…as well as your chances of earning a merit scholarship. Merit scholarships are free money that colleges award you – what’s not to like about that?
…not a sprint. Take your time and pay attention to the details.
Back in December, I wrote a piece about demonstrated interest. It’s become a popular phrase in the world of college admissions and if you missed the post, you can read it here.
I wanted to revisit the idea of demonstrated interest in today’s post because of a few takeaways from NACAC’s recent report, The State of College Admission 2013. NACAC releases the report each year (free for NACAC members, $25 for everyone else) which offers insight and statistics based on data gathered from both college admission counselors and high school counselors.
This year’s report talked about a few factors which are rather relevant to the idea of demonstrated interest.
Consider that admission counselors read anywhere from 600-1000 applications each with the larger number typically belonging to counselors at public universities. That’s a lot of information to sift through, a lot of grades and test scores to review and a lot of essays to read. In my day, I used to review anywhere from 500-600 applications in a season and I will be very honest when I say that it can become a blur rather quickly when students don’t make the most of the opportunities available to them to stand out.
And that’s the key with demonstrated interest. It’s all about standing out. Not in an obnoxious, I’m waving my arms and professing my undying love for you kind of way that you would find at a boy band concert, but more in the I’m really interested in your school, I get who you are as an institution and feel I would be a good fit based on XYZ reasons, kind of interest.
Admission counselors are trying to build a class and they have to figure out which students are more likely to enroll. This is called yield and it’s an important term in the college admissions world. Predict your yield too high and you don’t have enough seats or beds for your incoming class. Predict too low and the college is running in the red. Neither is a scenario that colleges want to do deal with. The problem is that as students submit more and more applications, on average, it gets harder for schools to know who their “real” applicants are.
And that’s why you demonstrate your interest. Because you want admission counselors to notice you, and you ultimately want to enroll at a school that you love; a school which fits you academically, socially and financially.
If you make a good effort at showing these schools who YOU are and that you are an authentic and strong candidate, they will at least be able to identify you as such. Should who you are jive with who they need, it is more likely that they will admit you. Then the best part of it all happens…
You get to decide if you’re going to enroll.
So, reach out to admission counselors, visit college campuses, ask to interview, connect with the colleges on social media – do all of this and it will pay off.
If you want some help and guidance on your college search and application process, contact me today to set up an appointment for a free consultation. If you’re in the local area, check out my FREE college planning workshops coming up this spring in Cheshire and Southbury.
… because WE surely didn’t lose the tennis match & WE most definitely did not fail the test. WE also won’t be accepted or awarded a merit scholarship.
…so do your homework and have appropriate expectations as you work through your college search. Spend the time checking out and getting to know colleges. This effort will help you understand which colleges really are your top choices while also preparing you to put together the strongest applications this fall.