As colleges move to a data-driven means of tracking information on prospective students, they have become increasingly savvy about predicting enrollment behavior and gauging an applicant’s true level of interest. Schools often refer to this as the “interest quotient,” and admitting students with high scores on this measure can improve a college’s yield rate, and in turn, its ranking. Therefore, many colleges give consideration to this factor when making their final admissions decision. If you’re considered a borderline applicant, your demonstrated level of interest may determine whether you ultimately earn an acceptance letter. By taking a few minutes to complete the tasks below, you can increase your knowledge of an institution while also increasing your admissions prospects.
Call or e-mail your admissions counselor. Most colleges have designated admissions counselors assigned to geographic regions across the U.S., including specific states, counties, etc. Regardless of the colleges to which you apply, there’s probably a good chance that a counselor is assigned to your area. One of the best ways demonstrate interest in a school is by contacting your assigned counselor via phone or e-mail. You can usually find your counselor by searching the institution’s admissions website. Once you have a name, get in touch to express why you’re interested in his or her institution. Contacting your assigned counselor also presents a great opportunity to ask questions related to the admissions process or a particular academic program.
Request a viewbook or brochure. Requesting a viewbook or a similar type of brochure is a great way to obtain information about a college and introduce yourself to an admissions committee. Viewbooks are jam-packed with info related to majors, campus living, athletics, learning support services, pictures of campus—you name it. Best of all, they’re free for you.
Visit campus. Campus visits may be the strongest indicator of interest, and allow you to become intimately acquainted with a particular college. While there, schedule an interview or informal meeting with your admissions counselor, if possible. Connecting in-person with an admissions office improves your interest quotient and provides you the opportunity to show your counselor that you are more than simply your grades and test scores.
Attend admissions events at your high school. If an admissions representative from a prospective college visits your high school for an information session or college fair, make it a point to be there, and be sure to introduce yourself. Afterward, send an email thanking them for their visit.
Create an online admissions profile. More schools are offering applicants the chance to create an online admissions profile where they can submit and track their online application, schedule a campus tour, contact their admissions counselor, and much more. Take a minute to create an admissions profile at each of your target colleges, and if possible, provide detailed information about yourself along with your academic and extracurricular interests.