Why is it important to demonstrate interest to colleges?

“Demonstrated interest” has become increasingly important in the college admissions process over recent years.* But the importance placed on demonstrated interest varies greatly depending on the type of college. Demonstrated interest typically is more important to colleges that are private, smaller and more selective.

With increased numbers of students applying to colleges, demonstrated interest helps colleges assess the likelihood that students will:

  • Attend if admitted (yield), which helps the admissions office craft its class, and is a leading factor for US News & World Report rankings
  • Be a good fit and engage in activities on campus
  • Be loyal to the school and become an alumni donor

How can you demonstrate “informed interest” to colleges? 10-point plan!

All the colleges on your College List should be schools you would be happy to attend.  Your goal should be to demonstrate genuine “informed interest” that shows you are knowledgeable about the college’s unique features and how you would contribute to campus life.

  • VISIT the college; register in the admissions office. Many, but not all, colleges track campus visits as one of the highest measures of demonstrated interest.
  • ATTEND info sessions at your high school or local college fairs.
  • REGISTER on the undergraduate admissions website.
  • FOLLOW colleges on social media, including twitter, blogs, Facebook.
  • INTERVIEW on-campus or with an alumni interview.
  • RESEARCH the college thoroughly when you write your Supplemental Essays. Write as specifically as possible about the programs and culture of the college; and about the strengths and interests you would bring to campus.
  • THANK college officials after college visits and interviews.  Include specific topics that were meaningful to you.
  • APPLY EARLY!  Applying Early Decision or Early Action shows interest, because you are sufficiently motivated to prepare and submit your application earlier than required.
  • CONTACT the regional admissions officer after you apply by sending an occasional email if you have substantive developments to report or a genuine question that is not answered on the website.
  • CHECK your online portal for your application status.

For more information on how to evaluate your fit for colleges and demonstrate interest, contact www.collegiategateway.com.

* 2012 State of College Admissions report by NACAC (National Association of College Admissions Counselors).