10 Ways to Show Your Interest to a Particular School
For many US colleges and universities, a student’s demonstrated interest in the school has a significant weight to the school’s admissions committee members. They want to see how serious an applicant is about the school and what kind of fit that person would be in the incoming class; at the same time, they want to protect their yield and make sure they aren’t sending out acceptances to droves of people who will not ultimately attend the school.
But how exactly do you show your interest and tell the admissions committee that you are serious about your application? Below is a list of ways on how you can show your interest to a particular school.
1. Apply Early: When you apply early, it gives the admissions committee the strong presumption that their school is your top choice. Thus, applying to the early decision program can be an excellent way of demonstrating your interest and commitment, even if it is a non-binding form of early application such as Early Action. However, if you are applying Early Decision, the school will absolutely know that they are your first choice and that their yield will be protected.
2. Visit the Campus: Visiting the school of your choice is optional and might not be possible for everyone. However, if you have the opportunity to do so, you should definitely take advantage of it to demonstrate your interest as most colleges monitor and keep track of students who takes time to visit the campus. You can work with our Former Admissions Officers to parse your list of target schools for ones that are particularly attentive to visits. Aside from the admissions benefits, you can also get a better feel for the school which can help you in writing more compelling essays and help you ace your interview if you are given one.
3. Communicate Constantly: From the first inquiry you made to scheduling an informal interview to following up the admissions decision notification date, staying in touch with a member of the admissions committee can help you not only build a good relationship with them, but also show them that you are, in fact, eager to get in the school. Of course, you don’t want to be pestering them with questions just for the sake of doing so (or pestering them at all for that matter). You also don’t want to ask obvious questions that are publicly available information listed on their website.
4. Show It in Your Supplemental Essays: A common question that colleges ask their applicants through the Common App and supplemental essays is: “why do you want to attend this school?” This is your best opportunity to tell them why their school is the best match to your experiences, interests, passions, and aspirations. Don’t give generic praise or talk about attributes that many similar colleges have as well – make sure you have taken time to reflect on your own experiences and do very specific research about the school.
5. Ace the College Interview: Whether interviews are mandatory or optional, make sure to schedule even an informal interview with the school’s admissions staff member, alumnus, or a senior student. This can be a great avenue for you to show your interest to the school. Interviews are not high pressure scenarios because they can rarely make or break your candidacy, but sometimes they can be quite helpful. If you are comfortable talking to people about yourself, an interview is must.
6. Attend College Fairs and Activities: Watch out for college fairs in your area, and be sure to drop by the booths of the colleges you are interested in attending. Engage with the college representative manning the booth by introducing yourself and having a quick chat with himor her to demonstrate your interest. This a good way to gear yourself up to be in constant communication with someone who you have met in person a la #3 on this list.
7. Sign Up on the College’s Mailing List: This can serve three purposes: (1) showing your interest to the school, (2) staying abreast of the college’s upcoming activities that you can participate in, and (3) keeping up with current events and accomplishments of the students at the school that you might relate to.
8. Contact the Admissions Office: Admissions officers like to hear from applicants to answer their inquiries and questions that boggle their minds. While you don’t want to pester them with every single question you have in mind, it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to them once in a while. In fact, they would take it as a sign of interest from you.
9. Send a Thank You Note: If you meet a college admissions officer or school representative and that person takes the time to speak with you about the school or about your application, make sure that you reciprocate by at least thanking them appropriately. Sending a thank you email should be enough, but don’t be afraid to initiate a continued dialogue in your note.
10. Finally, Make It Real: With the tens of thousands of applications they get every year, members of the admissions committee can skillfully separate the genuine and disingenuous applications. Thus, make sure that you show genuine interest by doing your research beforehand, being as specific as possible with your responses, and putting your best foot forward.
For more ways to show interest in a particular school, contact a college admissions expert at InGenius Prep.