Should an update letter ONLY include the update?

Sep 2, 2020
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Before I get attacked with sarcasm, the reason I'm asking is because I've been told by numerous sources that update letters should almost always be combined with a letter of interest.

And to be honest, as I'm an overachiever (sadly), I'm a bit uncomfortable sending just a short paragraph to schools in the update. I'd rather do a full-page letter, including why I love the school at the end.

I guess my question is, what would look more favorably to schools: a half-page letter strictly talking about the update and nothing else, or a full-page letter combining the update with a well-written Letter of Interest?
 
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Moko

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Before I get attacked with sarcasm, the reason I'm asking is because I've been told by numerous sources that update letters should almost always be combined with a letter of interest.

And to be honest, as I'm an overachiever (sadly), I'm a bit uncomfortable sending just a short paragraph to schools in the update. I'd rather do a full-page letter, including why I love the school at the end.

I guess my question is, what would look more favorably to schools: a half-page letter strictly talking about the update and nothing else, or a full-page letter combining the update with a well-written Letter of Interest?
My thoughts:
The more you write, the more likely the important stuff will be glossed over. A well-written letter should be succinct, and absolutely not a full page in length.
 
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If you're considering that, I would couch the update in between two BRIEF sentences stating your interest used as intro/outro
 
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Med Ed

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Before I get attacked with sarcasm, the reason I'm asking is because I've been told by numerous sources that update letters should almost always be combined with a letter of interest.

And to be honest, as I'm an overachiever (sadly), I'm a bit uncomfortable sending just a short paragraph to schools in the update. I'd rather do a full-page letter, including why I love the school at the end.

I guess my question is, what would look more favorably to schools: a half-page letter strictly talking about the update and nothing else, or a full-page letter combining the update with a well-written Letter of Interest?
I am not aware of any admissions office where it is anyone's job to read pre-II updates/LOIs. Your letter could be seen by staff or a screener. It may end up in the hands of an interviewer or committee member. Or it could be shunted straight into your electronic file and read by no one.

Regardless, the safest approach is to assume that anyone who does read it has 400 other things to do that day. This means that more words will not help your case. If anything, more words will only dilute the point you want to make.

Blaise Pascal, who was also an overachiever, famously wrote "I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time." Brevity is not inherently easy. My rule of thumb is that you should assume the reader will spend no longer than 3 seconds skim-reading what you have to say.
 
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Goro

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Before I get attacked with sarcasm, the reason I'm asking is because I've been told by numerous sources that update letters should almost always be combined with a letter of interest.

And to be honest, as I'm an overachiever (sadly), I'm a bit uncomfortable sending just a short paragraph to schools in the update. I'd rather do a full-page letter, including why I love the school at the end.

I guess my question is, what would look more favorably to schools: a half-page letter strictly talking about the update and nothing else, or a full-page letter combining the update with a well-written Letter of Interest?
The school already knows that you are interested in them, because you sent them an application.
 
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