Several recent meetings with parents have brought up the concept of demonstrated interest. What is it and does it matter? Demonstrated interest is a factor that some colleges consider when they are evaluating a student’s file. Colleges want to determine if the applicant is likely to come. Most schools are fighting to protect their yield (% of admitted students that enroll), so when they are deciding whether to admit a student, they factor in the likelihood of a student accepting a spot. They look to see if a student has been on campus or if it is a “cold” application. Here are six ways to demonstrate interest:
1. Visit a college and register for their information session and campus tour. If you are visiting colleges and miss a tour due to traffic, detours or any other type of unforeseen circumstance, it is still worth your time to stop in at the admissions office, share your information and request brochures and a campus map.
2. Check the school’s website to see if they plan to visit your area. Admissions officers plan visits to metropolitan areas and book a hotel conference room to present information about their school and meet students that are interested. A tip here, check the school’s website at the end of the summer to see if a college is coming to your area, so you get it on your calendar and you don’t lose a valuable opportunity to meet with admissions officers.
3. Communicate with the guidance department at your school to see if a representative from a college where you are applying will be visiting your school. This is an excellent way to demonstrate interest and the person that you meet will likely do the first read of your application.
4. Reach out to your regional admissions officer to express your interest in the school and ask any specific questions that you may have.
5. Check local college’s websites to see if they are hosting a college fair. This is another way to make contact with locally with admissions officers from distant colleges. You can fill out a card with your information and keep in touch with the representative that you meet.
6. Open emails that colleges send you. Some schools track whether or not you have interacted with their correspondence.