How to Show Demonstrated Interest When You Can’t Visit

This year has been a wild ride in admissions. As colleges focused on yield rate (the number of students who accept their offer of admission), showing interest in a school was more important than ever. Traditionally, students show interest in a school by visiting, meeting with admissions officers at college fairs or at their high school campus and staying in touch with the school. With campuses across the country being closed, students are being forced to be a bit more creative.

I want to emphasize that this is not just about going through the motions. As a prospective student, it’s important to show authentic interest in a school, do your homework and let the school know how much you want to go there. Overlooking this important step can mean the difference in admission outcome.

So, how do you do this? Colleges have gotten really creative with how they are engaging with prospective students. My favorite example was Tulane admissions officers and students were playing Among Us with prospective students. Another college let prospective students sit in on classes. Talk about meeting students where they are. Schools are using social media in new ways. Your job is to seek out these opportunities. Take a virtual tour, ask questions, reach out to your local admissions officer. Is there a particular area of study you are considering? Ask if you can connect with a current professor or student in that department.  Do your homework. If you are serious about the school, show them that you are engaged. The last piece of this will come together with your supplemental essay in the application where you can pull all of this homework and interest together.

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