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Using Demonstrated Interest in College Admissions

Demonstrated Interest – what is it, and how do you use it! 


In short, Demonstrated interest is something colleges use to see if you are genuinely interested in enrolling in and attending their university. Consider how many colleges you yourself are applying to. Then, consider if everyone in your class at school is applying to roughly the same amount of colleges. Finally, consider the fact that UCLA received 113,000 applications for Fall 2018 Freshman Admission! That is a lot of students indicating to UCLA that their school is one they are at least interested in.


If you can do something, as small as it may seem, to help show an admissions reader that you really want to attend their college out of all that you are applying to – this is a good thing! 


Here are (just some!) of the ways you can demonstrate your interest: 


  •  Join a college mailing list 

Seems obvious, right? Jump on the college website and scroll down to the bottom, 9 times out of 10 you will find a “Join our Mailing List” button right there. Enter in an email that you actually use and check! Consider using an email that is NOT your school email, as you want to make sure you have access to it after school ends. 


But wait! Don’t just leave it at that. Colleges will assign you a unique barcode or number that helps them track where, when and how you contact and interact with them. Receiving an email from them is great, but even better is opening the email and reading it! There may be a link inside the email to an article on the college website that sounds interesting to you – click that too. Not only does this add to your demonstrated interest profile, but you will also likely find that you’re learning more about the college through these interactions. Win-Win! 


  • Attend a local information session  

If possible, attend a local information session hosted by the school you are interested in. Before you go, think of some questions you want to ask the representative from the school. When you’re there, introduce yourself and ask those questions! This is another win-win because while you’re getting some great info from the rep, they’re learning a little more about you and what you’re interested in. 


Bonus points – see if you can get a business card or email for the rep. Send them a brief emailing thanking them for their time and for answering your questions. Don’t forget to send your thank you email from the same email address you used to join the mailing list! Keep in contact with them organically (AKA, don’t spam them!). 


  • Go on a college tour 

This is another great way to really learn a lot about the school while also showing to their admissions team how much you want to be there. Sign up for the official tour and most importantly, attend it! We have heard from a college in the past that they saw a student signed up for an official tour and then didn’t attend. This was unfortunately seen as a negative against that student. Of course, if something happens and you can no longer make it to the tour, make sure you call the office running the tour to cancel and then send a follow-up email. 

Check out our blog on how to make the most of college visits for our tops tips! 


  • Follow the college on their social media accounts

This one is the easiest and probably the one you are already doing! Don’t forget about social media sites like LinkedIn and YouTube. Colleges post very interesting content across these platforms. Also, keep in mind the age-old rule “If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t type it online”. There are many examples of students writing things in the comments section of a college post or mentioning a college online and saying something not-so-great. Don’t let yourself make a silly mistake like that! 


  • If you can, interview

Not all colleges will offer an interview during their admissions process, but if the college you are interested in does, then 100% take this opportunity! If you are nervous about interviewing, remember that practice can be a very helpful way to get more comfortable. Check out our blog from Insight Counselor Amy Brennen on how to answer some of the most common interview questions! 


There are many more ways that you can let a college know “Hey, I really want to be here in the Fall!” so our best piece of advice is to stay involvedKeep up with what the college is doing, especially in the departments you are interested in. To make it manageable, allocate maybe 20 or so minutes a week to check in on the college social media pages, website and emails. 


All the best,

Team Insight 

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