Show Them You Love Them: 13 ways to demonstrate your interest to your favorite schools

[Intended for prospective college applicants who wish to attend their dream schools]

One of the criteria that college admission officers are increasingly taking into account in admission decisions is “Demonstrated Interest.”

While this is not a common practice at top-tiered colleges, most middle-tier colleges use demonstrated interest during the selection process. One of the main concerns of college admissions officers is that admitted students who are not genuinely and adequately interested in attending their institution, are more likely to turn down their acceptance offer, in favor of their “rival” schools’ offer. Another concern is that these not-so-interested students risk transferring to another institution, one or two years after starting college, or simply drop out altogether; none of these looks good on the school’s data.

Therefore, it is in prospective students’ interest to communicate regularly with the schools they are applying to, considering their communication is tracked down, and their “Demonstrated Interest” affects the admission decision. While students should by no means communicate to ask irrelevant or redundant questions, they should take advantage of every opportunity during the application process, to increase their visibility. Some examples are:

  1. Recruitment: Responding early to recruitment mailings and e-mails from colleges to get on mailing lists and make connections with the admission office.
  2. Information: Requesting Information on college website to get on mailing lists or sign up for newsletters and blogs etc.
  3. College Websites: Explore campus and programs at each school. Ask colleges any additional question that is not addressed on the website.
  4. College Fairs: Attend college fairs, and talks by college representatives; ask questions and sign up for more information.  Meet the college representative and provide your contact info.
  5. Contact local Representative Reps: Network with alumni, and local clubs and organizations that are affiliated with the school.
  6. Social Media: “Like” the college’s Facebook page or other Social Media and actively engage. Be careful if you have a Facebook page with any inappropriate comments.
  7. College Interviews: Requesting interviews with alumni or the admission officers and showing enthusiasm toward the school and campus—even if the interview is optional.
  8. Supplemental Essays: Using the “Why XXX College?” essay to demonstrate knowledge, and interest, in all that the school has to offer.
  9. Applying ED/ EA vs. RD: Committing early (ED) or prioritizing (EA) as opposed to (RD) in December with all other schools.
  10. Apply before any deadline: Beating the last-minute submission crowd by being proactive allows the application to stand out.
  11. Attitude: Showing courteousness and respect while communicating with admission officers can go a long way in showing how serious you are about the school.
  12. Waitlist: Sending in supplemental documents promptly and staying connected, even if you have been accepted to other schools, to demonstrate continued interest.
  13. Enthusiasm: Simply showing enthusiasm at all times in your communication with admission offices; it is the greatest indicator of interest.  

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