Demonstrating Interest – College Admissions Best Kept Secret

What goes into the review of an application? Of course, your grades and standardized test scores are at the very top of the list. Your performance in the classroom for four years is one of the key pieces of information that a college relies on when predicting if you’ll be a good fit for them or not.

Your extracurricular activities, personal statement, and letters of recommendation are also very important, as colleges want to understand more about you as a person and about who you are outside of the classroom.

But one additional piece of the puzzle that many students fail to consider is the role of demonstrating interest.

The smart student does more than just tell a college they love them through a 250 word supplemental essay about “Why Our School?” The smart student shows their love through actual interactions with the school.

First thing’s first, if you live near the campus or have the means to travel there, GO! Take a tour. Speak with students and staff alike, and take lots of detailed notes! That “Why College” supplemental essay is critical for many colleges, so having your visit to reflect on will provide you with plenty of ammo that you can use to show the school that you aren’t just submitting a recycled version of some other school’s “Why Us” piece and switching out the name of one college for another.

If traveling to campus is difficult for you, there are plenty of other ways that you can show them some love from home. Identify your regional admissions counselor by searching for your home state on the admissions website and contact that individual, introducing yourself and conveying your interest in this way. Follow the school on social media. Attend an information session if a university representative comes to your high school.

Ultimately, your job is to persuade your admissions counselor to want to root for you. When the committee is sitting in a room making those final decisions, you want your file to be full of dates on which you emailed your counselor or attended a campus tour. Colleges track this information! How interested an applicant is generally correlates with how well that student will do in the first year and whether or not he or she returns for a second.

The bottom line is that colleges really don’t want to admit students that have no interest in attending. Those who take the time to travel to campus or simply interact with the school itself are sending the right message—and increasing their chance of acceptance along the way.

Until Next Time,

Molly Monty, PES Student Services Consultant

P.S. It is my passion to help students get into the college of their dreams, and tips like demonstrating interest is just one small part of a customized college admissions plan I make for every student that I work with. If you know of a student that could use some help navigating their college admissions journey, we are here to help! To get started, simply contact our office and we will show you how we can simplify this process for you too!

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