If you haven’t heard about Demonstrated Interest, it’s time to learn the ins and outs of this important aspect of the college admission process. In this blog we explain what it is and provide you with guidelines for doing it just the right amount.
Defining Demonstrated Interest: The degree to which you show a college that you are genuinely interested in attending their school.
Why it’s important:
Without getting too much into the “business” aspects of higher education (remember, it is a business), colleges want students who accept their acceptance in order to make their yield higher. In other words, when students apply to colleges, they will likely have more than one acceptance. At that point, the ball is in the student’s court- which college will they ultimately choose? Colleges that get “chosen” more have a higher yield. So, colleges like to hedge their bets that, if they accept a particular student, that student will ultimately choose them.
Ways TO demonstrate interest:
- College specific essays: students can tell a college how much they like that school, and very specific reasons why, in a college essay that goes only to that school.
- Interviews: when interviewing for a particular college, an applicant can outline specific reasons they would be a good match for that school.
- Visit the college and take an official tour and/or attend an Open House or Information Session
- Meet with an Admission Counselor when they come to your area or school.
- Email your Admission Counselor with thoughtful, sincere questions.
- Send a Thank You note after an interview or conversation with a member of the college (professor, admission personnel, etc.)
Ways NOT to demonstrate interest:
- Don’t call or email the Admission Office or your Admission Counselor many, many times. More is not necessarily better in this case.
- Don’t ask general questions that can be found easily elsewhere (size of school, location, majors offered, etc.).
- Don’t track down the personal contact information of an Admission Counselor and contact them that way.
- Don’t buy gifts for Admission Counselors or staff.
In summary, the “Demonstrating Interest Sweet Spot” is connecting with colleges to show that you really want to attend there in ways that are genuine and thoughtful.