As admission to college is becoming increasingly competitive, colleges and universities are looking well beyond transcripts and test scores. In fact, many schools are utilizing software that analyzes their applicants’ demonstrated interest.
So what is demonstrated interest? It is simply evidence that a prospective student is truly interested in a school. When interest is demonstrated, it shows a candidate who will embrace the school’s philosophy and programs. These are the students admissions officers believe will thrive once they attend. Today, demonstrated interest is becoming a significant piece of the admissions puzzle along with a student’s academic records and essay or personal statement.
There are many ways to demonstrate interest and schools are able to track all of these things. College applicants should demonstrate interest at every school on his or her list. Begin by getting to know about the schools by visiting their websites. It is important to be knowledgeable about a school when you communicate with anyone from the school, especially admissions officers. After you learn about the school, you can begin to demonstrate your interest.
How can you demonstrate interest?
Here is what you should do:
- Visit school websites to determine what is important to the schools so you can write about why you want to attend in a supplemental essay
- Email the Admissions Office introducing yourself and explaining your interest
- Meet with a college rep, if possible
- Respond to emails or recruitment materials sent by colleges and universities
- Request information about opportunities to visit the campus or have an interview
- Arrange a Skype interview or meeting with someone in the Admissions Office if an in-person interview is not possible
- Submit your application before the deadline – the earlier the better
- Demonstrate interest using social media
- Write thank-you notes to the people with whom you have been in contact
Applicants to college should use the above checklist to show that they are serious about attending the schools to which they apply.