You probably have a few colleges on your list to apply to, with some being your dream school or top choice, but how do you really demonstrate interest to attend? For more selective schools, showing interest could really give you a leg up on the competition. Here are a few ways to really show your interest for the college of your choice.
Demonstrate Interest by Applying Early
Early decision / early action (ED / EA) is one of the best ways to show your dedication and interest in a particular school. ED applications are actually binding, which means if you’re accepted, you are obligated to attend. Schools know you won’t make this decision lightly, so it demonstrates your interest in them as a top choice.
However, if you do decide to apply during the early decision process, to research their acceptance and application policies. Many will not allow you to apply to other schools in early decision since you are required to attend if accepted.
If you’re still interested in applying early, but don’t want to be bound, consider applying early action instead.
It’s important to develop connections with your top choice. You can do this in a number of ways, but you should remain consistent in your communication. Many colleges have mailing lists, including both mail and email. Make sure you’re receiving the newsletters from the admissions office, not only the school.
When you visit the college, take the time to talk to all the faculty you meet. Not only will this help you get a feel for the environment, but it makes an excellent impression on the admissions office, tour guide, and the people you introduce yourself to. If a college visits your high school, or is holding an open house, make sure to approach the representatives.
Then you can take this a step further and begin a correspondence. One person you may want to talk to is the admissions counselor. Strike up a conversation by asking for specific information regarding their admissions process or about life at the college in general. Talking to a professor is also a great option, especially if they’re in your major. It definitely allows you to show your interest in the subject, as well as the school. However, remember not to go overboard with any of your contacts. You don’t want to put them off with badgering.
While you might not want to come outright and say it, there is no harm in telling your college that they are your top choice. However, you should use creative avenues to express your interest. Many college essays ask you why you want to attend, so this is the perfect opportunity. For other prompts, try working in your interest, while still remaining on subject.
When you’re keeping up contact with departments at the college, show you’ve done your research on the school. Talk about what you’ve read or viewed while on the website or during a tour and follow up with quality conversation or questions.
Showing your interest in a particular school isn’t difficult, and it could bring you one step closer to that acceptance letter. Making yourself and your application stand out can sometimes make all the difference.
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