Tag Archives: demonstrated interest

List of Colleges Where Demonstrated Interest May Benefit You

As we dive deeper into the college application season, it’s important to build an authentic relationship with your top-choice university. For some colleges, demonstrated interest helps them understand which students will apply and attend their schools. Continue reading

All You Need to Know about Demonstrated Interest

As some of you embark on the college admissions journey, you may start to hear the term “demonstrated interest.” How does it play into the college admissions process? What can you do to use demonstrated interest to your advantage? In this article, we will share our insights on demonstrated interest and its benefits!


(More of an audio learner? Check out this video by Insight’s Head of College Admissions Counseling Purvi Mody!)


What is demonstrated interest?

how do colleges look at demonstrated interest

Starting around 2015, demonstrated interest has started to play a role in SOME colleges’ admissions decision-making process. For the colleges, demonstrated interest helps them understand which students will apply and attend their schools. These colleges want to know that when they send out acceptance letters, the students would likely attend.


How does this help you, the students?

When you are demonstrating interest, you send a message to the college: “I am interested! I may want to join your school.” Beyond that, you are learning if this school is the right fit for you. Whether through online information sessions, college fairs, email lists, or college visits, you can build a better idea of what your college years may look like.


Do all schools care about demonstrated interest?

Not at all. Previously, we emphasized that only SOME colleges look at demonstrated interest. Those are usually small private or small liberal arts schools. However, that doesn’t mean you should just stop your college research completely. If you need to write supplemental essays or a “Why College” essay, attending information sessions and talking to an admissions representative are great ways to gather ideas!


Read more: List of Colleges Where Demonstrated Interest May Benefit You


What are some ways to demonstrate interest?

There are so many ways for you to learn about your potential schools (and for them to get to know you too!). Here are some examples:

  • Go to college fairs and fill out your information
  • Sign up for email lists (and actually check out the content that interests you)
  • Campus visit – online or in-person
  • Early application
  • Supplemental essay showing how well you have researched the school and why those qualities are important to you
  • Speak to college admissions representatives
  • Informational interviews with alumni or students
  • Attend information sessions. If you join a virtual session, make sure you ask thoughtful questions that can help you learn more about the school beyond what’s on its website


Read more: The Art of Informational Interviews


How do I get the most out of a virtual information session?

how do colleges look at demonstrated interest

First, be engaged. It’s so easy to have three to five programs on your screen while you sit in a webinar. It is also tempting to chat with your friends on your phone. Don’t. Focus on the presentation, take detailed notes, and personalize your data. You want to take notes of things you care about or find interesting, so you can use them in a supplemental essay or help you make the final decision to attend.


Do some research before you attend the virtual info session, so the questions you ask are actually meaningful to you. Don’t ask questions that you can easily answer by searching on the college’s website.


What about online college tours?

While walking on the campus and visiting the city that the school is located in can be a great experience, online college tours can save you time and money and provide you plenty of information about the campus. It should not be used as the only tool for you to use. Join an information session. Follow the school’s social media. Talk to a couple of alumni or current students. We have a wonderful network of Insight students who are either now in college or have graduated. Our counselors connect them with current Insight students, so they can learn about major choices, career paths, and college experience!


Final thoughts:

Remember, you don’t want to do this for every school. The most important key is to build a meaningful, authentic relationship with colleges. And that takes time and effort. You need to figure out which schools you may want to know better and adjust your list along the way. The college admissions process is a self-discovery journey for you, and learning to prioritize what’s important to you is part of that growth.


Read more: Think it Through: Early Decision


Created by Purvi Mody

This article was a summary of the video interview with Insight’s Co-Founder and Head of Counseling Purvi Mody.

Since 1998, Purvi has dedicated her career to education and is exceedingly well versed in the college admissions process. Her philosophy centers around helping kids identify and apply to the schools that are the best fit for them and then develop applications that emphasize their unique attributes and talents.

How to Answer College Interview Questions (In the Way Your Interviewer Wants!)

So you’ve decided to do a college interview. Congrats! This is a great opportunity for you and your dream school to get better acquainted.

