Many parents ask me how to increase their child’s chance for admission to selective colleges. What follows below is advice on exactly how to do so.
First, what is “demonstrated interest?” Because colleges are concerned with their yield (defined as the number of admitted students who ultimately enroll), it helps them to understand which applicants are seriously interested in attending. Students who show serious interest in a school are more likely to be admitted. So how do you “demonstrate your interest?”
1. Respond to and request info from the colleges on your list. If you receive a brochure or a letter from a college in which you’re interested (you’ll probably receive thousands), complete the reply card, go online to the web site, call or write to the school and express your interest. Ask for additional information about an academic program or athletic team in which you’re interested.
2. Contact an admissions representative or coach. Seek out these individuals on the school’s web site, and ask a question or seek additional information. Athletes should be initiating contact with coaches in their junior year of high school. Talk with representatives at college fairs and at your high school. Make personal contact with them, get their business card, and thank them for their time. Continue to be in touch with them via email, U.S. Mail and phone.
3. Reach out via social media. “Like” the college’s Facebook page, and visit it from time to time. Follow the school on Twitter, and re-tweet things that you think are interesting. By doing these two things, you’ll end up learning much more about your top choice colleges which will help you make a more informed decision in the end. One cautionary note: Make sure your social media presence is a positive one. This is critically important as many schools are now checking student profiles.
4. Visit campus. This is the MOST important way to demonstrate interest. Nothing replaces a campus visit. Even if your best friend or sibling is already enrolled at the college, and you think you understand the place, you should still go visit the college and decide for yourself whether it’s a good fit. When you do go, make certain the college knows you were there. It’s not enough to drive or walk through campus on your own. You MUST do an official visit and meet with an admissions representative or a tour guide at the very least.
By employing these strategies, you will increase your chances of admission at many colleges. So be assertive, and make your interest known!