The Hidden Application Piece

A recent article in the Examiner, “Even More Ways to Demonstrate Interest in a College,” discusses how students increase their admissions chances when they “demonstrate interest” in a college. Demonstrating interest can be anything from emailing admissions counselors before applying to visiting the campus to interviewing with school officials. But demonstrating interest does a lot more than just showing a college you’re into them ahead of time– it helps you know where you might want to go and how to make the most of your time there.

The Examiner article explores how the National Association for College Admission Counseling found “that 78 percent of colleges assigned “interest” at least some importance in the admissions process. In the “considerable importance” column, interest outranked counselor recommendations, teacher recommendations, interviews and extracurricular activities, and was just behind essays or writing samples.”

We endorse many of the recommendations they make, including:

  • Visit — A visit to a college campus can make a huge difference in not only demonstrating interest, but giving you a good idea of whether you’d like to spend the next four or so years there.
  • Check out their social media! With increasingly more interesting and diverse ways to interact with a college online, make sure to follow them on social media like Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter to see their latest news, their students achievements and to get a sense of the school as a whole.
  • Apply early. We always recommend students apply early (action, not decision, except in particular circumstances), which can demonstrate that you’re on top of your application game, that you’ve researched ahead of time, and that you’re qualified for their competitive scholarships.
  • Talk to faculty and staff ahead of time. This goes along with the visit, but doesn’t have to. Email communication with professors or coaches you want to work with can help give you a leg up when you actually get there, and when you’re making your final decision on where to attend. Having a personal connection with someone on campus can make a huge difference to your experience of the school, and can make it a friendlier place to move to in the fall. It can help you decide which courses to take, which research to undertake, or which departments might be a good fit.

 

See everything they recommend and read the whole article here.

 

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