From hours of studying for the ACT and SAT, extracurricular activities, and years of keeping up with GPAs, qualifications play a large role in whether or not a student is admitted to a college.
But there’s something that students can do that will set themselves apart from every other applicant that is often overlooked.
Did you know that a student who demonstrates interest in a university or program will have a much stronger application than students who simply send in their application? Read on for how to demonstrate interest to a university and land yourself an acceptance letter.
3 Tips On How To Demonstrate Interest In A University & Land Yourself An Acceptance Letter
Expressing genuine interest to advisors or professors at a university both helps students start building connections and sets themselves up for gaining admission.
Because demonstrating interest is such a valuable practice for prospective college students, keep reading to learn about what it is, why it’s so important, and how you can best use the strategy.
If you want help in making a successful impression with your college application and learn how to demonstrate interest in a university, Bright Futures can help you through the process and attend the top university of your choice. Reach out to us today to get started.
What Is Demonstrated Interest & Why Is It Important?
Demonstrated interest is exactly what it sounds like – showing or expressing interest in something.
When it comes to college applications, demonstrated interest can make a strong candidate even stronger. Or a slightly less impressive application outshines the very best.
When you demonstrate interest in a university, you’re showcasing your ability to take initiative. You’re proving your willingness to network. You’re defining your commitment to a field of study. And you’re forming a personal connection with professors, advisors, and administrators.
Most of all, you’re emphasizing that you genuinely want to pursue a specific academic field at their college. This shows that your motivation doesn’t stem from a desire to be in a lucrative career path or to attend a prestigious school, but from a place of curiosity and authenticity.
So when you put time, effort, and thought into taking the extra step to connect, you make your application memorable and more likely to gain admission.
The Best Ways To Demonstrate Interest
So how do you demonstrate interest? There are a few things you can do that will have a big impact on the outcome of your application.
In the past few years, universities have begun to admit students who apply early at a higher percentage than those who apply during the traditional admission time frame. For example, Duke University’s admission rate was 24.5% for early admission, while the university’s overall admission rate during regular submission period was 9% for the Class of 2021.
This means that universities factor in when you submit your application into their decision of whether to admit you.
Applying early illustrates your seriousness about attending a specific school. Moreover, you cut down on a lot of personal stress from the admissions process by submitting your application early.
Furthermore, if there’s a particular college that you have your eyes set on, you can consider applying Early Decision or Early Action.
The key difference between these two choices is that if you are accepted during Early Decision, you are agreeing to make a commitment to enrolling in that school. This means you cannot apply to another school during this period of time.
Your application may also be deferred. This allows you to apply to other schools and still be considered for admission during the regular period. Of course, your application may also be denied, which lets you off the hook earlier to apply to other schools.
Early Action, on the other hand, allows you to apply to multiple universities. If accepted to a school during the Early Action window, you don’t have to commit to attending.
Furthermore, Early Action can be a good option because you receive decisions around the winter holidays – giving you time to compare financial aid awards between different schools.
In short, if you have a university in mind, it’s always a good idea to apply early!
Looking for some extra help in creating a bright academic future? We’re here to assist you through the college application process! Connect with us today to schedule a consultation.
Personalize Your Application Essays
Since a lot of universities have an essay component that lets you discuss why you want to attend their school, use this as an opportunity to highlight your knowledge about the school and its programs.
When you take time to research a school’s history, programs, and even academic work from professors that interest you, it shows that you are familiar with the university and its current projects. Download our Online College Research Worksheet to guide you.
This is the most effective way to express your genuine interest in enrolling.
While it might be tempting to use a similar essay so that you can send out more applications, if you have specific schools selected, quality is far more important than quantity.
Your essay can act as a first impression. It gives you the chance to illustrate who you are as a person – beyond your lists of accomplishments and accolades. Furthermore, it shows why you care about attending a specific college or university.
This step might feel a little tedious, but your efforts will go a long way!
Engaging with a school online is another way to demonstrate your interest.
Many colleges actually factor in online engagement to their admission decisions. Schools want to admit students who they find are likely to attend, so they use data from your online traffic to predict if you’re a likely applicant.
You can engage with a university online in several ways.
First, it’s a good idea to join their mailing list by requesting information from the admission website. Be sure to open each email you receive from the school as well, and respond when appropriate.
Schools often host virtual campus tours, webinars, and informational sessions. Register and attend these online events. You’ll gain valuable insight into the school’s admissions process, while also illustrating your interest in attending.
If you aren’t already, follow their social media profiles on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or all three. You could follow their LinkedIn page as well. Even if you typically don’t use social that often, try to make it a point to like their posts and leave comments.
Lastly, send a direct email to your admission counselor to ask questions or plan your in-person visit.
Putting in the extra effort to engage with a university online shows that you’re taking an active role in your admission. And that you’re going above and beyond your application.
Visit the Campus
Visiting a university’s campus is beneficial for quite a few reasons.
First, you’ll get a sense of what it’s like actually being a student at the university. You can learn for yourself if you really do want to enroll in one of their programs, and see how the college’s values or culture align with your own.
Second, campus tours are great ways to network with professors, advisors, and admissions officers. It might be a little intimidating to put yourself out there, but connecting with staff at the school is an invaluable way to demonstrate your interest.
Be courteous, friendly, and try to be professional. Keeping these traits in mind will help you strike a great impression!
Taking the extra step to physically visit a university makes your application stand out because the individuals who make admission decisions are able to put a face to a name. Download our Campus Visit Tips to get started.
Demonstrating Interest Can Give You The Edge
While a university will still admit students they feel best suit their academic programs, and consider qualifications above all else, putting in the extra effort to demonstrate your interest can help your application become much stronger.
And, if you’re looking for expert advice as well as guidance on gaining admission into your university of choice, reach out to us at Bright Futures. We help students navigate each step of the college admission process.