“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Would you have thought that the same man who instilled in you a love of green eggs and ham, the importance of appreciating the funny things that are everywhere, and that the menacing Cat in the Hat always cleaned up after himself, would continue to have such relevance in your life as a high school student? Whether you’re a freshman about to start your first year of high school, or a senior getting ready to embark on the last leg, the life experiences you have had up until this point, your unique interests and perspectives, and your hopes for your future play important roles in how you select a college. As you comb through the rankings, weed through the large pile of marketing materials that is now gracing your family’s kitchen table, and navigate the oh-so frequently asked question, “Where are you going to college?”, keep in mind the importance of identifying a school that is going to help you succeed and grow in ways that are important to you.
Part of the process of steering yourself in the direction of a college that best suits you is through conducting research. If you’re reading this, it must mean that you’ve done a fair amount of college research already – great work! As you continue to craft your college list, you’ll undoubtedly read about how demonstrated interest can play a role in college admissions decisions. Demonstrated interest in a nutshell is research you have conducted to better understand how a college or university will fit with your personal and academic needs. Whether your research includes meeting with an admissions representative visiting your high school, attending an area college fair, striking up conversation via email with a current student or admissions rep, or visiting campus (or all of the above) is up to you! Some institutions, including Furman, find value in personally connecting with you early on in your college search process, and frequently throughout, to help you understand the type of environment the school provides, and to help you determine whether the offerings of the school match with your interests. And for some colleges and universities, these types of personal engagement may play a role in admissions decisions.
Each email sent, brochure mailed, and trip made to your city, is done with intention to engage with, and get to know, YOU. The connections made through demonstrated interest are mutually beneficial. On the student side, you’re conducting research that will lead you in the direction you need to go. On the college side, we’re striving to identify students who will thrive, grow, and prosper at our institution; and our connections with you help us in doing so. We also hope that our interactions with you will help you feel greater confidence that our institution could be a home for you over the next four years. Just as you will make an informed and thoughtful decision when selecting a college, we take that same approach when making our admissions decisions. The thought of demonstrating interest shouldn’t scare you, or feel that colleges are asking you to put on a show. Rather, we encourage you to think of it as starting a relationship and a process of discovery. We hope you’ll heed the advice of Dr. Seuss as you steer the course of your college search process. You know what you know, and only you can decide where you’ll go! We’re always here to help you along the way.
By: Melissa Cline, Associate Director of Admissions