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How To Demonstrate Interest In A College

Stephen Friedfeld, Ph.D

As college admissions becomes more and more competitive, it is important to understand how to show your enthusiasm and interest in a particular school. Creatively and effectively demonstrating your interest can set you apart from other applicants. It can also tilt the odds of admission in your favor. Here are seven ways to demonstrate interest:

Apply Early Decision. Applying early decisions demonstrates your interest in a college because, if accepted, you are obligated to attend that school. You are directly telling college admissions officers that their school is your number one choice.

Apply Early Action. If you do not want to be bound to an admissions decision, applying early action can demonstrate to admissions officers that you are proactive, organized and motivated.

Visit and take a tour of the college. Visiting a college, attending an information session and/or taking a tour of the campus will not only help you evaluate the college, but also show admissions officers that their college is under serious consideration.

Engage through social media. All colleges have a social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. “Liking” the university and posting on their wall on Facebook is a good way to show your interest. Also “following” the school on Twitter and “tweeting” relevant information at the school can help you stand out.

Request more information. Many colleges have detailed admissions brochures and packages available. Requesting this information online or by calling the admissions office can put you on a mailing list and put you on the radar of the admissions office.

Network with current students. Speaking with current students can be a great way to learn about campus culture as well as the school’s community. You can also reference these points of contact in your application materials.

Demonstrate research in your supplemental essays. Many colleges require supplemental essays with their Common Application. This essay (or essays) is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the college.

Bottom line: demonstrating interest can be a helpful factor in standing out in the college admissions process. Make sure it's a part of your college admissions strategy.

(Stephen is the COO of AcceptU (www.AcceptU.com), a college admissions counseling program that connects applicants with former admissions officers. He has 10+ years of admissions experience at Cornell University and Princeton University. )

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