It’s normal to feel a bit nervous before an interview, but by preparing and preparing some more with our list of common college interview questions, and understanding how to give answers that show you truly understand your interviewer’s priorities, you’ll be able to give stronger interviews in no time!


Tell Me About Yourself

Nail Your College Admissions Interview

‘I go to high school, I’m a junior, I have a dog and I like soccer,’ is NOT how to answer this question. Rather than giving your interviewer a long rambling list, make this question work for you by highlighting just three things about you that you want your interviewer to know.

What kind of things should you talk about? What’s the most meaningful and unique to you, of course! It could be activities you’ve been involved with, a unique experience you had, your academic interests, values or goals, fun facts or even your family or cultural background. Here are a couple sample answers:

Well a little bit about me: I’ve been playing the flute since I was old enough to walk, and haven’t put it down ever since! I also spend far too much time on Reddit, generally reading about sci-fi or crazy scientific breakthroughs. I’m also the oldest of three kids, so have to watch way too much Disney channel.

I used to think medicine was kind of gross, but that all changed when I had to help my grandpa recover from his surgery and was able to see how healthcare totally transformed his life. I enjoy playing sports like lacrosse and soccer, and if I had a superpower it would be to speak every language in the world.

Note how each of these answers tells me much more about this student than I’d know from a resume, and also reveal a little bit of their interests, personality, and quirks. No need to try to come across as perfect- acting like you’re flawless typically comes around as anything but!


Why Do You Want to Study This Major?

How did you discover your passion for history? Or love of physics? Consider telling your interviewer about that moment (or series of moments) when you realized this interest was something you wanted to turn into a career, or how you’ve developed this interest. If you’re applying undeclared that’s totally fine too, but be prepared to talk about a couple of the majors you’re considering, and try to think through what your different major interests, like International Relations or Film and Media Studies, have in common.

I had been working as a camp counselor for a couple summers and loving it, when I thought to myself, ‘hey what if I actually became a teacher?’ I also love sports, and that’s why I’m planning on majoring in education and want to be a P.E. teacher one day.

It all started as series of columns I did in my journalism class on local school board elections. I loved talking with people and understanding the issues on all sides and what a huge difference people could make in education, which is why I’m studying political science and hope to work in local government.

Why Do You Want to Go To This College?


How to Answer the Top 5 College Admissions Interview Questions

This question shouldn’t come as a surprise, so come prepared! Have at least three academic reasons why “Dream University” can make your goals come true, and also have at least two non-academic reasons you love the school. That way you’ll be prepared to talk about “Dream University” no matter what topic comes up.

I’m drawn to your ecology studies program and love how you have a conservation focus. I was really interested to see that you recently had some top ecologists give a lecture at your school and even have opportunities for undergraduate students to do field research with actual fish and wildlife. However, I also love how you have an experimental college, where students are encouraged to teach each other fun subjects like slack-lining or Vietnamese cooking!


Do You Have Any Questions For Me?

Hint: ‘No’ is not an acceptable answer. If you’re applying to a college, you should be excited about it! Asking questions is a great way to demonstrate this curiosity and enthusiasm. Great questions include asking your interviewer about their own experience and asking specific questions. However, be aware your interviewer may not be equally familiar with all departments or special programs.

What do you wish you’d known as a freshman?

What’s something unexpected about Dream University?

How did going to Dream University prepare you for your job?


Tell Me About Your Activities (This One Is Deceptively Simple!)

So you think you’re going to talk about how you made varsity tennis, or maybe about your love of hip-hop dance, but the truth is your interviewer is also trying to assess your level of commitment and your values.

Talking about how your dance partner made you look bad is not a good idea, nor is pretending that you are the world’s best debater when you’re really not. Be prepared to talk about your accomplishments, how long you’ve been involved with your activity, and what aspects of your activity keep you coming back for more. It can also show maturity and humility to mention the parts of your activity that don’t come as easily to you that you are still working on.


Done Preparing These Questions? Good Work!

All and all, if you prepare for your college interview ahead of time, keep in mind the lessons of theater and improv, and show up with a positive attitude, you’ll be able to not only learn more about your Dream University but also truly shine as a prospective student.



All the best for your college interviews, 

Team Insight