Five Ways to Demonstrate Interest to Colleges

After researching college after college, you’ve put together a list of universities you’re seriously interested in. But how can you show them that you really care about matriculating to their school? 

With applications to highly ranked schools trending upwards, universities want to know that each student is invested before they extend an admissions offer. Through engaging with the school, you can demonstrate your interest and show them that you really are interested in attending. Engaging with a university helps you learn about it (and gather info for your supplemental essays!), and it helps the admissions committee track who is likely to enroll from their applicant pool. Demonstrating your interest isn’t a foolproof way to get into a college, but it could make the difference between the waitlist and admission.

Note: roughly half of schools track demonstrated interest. Regardless, positive interactions with your admissions officer will help them remember you during the selection process.

Here are five concrete ways to show your interest in your dream college:

  1. Engage with social media.

Follow, like and subscribe to university social media accounts. BUT. If you do this, the account you use must be either private or clean!

  1. Attend information sessions.

Information sessions typically involve signing up in advance, so make sure to search for the date on the school's website and put it on your calendar!

  1. Tour or visit campuses.

Of course, this is a great activity for you to do regardless, because you’ll want to know what to expect before you choose to attend a college. To ensure that the admissions committee knows you were there, sign up for an official tour, or stop by the admissions office to fill out a form.

  1. Interview.

Many schools offer optional interviews with alumni. Sure, they’re scary, but it’s harder to say no to an individual than it is to reject a piece of paper. Brace yourself for the challenge, and make sure your interviewer knows you are a real person who is genuinely interested in your major and their school.

  1. Write optional essays.

Most students skip over optional supplementary essays, thinking it won’t affect their application - but doing it will be points for any school that counts demonstrated interest! The more effort you put into your application, the more interested you will seem. If those essays seem like too much work, you can look into our services for help on your college essays.

Overall, do the extras. But don’t drive yourself crazy – focus on the universities you’re particularly interested in and do what feels authentic to you.

Hillary K.

Essay Specialist

University of Virginia

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