The Importance Of Demonstrating Interest
Stephen Friedfeld, Ph.D.
With college admissions so competitive today, applicants must increasingly focus on ways to differentiate themselves. If all high school seniors have a 1480 SAT, volunteer at the local soup kitchen and captain the state champion varsity football squad, how will you ever stand out from the pack?(Stephen is the co-founder of EqualApp (www.EqualApp.com) and a former admissions officer at Cornell University and Princeton University. EqualApp connects families of high school students with former college admissions officers who provide 1-on-1 guidance that improves applicantsâ€™ chances of getting admitted. Lokvani readers get a free initial 30-minute phone consultation with a former admissions officer. (http://learnmore.equalapp.com/free-counseling-session) )
Of course, admissions officers and guidance counselors recommend focusing on what makes you â€“ you. If youâ€™re interested in medicine, take advanced biology classes and get an internship at the local hospital. If youâ€™re interested in business, consider starting one. If youâ€™re interested in education, volunteer at a local school.
Performing well in high school classes, getting involved in extracurricular activities and nailing standardized tests are only pieces to the admissions puzzle. If youâ€™re about to start the college admissions process, they are also in the past. At this point, you donâ€™t have much control over them.
So letâ€™s talk about a simple strategy that you can do now. Itâ€™s called demonstrating interest in colleges. And demonstrating interest can give you a leg up. Here are some examples:
â€¢ Visiting a college campus â€“ and signing in;
â€¢ Going to an info session held by a college â€“ and meeting with an admissions officer;
â€¢ Speaking with a college rep â€“ and following up with a thank you note.
Demonstrating interest is exactly what it sounds like: showing admissions officers that youâ€™re excited about attending a particular college. Many colleges keep track of this interest and then factor how much youâ€™ve expressed as part of the admissions decision. Schools want to admit students that want to attend. Tell them!
Just donâ€™t go overboard. Meeting a collegeâ€™s entire admissions office, visiting campus 14 times and sending 6 thank you notes (and 3 emails) wonâ€™t guarantee you admission.
In fact, it might do the opposite.
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