The Importance of Demonstrated Interest in College Admissions

28/03/202317 minute read
The Importance of Demonstrated Interest in College Admissions

When applying to top universities, there are several factors that admissions officers look at. “Demonstrated interest” is one of them and it shows just how keen you are to attend a certain university. But, many students might be confused as to how exactly should they demonstrate this interest? Here we cover what you can do to show your interest and a list of colleges that consider demonstrated interest.

What is Demonstrated Interest?

Demonstrated interest refers to the actions a student takes to show their interest in a college or university. These actions can be anything from attending an information session, visiting the campus, or communicating with admissions officers. Demonstrating interest can be an important factor in the admissions process, as it shows the college or university that the student is serious about attending.

Why does Demonstrated Interest matter?

Demonstrated interest can play a significant role in college admissions decisions, particularly at selective colleges and universities. These institutions receive a large number of highly qualified applications each year, and demonstrated interest can be a way for them to determine which applicants are most likely to enroll if admitted. By demonstrating interest, you can increase your chances of being accepted.

Here are some ways demonstrated interest can impact admissions decisions:

  • Admission decisions: Demonstrating interest can make a difference in admissions decisions, particularly for students who are on the borderline of being accepted. Students who have demonstrated interest are more likely to be viewed favorably by admissions officers and are more likely to receive an offer of admission.
  • Scholarship and financial aid: Demonstrated interest can also impact scholarship and financial aid decisions. Some colleges and universities offer merit scholarships or financial aid packages that are contingent on demonstrated interest. Students who have shown a strong interest in the school are more likely to receive these awards.
  • Waitlist decisions: Demonstrated interest can also impact waitlist decisions. If a student is waitlisted, demonstrating interest can help them stand out and improve their chances of being accepted.

For highly selective colleges and universities, yield rate is a key metric. Yield rate is the percentage of admitted students who choose to enroll in a particular institution. A higher yield rate means that the institution is more attractive to admitted students and can indicate the overall strength of the applicant pool. If a high yield rate is crucial for maintaining the school’s reputation and resources, demonstrated interest is an important factor.

While demonstrated interest is not the only factor in admissions decisions at highly selective colleges and universities, it can often be the tiebreaker between two equally qualified candidates. As such, you should make an effort to demonstrate your interest in these institutions, as it can greatly increase your chances of being admitted.

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How can you demonstrate interest for a university?

There are several ways that students can demonstrate their interest in a college or university:

  • Campus Visits: One of the best ways to show interest is to visit the campus. You can attend campus tours, information sessions, and open houses to learn more about the college and get a feel for the campus community. You can also sit in on classes or meet with professors and current students.
  • Connect with admissions representatives: Communicating with admissions officers through email or phone can also demonstrate interest. You can ask questions about the application process, express your enthusiasm for the school, and learn more about the college or university.
  • Social Media: Following a college or university on social media and engaging with their posts can also show demonstrated interest. By liking, commenting, and sharing posts, students can demonstrate their enthusiasm for the school.
  • Attend college fairs: College fairs are a great way to meet with admissions representatives and learn more about a college or university. You can ask questions, collect information, and connect with representatives from different colleges and universities.
  • Participate in virtual events: Many colleges and universities offer virtual events, such as information sessions, webinars, and virtual tours. You can participate in these events to learn more about the school and connect with admissions representatives and current students.
  • Follow the college on social media: Following the college or university on social media and engaging with their posts can also show demonstrated interest. You can like, comment, and share posts to show your enthusiasm for the school.
  • Apply Early: Applying early can also demonstrate interest, as it shows that you are committed to attending the college or university. Applying early decision, in particular, is a strong indicator of interest, as it shows that you are willing to commit to attending if accepted.
  • Send thank-you notes: After visiting the campus, meeting with admissions representatives, or participating in virtual events, you should send thank-you notes to show your appreciation and continued interest in the college or university.

Overall, demonstrating interest can be an important factor in the college admissions process. By taking proactive steps to show your enthusiasm for a particular college or university, you can increase your chances of being accepted.

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Which colleges consider demonstrated interest?

Not all universities consider demonstrated interest when considering applications. You can figure out schools consider demonstrated interest by doing a simple Google search to begin with. It is important to remember that sometimes schools strongly recommend campus visits or interviews instead of using the term “demonstrated interest”. So make sure you research your schools of choice.

You can also find out by contacting a university’s admission office or downloading the Common Data Set for the school. The last line of section C7 talks about whether demonstrated interest is considered for admissions:


Below is a list of universities by how important they consider demonstrated interest. This is not a comprehensive list so please research the college of your choice to learn their stance.

List of Universities that consider Demonstrated Interest
Very ImportantImportantConsideredNot Considered
American UniversityBates CollegeBarnard CollegeBrown University
Dickinson CollegeBoston UniversityColby CollegeCalifornia Institute of Technology
Ithaca CollegeCarnegie Mellon UniversityElon UniversityCornell University
Seton Hall UniversityCase Western Reserve UniversityGeorge Washington UniversityHarvard University
SUNY - Environmental Science and ForestryKenyon CollegeNew York UniversityMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Syracuse UniversityPratt InstituteRice UniversityScripps Colleges
University of Texas - TylerReed CollegeTufts UniversityStanford University
Wabash CollegeSkidmore CollegeWashington and Lee UniversityVanderbilt University
Washington UniversityTrinity CollegeWashington University in St. LouisWilliams College
Webb InstituteUnion CollegeWellesley CollegeYale University

Source: Common Data Set

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While demonstrating interest in a college or university is important, there are some common mistakes that you should avoid. Here are some examples:

Being dishonest: Probably one of the most important things should be to avoid exaggerating your interest or accomplishments in your communication with admissions officers or during campus visits. Being truthful and genuine is key to building a positive relationship with the admissions team.

Demonstrating “disinterest”: If a college asks for optional extras, not doing those can sometimes indicate a disinterest. If there are optional essays or interviews always opt to do those so you don’t demonstrate disinterest unknowingly.

Spamming admissions officers with emails: Sending multiple emails or messages to admissions officers can be counterproductive and come across as annoying or desperate. Instead, you should limit your communications to relevant questions and follow-ups. While following up after a visit is important, make sure not to spam the officer’s inbox and become a nuisance!

Focusing too much on one school: While it's important to show interest in a school, you should avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. You should keep an open mind and explore multiple options to ensure that you find the right fit.

Neglecting your online presence: Admissions officers check your social media profiles. So make sure that your online presence, including social media accounts, is professional and appropriate. Inappropriate content can hurt their chances of admission.

Not engaging with the school's community: Engaging with the school's community, such as by attending events or talking with current students, can be a valuable way to demonstrate interest. Failing to engage with the school's community can signal a lack of interest or engagement.

Final Thoughts

It is important to remember that demonstrated interest is just one factor that colleges and universities consider in their admissions decisions. It is typically weighed alongside other factors such as grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. In general, colleges and universities are looking for well-rounded applicants who have demonstrated academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, leadership potential, and a commitment to their community or passions. 

So, you should strive to present a well-rounded application that showcases your strengths and potential contributions to the college or university. Speak to a Crimson strategist if you are aiming for a top university to make sure you present a well-rounded application to the universities of your choice.