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How to Demonstrate Interest and the Colleges That Value Demonstrated Interest the Most

The college application process can often feel like solving a complex puzzle—one with no key to follow and whose solution or solutions differ depending on who is doing the solving. However, the puzzle is less complex when applicants are able to see the process through the lens of the puzzle makers, aka, the college admissions officers.

Almost every college places the greatest emphasis on an applicants grades, followed closely behind by the rigor of their courses (essentially, do they choose to take challenging courses in areas of strength when those classes are made available or do they choose the easier path to pad their GPA). Secondary characteristics include ACT and SAT test scores, which are showing signs of rebounding in value as the pandemic moves further behind us, an applicants resume, any notable achievements, letters of recommendation, and the more ambiguous concept of demonstrated interest.

Demonstrated interest refers to the way an applicant shows a college that they are interested in attending said college. One of the most important factors in college rankings (which are, frankly, absurd) is the percentage of students who get into a college who then choose to attend the college. The higher that percentage, the higher the colleges are typically ranked. In order to assure a higher percentage, colleges track how "interested" a student is in attending their school. As a result, smart applicants need to tailor their time and their applications in a way that shows demonstrated interest—even if they are only mildly interested in attending a specific school.

Here's how to do show colleges you're into them:

1) Sign up for the colleges email and/or mailing list.

2) Open the emails and click on any links they include (yes, many schools track these interactions)

3) Follow the colleges on social media and like/comment on their posts

4) If possible, visit the college for an official tour. Get the tour guide's email and thank them for their time. If you can't visit the campus, sign up for a virtual tour.

5) If possible, schedule either an admissions or an alumni interview. Make sure to thank the interviewer in a follow up email.

6) Find out who the admissions rep is for your region. Reach out to them by email and find out if they will be visiting your school or region. If they do, make sure to be there to meet with them in person. And again, send them a thank you email.

7) These are just a few examples. Reach our to our team for more guidance on how to demonstrate interest to your top colleges!

Colleges that track Demonstrated Interest

Consider it to be Very Important:

  • American University

  • Cooper Union

  • Dickinson College

  • Hampshire College

  • Ithaca College

  • Morehouse College

  • Quinnipiac University

  • Syracuse University

  • Thomas Aquinas College

  • United States Air Force Academy

  • United States Naval Academy

Consider it to be Important:

  • Allegheny College

  • Auburn University

  • Bates College

  • Bentley University

  • Butler University

  • DePaul University

  • Eckerd College

  • Elon University

  • Fairfield University

  • Florida Institute of Technology

  • High Point University

  • Kenyon College

  • Lehigh University

  • Loyola University Chicago

  • Michigan State University

  • Oglethorpe University

  • Reed College

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • Roanoke College

  • Seattle University

  • Seton Hall University

  • Skidmore College

  • The College of Wooster

  • Trinity College

  • United States Merchant Marine Academy

  • United States Military Academy

  • University of Arizona

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst

  • Wheaton College (MA)

Consider It

  • Agnes Scott College

  • Babson College

  • Bard College

  • Barnard College

  • Baylor University

  • Beloit College

  • Berea College

  • Boston University

  • Bradley University

  • Brandeis University

  • Brigham Young University

  • Case Western Reserve University

  • Catholic University

  • Chapman University

  • Clark University

  • Colby College

  • College of Charleston

  • College of the Holy Cross

  • College of William and Mary

  • Colorado College

  • Colorado School of Mines

  • Connecticut College

  • Cornell College

  • Dartmouth College

  • Davidson College

  • Denison University

  • DePauw University

  • Drew University

  • Drexel University

  • Duke 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

  • Hamilton College

  • Haverford College

  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges

  • Hofstra University

  • Howard University

  • Juniata College

  • Kalamazoo College

  • Knox College

  • Lafayette College

  • Lake Forest College

  • Lawrence University

  • Lewis & Clark College

  • Loyola University Maryland

  • Marietta College

  • Marist College

  • Marquette University

  • Middlebury College

  • Mount Holyoke College

  • Muhlenberg College

  • New York University

  • Northeastern University

  • Northwestern University

  • Oberlin College

  • Occidental College

  • Oregon State University

  • Pitzer College

  • Providence College

  • Purdue University

  • Rhodes College

  • Rice University

  • Rochester Institute of Technology

  • Saint Joseph’s University

  • Saint Louis University

  • Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame

  • Santa Clara University

  • Sarah Lawrence College

  • Sewanee: University of the South

  • Simmons College

  • Southern Methodist University

  • Southwestern University

  • Spelman College

  • St. Olaf College

  • Stevens Institute of Technology

  • SUNY, Binghamton University

  • SUNY, Stony Brook University

  • Swarthmore College

  • Texas A&M University

  • Trinity 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 Delaware

  • University of Denver

  • University of Florida

  • 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 Texas at Austin

  • University of Vermont

  • University of Wisconsin

  • Ursinus College

  • Villanova University

  • Virginia Tech

  • Wake Forest University

  • 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

  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • Xavier University

  • Yeshiva University


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