Students have heard of the phrase ‘demonstrated interest’ when it comes to looking into universities, but what exactly is it?
Demonstrated interest is a combination of actions on your part which help admissions officers from a particular university determine how interested a student is in their school. Schools want to accept students who truly want to attend their university, so they’re more likely to accept students who’ve expressed interest.
Even if the schools you are applying to explicitly say that they don’t take demonstrated interest into consideration, it is a good idea to still show it. You’ll learn more about the universities and stay up to date on the different initiatives and events that the school is pursuing.
Here are 5 ways to show demonstrated interest and ensure you stay in the loop:
1. Social Media
First, follow your university on social media! A lot of universities post updates on what they’re up to, and often post reminders of upcoming application deadlines.
I have found that the two best platforms to follow universities on are Instagram and Twitter. This is where they tend to be most active! While they’re not as effective for demonstrated interest, joining some Facebook groups might help you get an inside look into the university.
Don’t forget to follow the schools’ admission accounts, because some universities will have a separate social media account for undergraduate admissions. In addition, follow the specific accounts for the specific college / subject group / club or society that you are interested in! You can always unfollow them later if you decide that you aren’t interested any longer.
2. Newsletters & Mailing Lists
By joining the mailing list, universities will send you emails on undergraduate information often tailored to the preferences you select in the form. Schools will often ask for your intended year of admission and subject preferences. This will also let your information be a part of their database, which is always a good thing!
3. Virtual Tours / Information Sessions
This is more for students right now in quarantine, but it is also applicable to international students who aren’t able to go and visit schools in person. If you are able to visit schools in person, do so!
Otherwise, check out the university website – there will likely be a virtual tour that students can access! Many schools have started to put up virtual information sessions so that prospective students can still gain the information about the campus and university.
In my experience, YouTube has been my #2 source for university research (after the university websites, of course). It’s easy to find information from the university YouTube channel, as well as from students who attend that particular school. Dorm tours, campus tours, interviews, advice videos, and days-in-the-life are all different types of videos that will give you an insider’s look!
5. Admissions Counselors
Through navigating the university website, you should be able to find your admission counselor / representative. If they don’t have this information available, look for an admissions email address that you can contact to find out who your regional counselor is.
This person will most likely be the person who reads your application, so it is important you make a good impression! They should already know your name and who you are before your application gets to them. Jot down their email address – both so you can introduce yourself, and so you can ask questions about the application process.
However, don’t email them too early, otherwise they’ll forget who you are by the time applications roll around. Also, make sure that you don’t email them questions that you can find the answers to on their website! Prospective students make this rookie mistake too often; it shows the university that you can’t research properly. Any question you ask should be specific to your situation. Remember, you don’t just want to make an impression, you want to make a lasting impression.
Don’t forget to take notes on all of the knowledge you gain from showing demonstrated interest. It’s one thing to stay up to date on what the universities you are interested in are doing, but make sure you keep track of what you are learning so that you can look back on it if needed! Best of luck with your college application process!