Many college experts offer advice on how to get into college. They recommend stellar standardized test scores, a killer college essay, a high GPA, and strong extracurriculars. While all those application components are important, did you know that there another way for students to increase their admission chances by 40 percent!
Data from the National Association for College Admission Counseling show there is a powerful tool students can use to improve their admission chances: demonstrated interest.
Students who visit a college before they apply, are up to 40 percent more likely to be admitted than students who do not visit or show demonstrated interest, the data says.
Why does demonstrated interest matter?
For colleges, it’s difficult to know which applicants are really interested in attending. Due to the ease of the Common Application, students can apply to multiple colleges at once. Students often believe that applying to more colleges will increase their chances of getting accepted.
When a college receives your application, admission officers look for ways to determine whether you will accept their offer of admission. Since all colleges have quotas to fill and determine their admission offers based on percentages of acceptance, showing interest lets them know you will likely accept their offer. As they see it, why offer admission to someone who isn’t interested when there is someone who is likely to accept?
How do you find the colleges that place a strong interest on this?
Which colleges want your student to show them some love? You don’t have to guess. You can use a tool like Collegedata.com to determine if a college uses demonstrated interest in its admission decision. The colleges are asked to rate 19 admission factors by using these four categories: very important, important, considered, and not considered. Each year, colleges are surveyed and this data is used to compile the information on its website.
To access the data, you simply search for the college, click on the Admissions tab, and scroll down to the Selection of Students heading. Then you can see the importance a college places on a student’s level of interest. Harvard, for example, lists this as “not considered.” In comparison, the United States Naval Academy, lists it as “very important.”
Every college is different so it’s important to check before applying to determine whether a college visit or another demonstration of interest is warranted.
How does your student demonstrate interest?
The most obvious way to demonstrate interest is to visit the college, take a tour, and schedule an interview; but visiting colleges across the country can be expensive. Fortunately, there are other ways to demonstrate interest:
Join a college’s Facebook page.
Contact a college admission representative or alumni.
Participate in a school’s online chat or attend an online college fair.
Request literature or attend a local college fair.
Connect to current students via social media.
Follow the college on Twitter and make a connection.
Schedule an online interview.
Colleges love receiving unsolicited requests for information. Your student is not only demonstrating interest, but forging a relationship with a college representative that will often result in more interest and attention during the admission process. This in turn increases your chances of admission.