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More on demonstrated interest

October 30th, 2017

You may have heard the term “demonstrated interest” in reference to college admissions – we’ve probably discussed it – but are you still wondering what it means and how important it is during the admissions process?  

You’re demonstrating interest when you show a school that you’re willing to engage and there’s a true possibility you’ll choose to enroll.  It can come in the form of campus visits, interviews, attending college meetings at school, communication with admissions counselors, and interaction on colleges’ social media sites.  Your demonstrated interest can be of great value to an admissions office when comparing two similar candidates.  

Not all colleges consider demonstrated interest, though.  Schools with minuscule acceptance rates and sky-high yield rates (Ivies, MIT, Stanford, etc.) don’t need to pay attention to this as they know just about everyone wants to enroll.  Most public universities do not use demonstrated interest as a way to evaluate students, either.  However, the vast majority of private colleges do pay attention to students’ engagement with them.  

The article linked below from Inside Higher Ed raises an important social/economic equity issue tied to demonstrated interest.  While we want our students to demonstrate interest in each college on their list to the best of their ability, our hope is that more colleges will help subsidize campus visits for students with limited means to make the trip.  Face to face interaction with college representatives is highly effective, but if travel isn’t feasible, other means of engagement can also go a long way toward serious demonstration of interest.  

Article referenced below from Inside Higher Ed

“Demonstrated interest” is one of the admissions criteria used by many competitive colleges — even though it may not have anything to do with an applicant’s intelligence or character. The term refers to ways that an applicant shows he or she is serious about enrolling at a given college. An applicant who calls with questions about a particular program is more valued than one who doesn’t communicate beyond applying. An applicant who visits shows more demonstrated interest than one who doesn’t, and so forth. Many colleges factor in demonstrated interest to admissions and aid decisions, wanting to admit applicants who will enroll. The idea is to have better planning and to improve the yield, the percentage of admitted applicants who enroll.

A new research paper suggests that demonstrated interest has become another way wealthy students have an extra edge — and recommends that colleges consider policy changes as a result.

Read more at Inside Higher Ed >>

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