How Demonstrated Interest Could Help Your College Admissions Chances

There’s a new wrinkle in the college admissions process... “Demonstrated Interest” could have an effect on some admissions decisions.

In the good old days, you only had to be qualified for a school to worry about acceptance.

Those days are fast disappearing. Now, many schools like to see something they’re calling demonstrated interest before they take a student.

It isn’t always necessary – Stanford and Harvard, for instance, have said they don’t really care about demonstrated interest. Those universities have strong enough programs and reputations that they can be fairly confident they’ll grab most students they want.

But some colleges love to see demonstrated interest – Emory University even goes so far as to say that they expect at least one contact with the admissions office from any truly interested applicant.

A New Order

The reason colleges like to see demonstrated interest is, students are applying to more colleges now than ever.

Getting into college can be so unpredictable, that many applicants have six, eight, or more colleges they are applying to.

That, in turn, decreases the chances that any one school will be the only one to offer admission… and increases the chance that a student will attend a different school, even if accepted.

On a large enough scale, that starts to create havoc with the admission process. If a college has a set size for every incoming class… and applicant acceptance is unpredictable… filling that class becomes a nightmare.

That’s why demonstrated interest has become a larger part of the admissions process.

How Can You Show Demonstrated Interest?

Showing a college you care is a fairly simple process. They’re looking for a few things…

  • Tours of campus. If you care enough to make the trip, college admission officials tend to perk up.
  • Contacting the admissions office. If you go out of your way to ask questions, or attempt to give yourself a leg up in the admissions process, that’s a good sign. Be careful with this one, though – contact too often, and you might start to create a bad impression. Once or, at most, twice is enough, unless you’ve got a good conversation going.
  • Respond quickly to recruitment material. Request more information.
  • Apply early. Nothing trumps this.

Do a few of these things, and you’ll know that you’ve shown a college your interest.

To your successful college search,

Scott Weingold

Related Articles:

How to Get off the College Wait List

College Admissions Trends for 2011

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1 Comment

Susie WattsNovember 8th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Colleges want to establish relationships with students so that they don’t go after applicants who may not really be interested in their school. I guess it is something like humans. If you are interested in someone and they show no interest in you, why waste your time. There are other fish in the sea.

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News,, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.