More importantly, does your favorite college know you are interested in them? If you are asking what difference does that make, then you don’t understand the concept of demonstrated interest. Demonstrated interest is doing things that let a college know you are interested in coming to their school. Many colleges begin tracking these behaviors the very first time they hear from you.
The convenience of online applications allows students to complete so many applications that it is difficult for the colleges to determine which students are serious and which ones submitted the application on a whim. Now, every interaction with a college has the potential to be tracked so that the level of commitment to attending the college can be determined.
There are a number of ways to show interest in a college but the best way is still the official college visit. After all, can you be sincerely interested if you haven’t seen the school in person. If you can’t visit a school before applying, there are other things you can do to show your interest. Things like writing to an admissions counselor with questions you have about the university, responding to information literature from colleges of interest and attending college fairs to make contact with college representatives. Most of the time, an admissions recruiter will serve a specific area. Begin attending college fairs before your senior year and you will have multiple opportunities to visit with admissions representatives from colleges on your list.
When the time has come to begin completing applications there are other things you can do to show interest. You can apply early using early action or early decision options. I suggest using the early action option because early decision binds you to that one college exclusively if they choose to accept you.
When writing the essay that asks why you chose a particular college you must deliver a compelling reason for your decision. Give a few reasons why the college in question won out over all the other places you could have chosen. Students can also like or follow a college if they have a social media page as well as utilize tools on the college’s website like a net price calculator. Identifying yourself with an email address or phone number will allow the college to keep track of how often you touch base with them. Show a little interest in a college early on so they can be sure you want to continue your education at their institution.