes sense because schools will want to act quickly with new offers at the ready. They would not likely wait until the day after the DD to start looking at 500-1000 files on the WL. If an interested candidate sent a LOCI shortly before the DD, admissions would more likely consider this recent activity to yield a deposit than a LOCI sent back in January and then silence afterwards.

If the candidate sends the LOCI a week after the DD, it too will bring attention to their file as the school is preparing their WL admit letters. However, if the school only needs to make a handful of admit offers off the WL, perhaps they school already has a list of new admits prepared and will have decided or acted by the time the post-DD LOCI arrives.

Trying to predict an admissions office’s actions or motivations is an impossible task since strategies change all the time. Trying to time receipt of the LOCI becomes less of an issue if the candidate has maintained a good line of communication with the admissions office before the DD. Polite, professional contact every four weeks or so as a WL'd candidate is a reasonable approach. Good luck!

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