Which Colleges Consider Demonstrated Interest?

You may have heard that you need to demonstrate interest in colleges in order to gain admission. Still, you may be wondering how big a factor this really is in the grand scheme of things. The fact is, some colleges weigh it heavily, while others don’t consider it at all.

 

What exactly does it mean to demonstrate interest in a college, and how do you do so? Moreover, which colleges consider it an important factor in the admissions process—and which don’t? Keep reading to find out.

Why is important to know if a college considers demonstrated interest?

 

Some colleges weigh demonstrated interest more heavily in the admissions process than others. It’s important to know how much they consider it so you know where to focus your efforts.

 

Colleges take interest into account because they want to have a strong yield—the percentage of students who accept their offer of admission. Yield impacts rankings, reputation, and other factors, so colleges seek to make their yield as high as possible. When prospective students show that they’re invested in the institution by visiting it or speaking to admissions representatives at college fairs, they are indicating that they are likely to attend if they are extended an offer of admission.

 

While demonstrated interest alone will not get you into a college when other aspects of your application are lacking (such as academics, extracurriculars, or essays), it can help differentiate you from a candidate who has otherwise comparable strengths but hasn’t expressed as much enthusiasm for the college.

 

How can you show interest on your college application?

 

• Visit the college.

Campus visits will not only show the college that you want to learn more about it; more importantly, it also helps you gauge your fit. Speaking to actual students and sitting in classes are some of the best ways to determine whether this is actually a place where you could see yourself spending four years.

 

If you visit, make sure to sign up for a campus tour and see if you can participate in activities, such as attending lectures or staying with a student. You’ll want the school to know you were there, and to learn more about different aspects of the environment and what it offers.

 

Many students are apprehensive about the cost of visiting colleges. There are some options for first-generation and low-income students, such as fly-in programs, which cover the costs of the visits. These programs are generally competitive though, so keep in mind that there are other ways to demonstrate interest if you’re unable to participate.

 

• Attend college fairs.

Many admissions representatives visit different areas to participate in college fairs. Some may even come to your high school. Make sure to attend these sessions if they do and ask well thought-out questions. Generally speaking, these representatives are responsible for your area and will play a crucial role in advocating—or not advocating—for your admission to the college, so your interactions should be memorable and meaningful.

 

• Sign up for collateral.

Even signing up for email and snail-mail lists can allow you to demonstrate interest in a college, since you’re showing that you want to learn more about the school.

 

However, don’t assume that clicking a subscribe button alone will be enough. Many colleges track opens and link clicks from individual subscribers and will take this information into account when determining your level of interest. So, make sure to open the emails and newsletters you receive from the college and actively click the links.

 

• Schedule an interview.

Some colleges give you the opportunity to interview with an alum in your area, or an admissions representative on campus. Interviews are generally evaluated as a component of your application and can also be a chance for you to express your enthusiasm for the school. Make sure to do plenty of research so you can show your knowledge of and investment in the college, as well as ask thoughtful questions. Pro tip: come prepared with questions to which you can’t find the answer online.

 

• Express enthusiasm in your essays.

Some colleges will ask you to write a “Why Us” statement, or something similar. You must show that you’ve researched the school thoroughly and considered why you and the college would be a mutually good fit, being as specific as possible. For example, perhaps you dream of being a writer and know that the college’s stellar creative writing program has graduated some of your favorite authors. Or, perhaps you want to continue playing the cello and the school has an advanced non-major orchestra. It’s just as important to talk about extracurricular aspects as it is academic—after all, the school will be your home for four years.

Not sure how to get started with the Common App?

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Which colleges consider demonstrated interest?

 

We’ve mapped out colleges that consider demonstrated interest very important, important, somewhat important, or not at all important. For colleges that consider it “very important” to “important,” it’s crucial to show your enthusiasm to increase your odds of admission.

 

Colleges that consider interest *very important*:

 

American University
Cooper Union
Dickinson College
Georgia College
Hampshire College
Hiram College
Ithaca College
Morehouse College
Quinnipiac University
SUNY, College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Syracuse University
Thomas Aquinas College
United States Air Force Academy
United States Naval Academy
Wabash College
Westmont College

 

Colleges that consider interest *important*:

 

Allegheny College
Auburn University
Augustana College (IL)
Austin College
Bates College
Bentley University
Boston University
Brandeis University
Butler University
Champlain College
Christopher Newport University
College of the Ozarks
Denison University
DePaul University
Eckerd College
Evergreen State College
Fairfield University
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Southern College
High Point University
Kenyon College
Lehigh University
Loyola University Chicago
Marlboro College
Michigan State University
New College of Florida
Oglethorpe University
Reed College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Roanoke College
Samford University
Seattle University
Seton Hall University
Skidmore College
St. John’s College, Annapolis
St. John’s College, Santa Fe
Susquehanna University
The College of Wooster
Trinity College
United States Merchant Marine Academy
United States Military Academy
University of Arizona
University of Dayton
University of Evansville
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of North Carolina at Asheville
University of Tulsa
Wheaton College (MA)

 

Colleges that consider interest *somewhat important*:

 

