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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.

Does the College Care about Demonstrated Interest?

“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

Visiting a college provides you with an opportunity to connect with admissions officers, ask questions, and tour the campus. Many students wait to visit a college -- for the first or second time -- after they’ve been accepted. But visiting while waiting for a decision can also be helpful both for your own decision-making and to demonstrate your enthusiasm and curiosity about the school.

If visiting isn’t an option, contact your college and ask if it offers alumni interviews in your area. Or, connect with a recruiter from the college at a college fair or other event to ask questions and explain why you think the college is a good fit. Send a note to your admissions officer about your visit and/or interview 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, schedule an on-campus or alumni interview in your area. For tips on how to ace a college interview see: Ten Tips for Successful College Interviews.

3. Attend a Campus Event

Attending a 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 Facebook or Instagram. Be sure to ask serious questions that show your interest in the college and what it has to offer. Social media will also help you connect with other campus groups and stay on top of campus news and information.

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