Demonstrating Interest in a College
Sure, college admissions can be competitive, but for those schools that consider demonstrated interest, with just a bit of extra effort, demonstrating your interest might help an admissions office pay just a little more attention to your application. Demonstrated interest includes any actions you take to show a college that you are interested in attending school there. Here are AdmissionsMom’s best ways to demonstrate interest.
Road Trip! Visit the College
Beyond applying Early Decision, the best and most clear way to demonstrate interest in a college is by visiting. Once you get to campus, sign in, go on the tour, and attend the information session, and make every effort to meet with an admissions officer. Admissions officers usually are available at the beginning or end of campus tours for prospective students. However, be sure to sign up for the tour and info session before you visit and email the admissions office before you arrive on campus and ask if someone might be available to meet. A quick glance at the school’s website should tell you who the admissions officer in your state or region is and you can start by touching base with them. If they do have time to meet with you, come prepared with questions about the university and reasons why you are interested in the school. If you can’t afford to visit, don’t worry about it. Colleges understand that visiting is a financial burden for many of you, and many colleges offer opportunities to visit at little or no cost. But, if you live within a couple hours drive or bus or train ride, they would probably love to see you and wonder why they haven’t.
If You Can’t Afford to Visit
Just because you cannot afford a plane ticket does not mean you cannot visit a college or university. Many colleges offer “fly-in programs” that will pay for flight and overnight stay. Research and see if the college you are considering offers a fly-in program. If not, email your admissions officer and tell them you would like to visit but cannot afford to. They will be understanding and impressed with you taking the initiative to contact them.
Contact Admissions Officers and Professors
Admissions officers always appreciate when students reach out to them. Find out who the admissions officer is in your area and email them. Tell them you are interested in their school, ask any questions you have about the school, and see if they are visiting near your area. If you know what major you are interested in or applying to, it is a good idea to email any professors who teach that major or the chair of the department. Professors are always welcome to helping applicants and can inform you about their department.
The easiest way to show demonstrated interest is with your phone or computer. Be sure to follow schools on social media platforms. Even if they aren’t tracking this, these accounts will give a window into the culture and vibe of the college, and make it easier for you to discuss the school in a Why College Essay. Even If you’re already receiving info from a college from an automated list from College Board or the ACT, be sure to sign up for any mailing lists from schools you’re interested in because sometimes they send more personalized info, and click on the links in emails, so that you can interact with them. If the college asks you to fill out any questionnaires or forms, do so. Colleges want information and feedback from you, and will be happy for you to give it to them.
Go to College Fairs and Info Sessions Near You
If you go to a large high school, an admissions officer might visit your school personally. If this is the case, make sure to visit in person. Come with some prepared questions about the university and application process. Additionally, have some talking points about why you want to go to school there. If they are not visiting your high school, sometimes they will come do information sessions near you or there may be a college fair near you where several colleges you are interested in will be represented it. Going to a college fair is a great way to learn about many universities in a short period. Admissions officers there will have brief pitches to tell you about their school and offer the opportunity for you to sign up for an email or mailing list. Sign up for every mailing list and talk to any admissions officers you can.