We have always known that grades and test scores were important factors for college admissions. Then we were told that essays, recommendations and interviews also counted. Now there is this new concept of “demonstrated interest.” What does that mean anyway?
It seems that “demonstrated interest” is edging right up there as a factor for college admissions. Students can no longer count on their Aegean College applications alone; schools want more! Colleges want to know that you are as interested in them as they might be in you. In other words, they want to know how interested students are before they admit them.
Some colleges might indicate that “demonstrated interest” is only of limited importance in their college admissions process. Others admit that it is becoming more and more important, especially in situations where students are similar in other areas. It could be enough to tip the scale.
In a recent study by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), 52% of schools indicated that “demonstrated interest” was a factor they considered as they evaluated students in the college admissions process. Some schools even go so far as to track the number of times students are in contact with their college or university and what those contacts are.
How does a student show “demonstrated interest” without being a pest to the college admissions office?
1. Visit the school websites and fill out the form to request a viewbook, information on financial aid and scholarships, or anything else that may interest you.
2. Schedule a college visit so you can determine whether the school is a good fit for you. Make sure you have an interview if they do these on campus.
3. Meet with college representatives at your school or when they are in your community for a local event with prospective students. Ask questions and make yourself known.
4. Attend college fairs and fill out the information forms each school has so they know you were there.
5. Email the admissions office with any questions you may have as you go through the college application process. Contact a professor if you are interested in a particular major.
6. Pay attention to your email. Most schools use email as a way to communicate. If you do not check it out often, you might miss out on an important scholarship or other information. This is also how schools will notify you if something is missing from your college applications.
7. Always send a thank-you note. This does not mean an email, but a written note to express your appreciation for a meeting with a coach or a college interview. Make sure you get a business card from anyone you meet at a college fair or on college visit.
If you are hoping for some college acceptances, this is not the time to remain unknown. Have you shown a “demonstrated interest” in any of the schools on your list?