Agnes Scott College
Alfred University
Alma College
Appalachian State University
Babson College
Bard College
Barnard College
Baylor University
Beloit College
Berea College
Bradley University
Brigham Young University
Bryant University
Calvin College
Canisius College
Case Western Reserve University
Catholic University
Clark University
Coe College
Colby College
College of Charleston
College of the Atlantic
College of the Holy Cross
College of William and Mary
Colorado College
Colorado School of Mines
Connecticut College
Cornell College
Creighton University
Davidson College
DePauw University
Drew University
Drexel University
Duke University
Duquesne University
East Carolina University
Elizabethtown College
Elon University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida International University
Fordham University
Franklin & Marshall College
Furman University
George Mason University
George Washington University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Gettysburg College
Gonzaga University
Goucher College
Grinnell College
Gustavus Adolphus College
Hamilton College
Haverford College
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Hofstra University
Hollins University
Hood College
Howard University
Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Wesleyan University
Juniata College
Kalamazoo College
Knox College
Lafayette College
Lake Forest College
Lawrence University
Lewis & Clark College
Louisiana State University
Loyola University Maryland
Marietta College
Marist College
Marquette University
McDaniel College
Messiah College
Middlebury College
Mount Holyoke College
Muhlenberg College
New Jersey Institute of Technology
New York University
Northeastern University
Northwestern University
Oberlin College
Occidental College
Oregon State University
Pitzer College
Providence College
Purdue University
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Rhodes College
Rice University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rollins College
Saint Joseph’s University
Saint Louis University
Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame
Saint Michael’s College
Santa Clara University
Sarah Lawrence College
Sewanee: University of the South
Siena College
Simmons College
Southern Methodist University
Southwestern University
Spelman College
St. Edward’s University
St. Lawrence University
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
St. Olaf College
Stevens Institute of Technology
Stonehill College
SUNY, Binghamton University
SUNY, Geneseo
SUNY, Maritime College
SUNY, New Paltz
SUNY, Oneonta
SUNY, Oswego
SUNY, Stony Brook University
SUNY, University at Albany
Swarthmore College
Texas A&M University
Texas Christian University
Texas Tech University
The College of New Jersey
Trinity University
Truman State University
Tufts University
Tulane University
Union College
United States Coast Guard Academy
University of Central Florida
University of Chicago
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Connecticut, Storrs
University of Dallas
University of Delaware
University of Denver
University of Florida
University of Mary Washington
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Missouri, Columbia
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
University of North Texas
University of Notre Dame
University of Oklahoma
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Portland
University of Puget Sound
University of Rhode Island
University of Richmond
University of Rochester
University of San Diego
University of Scranton
University of Tennessee
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Dallas
University of Vermont
University of Wisconsin
Ursinus College
Villanova University
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest University
Warren Wilson College
Washington & Jefferson College
Washington and Lee University
Washington University in St. Louis
Wellesley College
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Wheaton College (IL)
Whitman College
Whittier College
Wittenberg University
Wofford College
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Xavier University
Yeshiva University

 

Colleges that *do not* consider interest:

 

Albion College
Amherst College
Arizona State University
Belmont University
Bennington College
Berry College
Birmingham Southern College
Boston College
Bowdoin College
Brown University
Bryn Mawr College
Bucknell University
California Institute of Technology
California Poly, San Luis Obispo
Carleton College
Carnegie Mellon University
Centre College
Chapman University
Claremont McKenna College
Clemson University
Colgate University
Colorado State University
Columbia University
Cornell University
CUNY, Baruch College
CUNY, Brooklyn College
CUNY, City College
CUNY, Hunter College
Dartmouth College
Drake University
Earlham College
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Emerson College
Emory University
Florida State University
Georgetown College
Georgetown University
Georgia State University
Harvard University
Harvey Mudd College
Hendrix College
Hope College
Indiana University
James Madison University
Johns Hopkins University
Kettering University
Loyola Marymount University
Macalester College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Miami University
Millsaps College
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Mississippi State University
North Carolina State University
Ohio State University
Ohio University
Penn State University
Pepperdine University
Pomona College
Princeton University
Ripon College
Rockhurst University
Rutgers University
Saint John’s University (MN)
San Diego State University
San Francisco State University
Scripps College
Smith College
Stanford University
SUNY, Purchase College
SUNY, University at Buffalo
Temple University
Towson University
University of Alabama
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Davis
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Riverside
University of California, San Diego
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Cincinnati
University of Georgia
University of Hawaii at Manoa
University of Houston
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
University of Louisville
University of Maine
University of Maryland
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
University of Minnesota
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri, Kansas City
University of Montana
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
University of Oregon
University of Redlands
University of San Francisco
University of South Carolina
University of South Florida
University of Southern California
University of St. Thomas (MN)
University of Utah
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Vanderbilt University
Vassar College
Washington State University
Wesleyan University
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Williams College
Yale University

 

Ready to apply to college? Want help demonstrating your interest and working on your applications? Check out CollegeVine’s Applications Program. We’ll help you through every step of the process, including developing an application theme, creating a school list that reflects your chances of acceptance and personal preferences, honing in on your essays, and more. Learn more today!

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.