SERF Sudbury

Why Demonstrated Interest Matters in College Admissions


Students often wonder what Admissions is looking for when considering applicants. One factor that could potentially make a difference is ‘demonstrated interest.’ But what exactly is it, and why does it matter to admissions officers?

Demonstrated interest refers to the active ways students show colleges that they are genuinely enthusiastic about attending their institution. It’s not just about saying you’re interested; it’s about taking concrete steps that signal your intent. It is particularly important at institutions that track this information as an indication of how likely students are to enroll if accepted.

Admissions officers seek students who are academically qualified and genuinely excited about joining their community. Engaged students are believed to be more likely to contribute to campus life and to graduate on time. Hence, admissions officers use demonstrated interest to gauge which applicants are serious about their college – and not just because it’s one of their many safety options.

How to Show Demonstrated Interest

  • Sign up to receive more information from the admissions office.
  • Participate in virtual or in-person information sessions.
  • Join mailing lists for updates about the college or specific programs you’re interested in.
  • Nothing says “I’m serious about attending” like spending time and resources to visit a college campus. If possible, schedule a visit.
  • Find out who the regional admissions representative is for your high school and get in touch.
  • Ask insightful questions that show you’ve done your research.
  • Regularly visit the college’s website to stay informed about new developments and campus events.
  • Follow the college on social media and interact with its content.
  • Colleges appreciate curious minds. Don’t hesitate to ask if there’s something you can’t find on their website.
  • Don’t overdo it; admissions officers can tell when enthusiasm is not genuine or becomes pesky.
  • Do mention any interactions with the college when writing your application essays or during interviews.

Show colleges that you’re genuinely interested in what they offer and that you can see yourself thriving on their campus. But always be authentic in your engagement. After all, the ultimate goal is not just to be admitted to college but to find the right fit for your next educational adventure.

Karen Long, Long College Admissions Advising, has 15+ years of experience helping students and families navigate – and enjoy – the ever-changing and sometimes complex college search and application experience. Karen is based in Concord and conducts meeting in-person and via Zoom.