Demonstrated interest is a term used by colleges as a way of measuring an individual student’s level of interest in their institution. Traditionally, students have been able to show their interest through personal contact as a way of telling a college – hey, I like you! That involved campus tours, classroom visits, and meetings with faculty and admission representatives. Now, most of those options are off the table. If you are interested in a college that considers demonstrated interest as part of their application process, how can you maximize the current situation with Covid putting limits on travel and one-on-one visits?
Mailing list: Go to your college’s website and sign up on their mailing list. While there, go to the Admission page and research the name and contact information for the representative responsible for your geographic area and high school. Send an introductory email to that individual expressing your interest and ask a question. You will build upon this relationship over time, so make it count. When your application comes across their computer screen, make sure they remember you.
Communications: Once you have signed up for the mailing list, you will start getting messages. Almost all colleges keep track of those ‘clicks’, so open the links and read the information they share. If you have thoughtful questions, send them to your admission contact.
Social media: All colleges and universities have increased their online presence. Seek out their Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube pages. Like! Follow! Respond to interesting posts with eloquence and interest.
Virtual visits and tours: With in-person visits largely impossible, take advantage of virtual college tours that can be found on the college’s website, as well as on youniversitytv.com, campustours.com, and ecampustours.com. Most colleges have created a plethora of exciting virtual visit options that take on the content and flavor of a campus information session but are provided virtually – so you can ‘visit’ your colleges, ask questions, and connect with the admission office without changing out of your pajamas! One huge benefit of such a visit is the chance to connect with students in your particular area of academic interest.
Campus tours: Some of you may be lucky enough to live near colleges of interest. You may even be able to wander around the campus, wearing your mask and keeping socially distant, to get a feel for the location, size and overall campus layout. If you do this, make sure you send a follow up email to admission sharing your thoughts and positive impressions.
Informational interviews: It may be possible to speak with an alum from your colleges of interest, safely of course, to present a few more questions and hear about their experiences at that particular college or university. They’ll report the conversation back to the admission office which will again show your sustained interest. Contact the admission office to find out if this is an option for you.