Demonstrated Interest: What It Is and How to Increase Your Chances of Admission

As high school students begin the college application process, they quickly become familiar with the term “demonstrated interest.” But what exactly does it mean? Demonstrated interest refers to the level of interest a student shows in a particular college or university, and it plays a significant role in the admissions process for some institutions.

In this article, we will explore the concept of demonstrated interest, its significance, and how students can effectively showcase their interest to increase their chances of admission.

What is Demonstrated Interest?

Simply put, demonstrated interest is a measure of how much you show your genuine interest in attending a specific college or university. It is a factor that some colleges use to gauge the likelihood of an applicant enrolling if accepted.

By evaluating demonstrated interest, admissions officers can gain insight into the level of enthusiasm and commitment a student has towards their institution.

The Role of Demonstrated Interest in College Admissions

For many colleges and universities, demonstrated interest can significantly impact admissions decisions. When faced with a large pool of qualified applicants, admissions officers rely on various criteria to determine who will receive an offer of admission. Demonstrated interest is one such criterion that allows institutions to differentiate between applicants who exhibit a genuine desire to attend and those who may be less invested.

While every college has its unique admissions process, some schools place a strong emphasis on demonstrated interest. For instance, Northwestern University considers whether applicants have “shown them some love,” indicating that they place value on the level of engagement from prospective students. On the other hand, Stanford University does not consider demonstrated interest in their admissions decisions.

Ways to Demonstrate Interest

Demonstrating interest can take many forms, and each college may have its preferred methods of evaluation. Here are some common examples of how prospective students can effectively showcase their interest:

Campus Visits

Visiting a college campus is an excellent way to demonstrate interest. By taking the time to explore the campus, attend information sessions, and connect with current students, you can immerse yourself in the college’s environment and get a feel for campus life.

These visits not only provide firsthand experience but also show admissions officers that you are willing to go the extra mile to get to know the institution.

College Fairs and Information Sessions

Attending college fairs and information sessions is another way to exhibit your interest. These events allow you to interact directly with college representatives, ask questions, and learn more about the academic programs and campus culture.

By actively engaging in these sessions, you can leave a positive impression while gaining valuable insights into the institution.

Communication with Admissions

Reaching out to the admissions office through emails, phone calls, or personal meetings can demonstrate your interest and commitment. This proactive approach allows you to engage with admissions officers directly, making a personal connection and showcasing your enthusiasm for the college.

However, it’s essential to be genuine and respectful in your communication, as insincere or overly persistent actions can have the opposite effect.

Early Action and Early Decision

Applying through early action (EA) or early decision (ED) is often seen as a strong indicator of demonstrated interest. These application options demonstrate that you are committed to attending the institution if admitted.

However, it is crucial to thoroughly research and understand the implications and requirements associated with these early application programs before making a decision.


Demonstrated interest is a crucial factor that some colleges consider when evaluating applicants for admission. By showcasing your genuine interest through campus visits, interactions with admissions, and other methods, you can enhance your chances of standing out from the crowd and making a positive impression.

Remember, while demonstrated interest may not be a factor for every college, for those that value it, it can make a significant difference in your admissions decision. So, take the time to explore your target colleges, engage with their communities, and demonstrate the passion you have for your education.

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