When applying to college, your academic strengths and personal qualities are going to be the most important factors in the admissions process. However, in addition to choosing students who are the best academic and social fit, colleges also need to make sure they will meet their enrollment goals. As a result, when making admissions decisions, some colleges will also take into account how likely it is that an applicant will enroll. At these colleges, the level of interest shown by an applicant could be a factor in the admissions process. If you’re highly interested in a college and want to show them, here are some things you can do to show demonstrated interest.
Apply Early Decision. Applying Early Decision is one of the strongest ways to demonstrate interest to your first-choice college. At many schools, Early Decision acceptance rates are higher than Regular Decision acceptance rates. This is because applicants admitted under Early Decision are committed to attending that school. However, not all schools offer Early Decision, and if a school is too far out of range academically, applying Early Decision may not be enough of an advantage. Before applying Early Decision to any school, be sure to discuss it with your college counselor or adviser.
Have an Interview. College interviews are rarely going to be a major factor in the college application process, but that doesn’t mean interviews aren’t important. The most important reason to have an interview is because taking the extra step to come to campus or schedule an interview with an alumnus shows the college that you’re interested in them. In general, if interviewing is an option at the colleges you’re applying to, it’s a good idea to schedule one to show that you’re a committed applicant.
Visit! Visiting colleges will help give you clearer, more specific ideas as to why you like each school, which in turn will help you write stronger statements about why you want to attend those schools. Being able to clearly express why you want to attend a school is a great way to demonstrate interest. In addition, if you sign up for a visit with the admissions office, the college will have an official record of that visit, which will be noted in your application.
Contact your admissions counselor. Most colleges have specific admissions counselors assigned to different parts of the country and the world. A great way to show demonstrated interest is to look up the admissions counselor assigned to your region and send them a nice email to introduce yourself, say a bit about why you like their school, and maybe ask a couple of thoughtful questions. However, if you’re going to reach out to colleges via email, be sure to send personalized emails to each school, and not to send a blanket email to several schools at once. In addition, be sure to double-check for any typos, spelling errors, or grammatical mistakes. Remember, whatever you send to a college could become part of your application file!
It’s important to note that not all colleges consider demonstrated interest as a factor in the application process. However, if there’s a school you’re interested in and you want to try some of these ideas, be sure to check with the school if demonstrated interest is a factor, or discuss it with your college counselor.