Mar 15, 2009

Demonstrated Interest

As many of you know, I spend lots of time going over the concept of "demonstrated interested" in college admissions decisions. In a nutshell, "demonstrated interest" is shown when you take the initiative to reach out to a particular school. This can be accomplished by visiting a campus or by a number of other methods we may have already covered in our conversations. Today's Boston Globe confirms my suspicion that demonstrated interest may very well represent a "tipping point" in some admissions decisions:

In your website reviews, you may have noted that some colleges are very forthright about the role of demonstrated interest. For example, Emory University in Atlanta devotes an entire web page to this admissions factor:

Other schools aren't quite as direct. Don't assume, however, that they don't care!

But why would admissions staff care about demonstrated interest? Because they want to admit students who are excited about going to their school, and studies have shown that students who take the time to communicate with admissions offices are among the most enthusiastic and are likely to attend once admitted. Colleges are frankly confused about the increasing number of "stealth" applicants who have had no communication prior to sending an application. One theory is that the increased use of the Common Application has resulted in scatter shot applications about which students care very little. But remember, like most good things, this can be overdone. So be judicious in how you show demonstrated interest.

As an aside, demonstrated interest can also be especially important for those students who have been placed on a wait list or who were deferred from their first choice school. It takes a slightly different form, but remains a crucial factor in decisions made about individual candidacies.

Ms. G

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