A term which is somewhat unknown to many new to the college search and application process has been gaining a lot more attention recently. ‘Demonstrated Interest’ is real and very much alive! Although one can not be certain how much weight it has in the admission decision, it is not something to be brushed aside.
In the 2016 NACAC Admission Trends Survey, nearly 40% of the colleges responding rated demonstrated interest to be of moderate or considerate importance in their admissions decisions. Although we can not be certain what that means, we can safely assume that if a student is matched up with a candidate of very similar caliber, having demonstrated interest would give them the advantage.
What is it? It is pretty much all in the name. It is the student showing their interest in their potential colleges. It is the student letting the school know they are considering it. It is a student establishing a relationship with the school. It is the student putting themselves on the school’s radar.
Why should you do it? Colleges have a tough decision deciding between thousands of quality applicants and knowing that a student has taken the time to connect with the school and get to know it demonstrates to them that they have a genuine interest. They want to enroll a certain number of students and students who have demonstrated interested are more likely to accept their offers of acceptance. Makes sense, right?
How do you do it? There are many ways to demonstrate interest, most of which will likely occur on their own as you are doing proper research to find which schools are a good fit. Going on campus visits, requesting information, emailing admissions with questions, attending college fairs and speaking to your local admissions representatives, participating in interviews if available, following the schools on social media platforms, and applying to Early Decision or Early Action deadlines are all common and somewhat easy ways to demonstrate interest. When you attend official campus tours, the colleges usually collect your information. If you decide to do your own, be sure to stop in at the admissions office and speak with a representative to get your name on their ‘list’.
No need to go crazy emailing admissions on repeat and risk annoying the already extremely busy staff, just do your due diligence with your research and be sure to show the schools you are interested in some love! As always, be real, be YOU.
For more information on this topic listen to Ethan Sawyer, The College Essay Guy in his podcast: https://www.collegeessayguy.com/podcast-stream/demonstrated-interest-how-to-build-authentic-relationships-with-colleges-and-why-its-a-good-idea