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4 Ways to Demonstrate Interest after Submitting Your Application

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During the application process, many colleges look favorably on students who reach out to express their sincere interest in attending. But demonstrating interest doesn’t have to stop once you’ve submitted your application, as long as you don’t overdo it. 

“Demonstrated interest” can be less of a factor at highly selective colleges (which assume all applicants are interested in attending), and at large public universities with tens of thousands of applicants. At these schools, going out of your way to tell the college it’s your top choice can be a waste of effort -- and even hurt your chances.

But some colleges are interested in knowing that their school is not a back-up option, but a top contender. To see if demonstrated interest matters at your colleges, search for the college profile using College Search, then select the Admissions tab and scroll down to “Selection of Students".

Here are a few ways you can demonstrate interest after you’ve submitted your application.

1. VISIT -- In person or VIRTUALLY

Students often wait until they are accepted to visit a school for the first or second time, but it may also be helpful to visit a college after you've applied and are waiting for your decision. These visits can be helpful in decision-making and demonstrate to the admissions office your enthusiasm and curiosity about a college.

If visiting isn’t an option, consider contacting your admissions rep to ask if there are other ways you might learn about the campus and community. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges created videos about campus life, online panel discussions with current students and faculty, and interactive virtual tours. 

Another option might be to connect with a recruiter from the college at a college fair, when they visit your school, or at another in-person event to ask questions and explain why you think the college is a good fit. Whatever you do, be sure to send a note to your admissions officer about your virtual or in-person visit and the positive things you learned about the college.

2. Interview

Interviews are not required at most colleges, but many schools recommend them. If that’s the case with any of your top schools, consider scheduling an interview with an alumnus or admissions rep in your area. You may be able to do the interview by Zoom or by phone. Asking the admissions office if you can speak with a current student or a professor will also indicate that you are serious about the college.

For tips on how to ace a college interview see: Ten Tips for Successful College Interviews.

3. Attend a Campus Event

Attending an in-person or online campus event not tied to admissions -- such as a play, a lecture, or a sporting event -- can show the college you’re eager to become part of the college community. Again, it doesn’t hurt to let the admissions office know you attended the event and how it confirmed for you that the school is a great fit.

4. Follow the College on Social Media

If you haven’t done so already, follow the admissions office on social media. Not only will this demonstrate your interest, it will help you connect with other campus groups and stay on top of campus news and information. Consider following any of the academic departments and clubs you may want to join.

Demonstrating interest to your top-choice colleges may improve your chances at some schools, and there are a number of ways to go about it. Just be sure the college values demonstrated interest first. To find out if demonstrated interest matters at any of your colleges, see CollegeData's college profiles.

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