A Glimpse at 2022 College Admission Trends Part 3
Demonstrated Interest Matters More Than Ever
When your teen enters junior year, it seems like colleges are suddenly bombarding them with information: emails in their inboxes, ads on social media, pamphlets through snail mail…colleges practically begging your teen to choose them.
However, when it comes time to send the applications in, the tables seem to turn. Now, your teen must prove not only why they qualify for that particular school, but also they have clear reasons for why they want to attend that school.
This is called “demonstrated interest”, and as the number of applications to selective schools continues to increase, and more schools go test-optional, it is quickly gaining importance.
What Exactly Is “Demonstrated Interest”?
When colleges use the phrase “demonstrated interest”, they are essentially telling the applicant they need to show interest in the school outside of the application itself.
This is especially important now, as the majority of students use the Common App, the ease of which gives students the ability to apply to more schools than ever. Coupled with new test-optional policies, more schools are now using demonstrated interest as one of their deciding factors.
Why Demonstrated Interest Matters To Colleges
To understand why demonstrated interest is so important to colleges, you need to learn the term “yield rate”. A yield rate is the percentage of accepted students who actually end up attending the school. A better yield rate makes a college more attractive to future students.
Beyond that, colleges have target enrollment numbers. If they accept too many students, the colleges may not have the resources to support them. However, too few would result in less money.
One way colleges can protect their yield rate and their finances is to accept those students who they know from demonstrated interest would likely enroll.
What You Can Do To Show Demonstrated Interest
Starting junior year of high school, students are given plenty of opportunities to show interest in the schools they are considering attending.
As your teen applies to colleges, encourage them to:
- Read those emails the colleges send to their inboxes, at least for the schools they truly want to attend. Colleges track which emails were opened.
- Follow the schools of interest on all social media accounts.
- Join the mailing list, even if you already receive mail from the college. Going through the simple task of filling out the form shows a college interest.
- Visit the college, if possible, and attend an information session.
- Set up an interview with an admissions counselor, if possible, and be prepared with information and questions garnered from the school’s website.
- Send thank you emails after any college visit or interview, not only to show interest, but also to display character.
- If a school accepts rolling admissions, apply on the earlier end.
Many ways to demonstrate interest are easy and free, and will likely pay off in the end.
How The College Essay Can Make a Huge Difference with Acceptance
Your teen’s college essay will be about them, not the college, but there are ways to demonstrate interest through their writing.
Often, simply writing an attention-grabbing and well-written essay shows the college how excited they are about the opportunity to attend the school.
In addition, many Common App schools require a supplemental essay explaining why the applicant wants to attend that particular school. This is a perfect time to showcase not only writing talent, but also what your teen has learned about the school and why they deem it a perfect fit.
For help crafting those essays, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team to start the process.