Many colleges track the level of interest that students show towards them. Demonstrated Interest helps them assess whether you’d actually attend if you were admitted. Some colleges, like Tulane, take Demonstrated Interest very seriously!
If you’re not sure whether a college tracks Demonstrated Interest, please google “Common Data Set” and the college name. Go to Section C of the college’s Common Data Set and find the chart that shows how important certain factors are as they review applications. If interest is “considered” or “important,” you need to spring into action!
If a college visits your high school--either in person or virtually--do everything you can to register and attend! Think about this scenario: A college that cares about Demonstrated Interest visits your high school. Three students end up applying, but only one attended this session. Who do you think is more likely to get in?
The most selective colleges do not track demonstrated interest. It’s often helpful, though, to attend admissions sessions and open houses--either virtually or in person--in order to understand better what sets one college apart from others and to write meaty supplemental essays, such as the “Why College A” essay. Listen carefully to the admissions officer who is presenting about College A. They will often give very clear hints about what makes their college special and how it meets the needs of many of its students.
There are many ways to demonstrate interest. I recommend that you keep track of whatever you do for each college on your list. Besides making an in-person visit (be sure you register and sign in), you can also:
Email your admissions rep and ask pointed questions whose answers can’t be found on the website. Be aware, though, that there is a fine line between asking a few key questions and repeatedly bothering an admissions officer. Tread carefully!
Request an interview--another great way to learn more about a college and show why you’re a fit.
Apply Early Action (or Early Decision, but be careful with this choice! See last week’s blog).
Get on their mailing list and open all emails that they send. Be sure to respond to ones that necessitate a response.
I help students and their families navigate the college admissions process. I empower students to figure out who they are and where they belong, and I provide structure, insight, and enthusiasm as we find colleges that are the best fit academically, socially, and financially. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a 30 minute complimentary session to learn more!