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The importance of demonstrated interest in US college applications

At many US colleges, “demonstrated interest” can be an important factor in determining which candidates may be made an offer of admission.  Admission officials know that students who have shown a strong interest in their institution are more likely to accept an offer and therefore increase the school’s “yield” (an important factor in many ranking tables).

How can students clearly indicate that they are serious about their application to a particular school? One of the most compelling ways is to visit the college or university, taking the time to attend an admissions presentation and participate in a campus tour. However, for those students who cannot afford the time or money to make such a visit (and for those who have completed a campus visit), there are many ways to show keen interest:

  • Attend a session hosted by a representative from that school at UCC or elsewhere in Toronto; arrive at the session having completed some research and prepared to ask good questions.
  • Request materials from the admissions office or contact the admissions office with thoughtful questions not easily answered from the website.
  • Contact a professor in a department of interest or a coach/adviser in a co-curricular activity you plan to pursue.
  • Participate in an on-campus or alumni interview (where available).
  • Write thoughtful and specific supplemental essays.
  • Apply early (after consulting your counsellor).
  • Apply for honours programs or special scholarships that require extra effort (where you are a good candidate).
  • Interact with the school on social media.

Remember that colleges want to be fairly confident you will say “yes” before they ask you to the dance!