While the college process may seem challenging to some students, deciding which college to attend can be very important. During the college search process, many students usually begin to grow more and more enthusiastic about a particular school that seems to fit everything they are looking for in a place to call home for four years. To validate this excitement that they feel, students may visit that campus, meet with that school’s admissions counselor, or even attend an in-person interview with an alumni member from that particular institution. These actions are all important because they allow the student to express their new found love to a place that already feels like home even before they apply. It is important to remember in this process that colleges also want to know if you are interested in their particular school: This is where demonstrated interest plays a big role!
Demonstrated interest shows how serious prospective students are about a particular institution that they most likely will apply to in the Fall. Admissions counselors use demonstrated interest in colleges to track the communication and engagement students portray during the admissions process. Different types of demonstrated interest can include a campus visit, filling out an inquiry card, or even speaking one-on-one with a professor or faculty member. However, with more and more college campuses closing due to the spread of COVID-19, many high school students may be asking themselves how will they show demonstrated interest without being able to visit the campus physically? It is important to remember that although a campus visit is a great way to show interest during your college search process, it is not the only option for students during this time. There are many other possibilities that you can explore safely from the cushion of your couch at home. You may consider:
- Reaching out to your admissions counselor: Email, call, or schedule a virtual appointment with the counselor in the Admissions department at your school. These individuals will be able to help answer any questions that you have about that particular institution, the application process, or any other concerns. This will allow the counselor to ultimately get to know you as well and be able to place a face/name to an application that they will eventually read if they perform holistic reviews! If you are interested in Furman for example, you could call or email your admissions counselor for information about the Furman Advantage, our test optional feature, or student life!
- Attending virtual sessions and tours. Many universities and colleges are currently hosting virtual informational sessions, Q& A panels with current students, or even virtual tours of their institutions! You can find a lot of information about scheduling a virtual visit right on the school’s admissions webpage. These options allow prospective students to understand the overview of what colleges are offering in regards to their distinctive learning styles for students coming from all over the world. During this Fall at Furman for instance, prospective students are able to virtually visit Furman’s campus from the comfort of their homes. These virtual visits include a virtual informational session led by a member of our Admissions Staff, virtual campus tours led by a current Furman student, and even various Q&A panels with Furman faculty and students. Here is a link to check out these options- https://www.furman.edu/admissions-aid/explore-furman-from-home/
- Connecting with colleges on social media. Be sure to follow and navigate different aspects of social media dedicated towards a specific college. This may include Facebook, Blog posts, Twitter, Instagram, or even Youtube! Follow these different accounts to stay informed about what is happening on campus, especially in regards to COVID-19 updates and to show your interest generally. A great way for students to learn more about Furman and what is happening on campus is through our Furman Admissions Blog: https://furmanadmission.blog/.
- Attending Fall Virtual Events: Attend virtual events that are happening in your area or planned by the university. This may include a university event like a Diversity day, or even a virtual College Fair/High School Visit typically scheduled through your high school counselor. Furman admissions staff is currently planning virtual events in your area that include a virtual high school visit or even a virtual regional college fair. This allows students to connect and communicate with their respective admissions counselor who will be helping them throughout their application process. Furman admissions will be “virtually visiting” your area sometime this Fall giving you the opportunity to connect with us!
- Scheduling a Virtual Interview: Specific universities may offer virtual options in which students can schedule a formal or informal interview with alumni, present admissions staff, or other faculty members during the year. This allows students to show different institutions that they are interested while gaining professional development skills along the way. Furman offers what’s called a Counselor Conversation: A 30 minute informal conversation conducted by our admissions counselors that allow students to ask any further questions they may have about Furman and a way for us to get to know you better over a phone call or even a visual platform like zoom.
- Applying at certain deadlines: Some universities will look at demonstrated interest in regards to the pool in which you apply as well. Although this may look differently for each student with their senior year schedule and situation, applying early can show that you are serious about attending a specific university or college. Furman offers both an Early Decision as well as an Early Action deadline. Check out this link here to look at all of our different deadlines that we offer for our prospective students- https://www.furman.edu/admissions-aid/apply/prospective-freshmen/.
By communicating with schools and acting on this interest, you will be able to learn all about the universities processes, specifically in relation to the application timeline. This will allow you to ultimately make the right decision of where the best place to attend may be just for you. It may not seem easy to choose the right school, but showing demonstrated interest and any sort of communication with schools will ultimately help you think about what is the best school for you and you alone!
Jillian Newton, Admissions Counselor