What is Demonstrated Interest in College Admissions?

There are various components to the college application process. The college application, exam results, transcripts, recommendation letters, FAFSA, writings, and, most lately, shown interest are the most visible.

Demonstrated interest is a simple term that implies precisely what it sounds like: exhibiting enthusiasm in the institution to which you are applying. The new application systems have made universities need to see more. To comprehend demonstrated interest, you must first understand why it was included in the college application process, so let’s start there.

Why is demonstrated interest important in college admissions?

This somewhat tedious procedure of registering to various institutions resulted in demonstrated interest. As students applied to more universities, new methods for enrolling in bulk started to emerge. The Common Application is the most well-known, with over 900 schools and universities participating. The CommonApp, at its foundation, makes things simpler to enroll in college by combining the duplicated sections of applications, name, address, and basic information into a single application. It allows you to assign recommendation letters with just a few clicks, among other things.

While applying to college will never be deemed “easy,” sites like these have made life simpler. Furthermore, students are enrolling in more universities than they have in the past. It’s more typical to just add another application to the mix, so here’s the point: many universities and colleges are fiercely protective of their admission and return rates, especially as you progress to more elite institutions.

Without delving into further detail, colleges may not want to send out acceptance letters at random. To maintain their higher yield, they want to issue acceptance letters to kids who are actually interested. The yield rate compares the number of acceptance letters given to the number of students who ultimately enroll; the lower the yield level, the more desired the school.

How to demonstrate your interest in college admissions?

1. Apply early

Early application is arguably the most effective strategy to demonstrate your intention to join the college. More applicants are using Early Decision, Early Step, and Restricted Early Action to boost their prospects of admission. Early admission submissions at Duke University have increased dramatically in recent years; in 2018, 4,070 students applied early, and over 16 percent from the prior year. The admission rate for ED that year was 21.6 percent, compared to only 7% for formal decision approval.

2. Attend a local informational session or college fairs

It is not always possible to visit the college. Maybe it’s across the border, and getting there would be too expensive. Because there are numerous means to contact admissions personnel, they will not hold that against you. University officials frequently provide informational sessions or participate in college exhibitions. Attending these events is an excellent chance to meet the people reviewing your application in a few weeks. If you do speak with someone, be sure to write them a brief thank you email indicating your enthusiasm in the college and following up on your discussion. This tiny gesture can leave a mark.

3. Send an email to the admissions officer at the college

It’s not a good idea to misuse your email authority. Officers do not require immediate notification of every passing AP exam or accomplishment. Reaching out to the school and asking sensible questions to determine if it is a suitable fit is, nevertheless, a fantastic idea. You can also send an email explaining why you cannot visit the college and inquire about other options.

4. Take part in interviews

Check with your high school counselor or the university’s admissions office to discover whether alumni interviews are held in your area. Use the discussion to ask specific life questions on college and express your enthusiasm for joining if you are selected. After the meeting, write a thank-you email to the interviewer.

5. Spend some time looking over the school’s webpage

Colleges have extremely advanced tracking capabilities. The schools, like any advertiser, can monitor what you do while on their website. Many have made their pages “sticky,” allowing potential students to leave their imprint wherever they go. Universities may track where students went, what areas they visited, how many links they looked on, and how long they stayed on the website. This is beneficial to admissions officers since it suggests that an applicant is more likely to be enrolled if a seat is available.

6. Pay a visit to the college

Taking a tour of your desired college is an excellent method to demonstrate your enthusiasm. When you’re there, talk to students or an admissions officer if feasible. Speak with a lecturer in the department where you want to enroll to learn more about the program. Getting as much first-hand knowledge as possible and interacting with as many people as possible will help you demonstrate your want to attend college and determine if you are a suitable fit for it.

7. Register for webinars

If you are unable to visit a campus tour or a fair, you can attend live webinars. Colleges host webinars that can provide basic information, help you learn more about specific programs, or provide data on financial aid. Colleges will keep track of who participates in the webinars.

8. Make use of your essays

The question “Why Us?” is frequently asked in additional essays, providing you the chance to demonstrate your enthusiasm for and familiarity with the institution. You should take advantage of this opportunity to compose a unique essay each time. Admissions administrators can tell which candidates have done their homework and approached the college since they spend eight or more hours a day reviewing submissions. It might help to increase the attractiveness of your essay by demonstrating your efforts.

9. Use social media to communicate with the school.

Some universities may not pay as much attention to social networks as website interactions, but they will observe if somebody is really active. Liking the school’s numerous social media accounts can help students acquire insider knowledge about life on campus while also demonstrating their interest in the college.

10. Read emails

Register for and view the college newsletter. Whenever you receive the emails, read them as soon as possible and click on any hyperlinks. The institution keeps track of your clicks and how fast you open emails.


1. Is it necessary for me to complete all of this for each school?

Certainly not! Schools in the “reach” category should be prioritized. Choose three to four colleges to which you’re considering that value proven interest, and try these steps for each of them. Of course, if you have spare time, you should go through some of these processes for each institution on your list to better understand them and produce better application essays, but don’t panic if it isn’t realistic for you.

2. How long should I devote to this?

In comparison to the essays and other elements of the application, hardly much.