How to Use Demonstrated Interest to Your Benefit

What is "demonstrated interest," and how do you show it? Here are a few ways to show that you're interested in a college and improve your admission chances.

If you’ve read about tactics for improving your odds in college admission, you may have heard the phrase “demonstrated interest.” What it means is your level of engagement and sincerity when researching and interacting with a school you may apply to. A college’s representatives specifically look out for this as they gauge a prospect’s likelihood of actually enrolling if accepted. There are several ways to capitalize on demonstrated interest and multiple opportunities to do so. Here are just a few.

Early applications

The first thing you can do to show your interest in a college and stand out from the flurry of students is to apply early. In addition to the normal window of time for admission, there’s also an early application period. Part of this window includes Early Decision and Early Action. When you apply for Early Decision, this automatically means you will accept and enroll should you be offered admission. This is very telling, as you are essentially assuring a particular school that they are your first choice. On the other hand, Early Action is non-binding, meaning you are not committed to a particular college by applying early.

Related: Should I Apply to College Early Decision or Early Action?

Campus visits

Another way to demonstrate your interest is to tour the university. This may sound obvious, but it’s not always practical when a school is across the country or perhaps across the globe. However, it's absolutely worth it if you're able. Ask the college if they offer visit scholarships or fly-in programs, which can help with costs. Visiting a campus and picturing yourself there is a big investment of time on your part, which brings me to my next point…

College fairs

When an appealing school isn't within easy travel distance and you can only devote yourself to visiting your top picks, an alternative is to attend a local college fair or information session. Most schools (if not all) hold various events throughout the country and school year. Seeking out a particular school at a fair shows admission representatives that you've planned to speak to them and have made an effort to show your interest in their institution. 

Conversations

At a college fair, campus visit, or any other event, you'll want to make yourself visible and memorable to a school representative or admission officer by engaging with them in conversation. While they're certainly able to answer your generic questions about their course offerings, campus, the local community, etc., they will gladly answer more personalized questions regarding how a particular program may be a good fit for you and how well you would fit in on campus.

Related: Making Powerful Connections at Your Colleges of Interest 

Each of these tactics will help you stand out to college representatives and admission officers. Consider that admission committees read application essays for eight to 10 hours per day during application season. Your biggest advantage is to be memorable, so set yourself apart from the paper by demonstrating your interest in their institution.

Find schools that pique your interest with our unique college Lists & Rankings

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:

About Kristen Moon

Kristen Moon is an independent college counselor and founder of MoonPrep.com. Moon Prep provides one-on-one tutoring services catered to university admission. They guide students through the entire application process, including completing applications, personal statements, supplemental essays, student résumés, scholarships, and financial aid. Their specialty lies in the Ivy League, direct medical programs (BS/MD), and highly competitive universities.

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Priscilla Yeboah

Priscilla Yeboah

High School Student

I was afraid and timid throughout my search for colleges, but I finally found the college that was fit for me and luckily I got accepted. One of the most influential things that helped me was the articles and advice on CollegeXpress. They've helped me a lot and benefited me as a senior to make the right choices in life. Thank you!

Tariq Adam Khatib

Tariq Adam Khatib

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress helped me a lot. I am a Tanzania boy who finished my high school studies in Tanzania. I never knew I could get an opportunity to get a scholarship to study abroad. I am happy that now I know how to find the school to study abroad through CollegeXpress.

Tinuola Dada

Tinuola Dada

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2015

I am very excited to be this year's recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship. This scholarship will bring me ever closer to my academic and professional goals. CollegeXpress has been an exceptional resource to me, and I recommend it to all rising seniors as they begin to navigate the college application process.

Jenna

Jenna

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me greatly during my college search. I used their college search feature often and it helped in comparing schools I was looking at. Now that I’ve found a college the scholarship search feature is helping me find a way to find my college experience. CollegeXpress has many helpful features and resources for anyones college search, it truly is a wonderful tool for anyone entering college level!

Mataya Mann

Mataya Mann

High School Class of 2022

To say that CollegeXpress is a helpful tool would be an understatement as it is much more than that. Before finding CollegeXpress, all I knew was that I wanted to go to college, it was going to be insanely expensive, and I felt lost. CollegeXpress has given me access to resources such as helpful tips for applications and scholarship [opportunities], and helped guide me in a direction where I feel confident moving forward and pursuing a career. CollegeXpress has helped instill a spark in me that makes me want to continue and supports me in doing so.

College Matches
X

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Stevenson University

Stevenson, MD

Gonzaga University

Spokane, WA

Hendrix College

Conway, AR