Nov 8, 2021

Tips for Students and Families to Demonstrate Their Interest to Colleges

Tips for Students and Families to Demonstrate Their Interest to Colleges

One factor many schools consider when deciding to extend offers of admission to students is demonstrated interest.

Families often wonder how to demonstrate that the student is seriously considering attending the school and that the student’s application is not merely a way of adding a “safety school” to a college list.

There are many ways of demonstrating your interest in colleges/universities. Suggestions include:

  • Visit campuses. Sign up for the tour and information session, and be sure to check in when you arrive, even if you have pre-registered. Keep track of your visit dates, as many schools ask on their applications if and when you have visited.
  • Schedule an interview (even when they are optional).
  • Visit the schools’ representatives when they are at local college fairs or at your high school (sign in/put contact info on their lists).
  • Sign up for the colleges’ email lists on their web pages. If they ask for your cell phone number, provide it and open the texts they send you. Often schools track whether the messages are read.
  • Open every email you receive from colleges to which you are considering applying; many colleges have tracking software that records whether emails are delivered and opened.
  • Spend time on college websites. Some are now tracking whether you have visited and which pages of the websites you have spent time viewing.
  • Participate in college-sponsored online chats for prospective students.
  • Correspond by email with a faculty member in a department in which you have an interest.
  • Reach out to a coach or the athletic department if you hope to play a sport.
  • If you have music, arts, or other special interest, contact a faculty member with inquiries, even if you will not major in that discipline.
  • Like the colleges’ Facebook pages and follow them on Twitter or Instagram.
  • For schools that have early decision, apply early if you are certain the school is your first choice and that the accompanying financial aid policy meets your family’s needs.
  • For schools with non-binding early action, apply early.
  • After meeting with interviewers or regional representatives, send thank you notes, expressing your interest in their school.