8 Demonstrated Interest and College Research

Ms. Jaime


Presentation Materials

8.1 What is Demonstrated Interest?

Many universities track student interactions through student engagement with their social media, emails, newsletters, etc.

  • How quickly do you open their emails after you receive them? Do you open them at all?
  • Do you click the links included?

Demonstrated interest is used to predict yield– the percentage of students who choose to enroll in a particular college or university after being offered admission.

  • Colleges try to determine who is serious about attending and who is just applying to an excessive amount of schools.
  • They keep data over time about perceived interest and matriculation, and this analysis may bear influence on admission decisions!

Aside from the statistical measures colleges may have for gauging demonstrated interest, application readers look critically at supplemental essays (e.g. Why X School, Why X Program).

  • The more you engage with a university and show that you have given much thought to your application, the more interest you have demonstrated.
  • This perception of genuine interest helps admission decision-makers feel confident that the students they admit will attend, given the opportunity to do so.

8.2 Ways to Demonstrate Interest

  1. Check to see if the school has any posts on ISSUU (e.g. UPenn’s “Proud Parents Guide”).
  2. Listen to university content on YouTube, via pod-casts, etc. and subscribe to the channels for that content.
  3. Apply early– either EA or ED.
  4. Sign up for admission blogs, newsletters, etc. using your school e-mail address.
  5. Engage with posts on social media using accounts created with your school e-mail address (so your engagement can be tracked!). Most schools have several social media accounts that can be found by scrolling to the bottom of their website.
  6. Create a ZeeMee account (school e-mail!) and follow schools of interest.
  7. Go above and beyond to dig deep into a school– beyond the first few pages of their website. Research the faculty that will be teaching you (if you know what you will want to major in) and explore what is actually happening. What are the professors up to? What are the students engaged in?

8.3 An Advantage of Demonstrating Interest

Beyond showing the school that you are genuinely interest, you will be learning about the school you may attend. Through engaging, exploring, and researching, you will be gaining important information that will filter into your supplemental essays.

To do this, use the organization table that includes a column for demonstrated interest. Add anything you find for each university that interests you. Add a link to what you discovered and some notes so that you can easily refer back to it when writing any supplemental essays, conducting alumni interviews, etc.

8.4 The Importance of Demonstrated Interest

Colleges are businesses! They need to think about resources. Low yield may result in enrollment that falls short of a school’s capacity, meaning fewer tuition-paying students.

Demonstrated interest allows schools to base their yield projections on statistical evidence.

For students, demonstrating authentic interest is humanizing. If you reach out to your regional admission counselor with a note of appreciation or with questions that cannot be answered from a website, this will be reflected in your application file. You become more than numbers– you are someone who really cares about attendance!

8.5 Resources

“What is Demonstrated Interest? | A 1-Minute Crash Course” by College Essay Guy (YouTube video, 0:49)

“Demonstrated Interest: How to Build Authentic Relationships with Colleges (and Why It’s a Good Idea) with Monica James” by College Essay Guy on the College Essay Guy Podcast, Episode 108 (YouTube video, 48:42)

Example ISSUU page (UC Riverside)

“How to Demonstrate Interest in a College: A Brief and Practical Guide” by the College Essay Guy (blog post)

"Institutional Use of Demonstrated Interest" by March Consulting (PDF document)