Bridging the Gap with Demonstrated Interest

You’ve researched your chosen college, poured over the website, gone through your application, and written a polished personal essay. If you’re set on attending a particular college, you may be left wondering what else you can do to set yourself apart.

Demonstrated interest is an excellent way to bridge the gap between your online profile for the admissions department and your true feelings about the college. Here’s what you need to do to make the most of this useful tool in the college admissions process.

What is Demonstrated Interest?

Simply, demonstrated interest is showcasing your desire to attend a particular college. While hundreds–or even thousands–of other prospective students are submitting their online applications and letters of recommendation, you’ll want to find a way to stand out from the crowd and show the admissions officers how much you want to be a part of their incoming class. That extra enthusiasm can be the make-or-break factor between two similar students when the admissions department is making crucial decisions on who should receive a spot.

After all, college and universities want their students to feel passionate about attending. An engaged, devoted student body that gives their all to their academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities makes for a well-rounded, involved campus that feels like home.

How can I best demonstrate my interest to a college?

Once you’ve selected your top choice school, you’ll want to start the process of helping the admissions department connect your resume and application with your face and desire to attend.

The best way to showcase your interest would be to plan a campus visit. Even with all of today’s technological advances, a personal visit to your favorite college or university can’t be topped. In between sampling the food at the dining hall and touring the campus housing, you’ll want to make an appointment to speak with an admissions officer. During this meeting, you can ask questions about the entirety of the application process, your prospective major, and trends in past acceptance.

Come prepared to discuss your academic background and personal accomplishments during this meeting. While the admissions officer can’t give you specific advice when it comes to fine tuning your application, he or she will be able to give you general pointers based on your class rankings, desired major, and previous academic success.

How can I demonstrate my interest if I cannot visit the college?

Sometimes, a campus visit isn’t possible due to time, travel, or budget restraints. If you can’t make the face-to-face visit at your first choice college, you’ll need to find another way to connect with the admissions team.

If there are college fairs being held in your hometown, attend one of those. The admissions officers who attend the fairs are the same ones who would be meeting with you on campus, only they’ve done the traveling. Dress smartly, be confident, and focus on the meeting just as you would if you’d been able to attend an on-campus interview.

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