What Is Demonstrated Interest?
As I talk to students about the college application process, one of the concepts I try to get them to understand is how they can create opportunities to demonstrate their interest to colleges.
Demonstrated interest is a relatively new phenomenon in college admissions over the last several years. While some schools won’t care how many times a student has shown his or her interest, a lot of schools will.
These schools aren’t the ones you will find at the top of the U.S. News or Forbes rankings – but then again, you should already know what to think about these lists – because those schools don’t have to care. Being that highly ranked and being that selective in their application review means they don’t have to do anything and kids will still fall all over themselves to apply each year.
Other schools, however, are very interested in just how interested their applicants are in them and will often say so right on their websites. For one, they are trying to find students who are eager to attend rather than ones who are just eager to apply. A student who wants to attend is likely a student who will enroll and do well resulting in a student who graduates in four years. In the college world, this is called yield. And when an admissions staff can more accurately predict their yield, they can enroll a class that meets the institution’s goals. This is also why the elite schools who crowd the top of the rankings don’t have to put any value on demonstrated interest – their yield is already incredibly high.
So, just how do you demonstrate your interest?
1. Social Media.
Colleges are on social media just waiting for you. Go find them on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. Like them, tweet them and follow them. Some colleges are tracking this information very closely.
2. Campus Tours
One of the best ways to get a feel for a college is to visit campus. But when a college asks you to RSVP and then to sign in when you get there, you can bet they’re tracking you. When you’re there, get business cards from everyone you meet and follow up with a thank you or a brief note saying what you enjoyed most about your visit.
One way to really make the most of your college visits is to schedule an interview ahead of time. It’s a great way for you to get your specific questions answered but it’s also a great way to make an impression with an admission counselor. Ideally, you want to interview with the counselor who will be reviewing your application. ALWAYS follow up with a thank you email.
4. Applying Early
You have choices in the way you apply to a college and applying early is one way to show a college how interested you are. By applying early, you show that you’ve done your homework and researched the college well before senior year arrived. You show that you’re a more serious applicant and, when combined with a visit, an interview and connections through social media, a college is more likely to feel that you are an applicant who wants to do more than just apply.
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. Also be sure to snag your free copy of the Top Ten Tips For Navigating The College Admissions Journey.