According to research conducted by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), almost 78% of college admission officers say that an applicant’s “demonstrated interest” is considered when evaluating applications.
As students apply to more colleges, admission officers find it increasingly difficult to predict which applicants will enroll. In 2017, the average yield rate for colleges – the percentage of admitted students who enroll – dropped to less than 33%, compared to an average yield rate of 49% just a decade before. As a result, many colleges now factor in the chances of an applicant saying yes when deciding whom to admit.
Not all colleges consider demonstrated interest; public universities and some highly-selective private universities do not. Among those that do, the weight placed on demonstrated interest can vary. Even so, it’s smart to signal to colleges that you’re sincerely interested in attending. Here are some of the ways to do that:
Visit the campus.
Admission officers know that students who’ve visited campus are more likely to attend, so a campus visit is considered a plus when it comes to demonstrating interest. Sign up for the tour, sit in on the admission presentation, and schedule an appointment to talk to an admission representative if possible.
Can’t visit? Don’t worry. Colleges understand that not everyone can visit colleges on the other side of the country before applying; you can still show your interest through the ways listed below. But, if you live within an hour or two of campus, they will wonder why you haven’t found time to visit and assume that they’re just not that high on your list.
Connect with admission locally.
Attending a presentation at your high school or at a local college fair shows you’re serious about the college. Be sure to add your name, email and mailing address to the admission officer’s list of attendees.
Applying Early Decision or Early Action sends the message to admission that they’re at the top of your list. Also, a student who gets the applications in well before the deadline sends a different signal to admission than one who waits until the very last minute on deadline day.
Write a great “why us?” essay.
Give these essay questions your full attention and thought. Don’t just recycle the same essay for different colleges; customizing your answer to each specific college and its offerings sends a stronger message about your interest.
You don’t have to visit the college to interview; many colleges offer local interviews. Do your homework before the interview so you can explain why you and the college are a perfect match.
Get on the mailing list.
Don’t ignore mailing pieces and emails from colleges you’re considering. Many colleges track which students follow up and consider it a sign of interest. While you’re at it, it never hurts to follow and like the colleges that interest you on social media. If nothing else, you’ll learn more about the schools to which you are applying!
To learn more about the College Admission process, Call Us at (626)-821-9181 to schedule a free college planning consultation!