The college admission process is like no other, and students are constantly trying to do the things they believe a college will favor to get accepted.
With more high school students applying to college than ever before, students with high GPAs, great SAT scores and outstanding essays still find it hard to stand out to admissions officers. Decisions sometimes come down to demonstrated interest, an aspect of the admissions process that not all students are fortunate enough to benefit from. Demonstrated interest shouldn’t be used for or against determining your college admission fate.
Demonstrated interest is solely based on ways in which an applicant has shown their interest in a school. Most of the time, it’s measured by whether or not the applicant has actually paid a visit to their campus of interest.
The biggest problem with demonstrated interest is that it gives students who have the opportunity to travel to the university an upper hand. Not all students have the luxury of being able to visit campuses, mostly because of the cost.
Planning a trip to a school can cost an arm and a leg, especially if it’s on the other side of the country. Round-trip plane tickets, a hotel room to stay the night and transportation fees can start to add up.
To favor students and families who are well-off and have the resources to take a trip of this nature is a perfect way to separate the wealthy from the middle class or poor families, giving the more affluent yet another advantage.
Another thing that could prevent a student from being able to show demonstrated interest in a school is having to work around parents’ work schedules. It is difficult for many working parents to take time off work to supervise a trip to their child’s dream school. As much as parents want to help their children, this is a big favor to ask for, which is why demonstrated interest should not be considered as a factor in the admissions process.
Another negative about demonstrated interest is that not all forms of it are considered equal. According to Inside Higher Ed, many students go to college fairs, talk to college representatives and sign up for mailing lists, but colleges prefer students who actually pay a visit.
Using demonstrated interest as a guide to set apart qualified students from other qualified students based on an element not equally accessible to all students is unjust.
Instead, students should be set apart by the positive impact that they have made on their schools, communities or any people. This is a better way to see how students will continue to change and impact the world than knowing whether or not they have visited a particular campus.
It’s clear that not all students can take advantage of the perks that demonstrated interest can give a student during the application process. The challenges it can impose on a family and the inequality that lies between demonstrating different forms of interest are the main reasons why demonstrated interest should be removed from the college admissions process.