What is demonstrated interest?

Demonstrated interest refers to the interactions initiated by college applicants with colleges they apply to. These interactions include:

  • Requesting information
  • Contacting the admissions office
  • Campus tours
  • Overnight visits
  • Campus interviews
  • Alumni interviews
  • Virtual interviews
  • College fairs
  • Information sessions
  • Social media interaction
  • Early admission

Some colleges use demonstrated interest as a way to gage a student’s likelihood of enrolling. Offering admissions to students with demonstrated interest means lower admissions/recruiting costs for the college since they can establish their freshman class sooner and are less likely to lose students to transferring.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that

From 2003 to 2006, the percentage of colleges rating demonstrated interest as a “considerably important” factor increased to 21 percent from 7 percent, according to an annual survey by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Since then, that number has held steady (another 27 percent of colleges now deem it “moderately important”).

Some colleges, like Tulane, are very transparent about the importance of demonstrated interest in accepting students. But not all colleges are. One way you can find out how important demonstrated interest is for a college is through the common data set. You can look up the information through websites that use the Common Data Set such as Big Future and CollegeData.com. If “Level of Applicants Interest” does not show up under “What’s Important,” then it is not considered.

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