PRO: Demonstrated interest shows clear interest for college

Connor Cho, Staff Writer

Students may already know that some colleges take into consideration “demonstrated interest,” a measure that doesn’t correspond with the applicant’s GPA, SAT and ACT scores or any  extracurricular activities. While many believe that it shouldn’t be considered since it requires travelling to the college before acceptances are sent out, I think it’s important that schools know how passionate an applicant is about the university they are applying to. Students can apply to many colleges without any thought, but this presents a problem for colleges when they read applications. Colleges cannot be sure if an applicant is genuinely excited about attending their college as it is easy to fake interest through a written essay. According to a survey by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, 15.5 percent of colleges report that demonstrated interest is significantly considered in applications. The data also shows that the requirement is more important than teacher recommendations in many colleges. In addition, 21.4 percent put a moderate amount of importance on this factor.      Colleges value students’ specific interest because it allows them to know if an applicant actually wants to attend their school instead of applying just because they could.  It seems reasonable for colleges that don’t use waiting lists to factor in demonstrated interest as it helps to accurately admit the proper number of students. Only 34 percent of colleges use waiting lists, according to Peterson’s College Search. Students can also benefit, gaining insight into colleges by touring campuses and attending official information sessions to decide whether a college is a good fit for them.  Undoubtedly, the income of a student’s family affects demonstrated interest because of the cost to visit colleges, especially those far away from a student’s home.  But there are alternative ways to get involved with a college. For example, students can also convey their interest in a college by signing up for online events offered by colleges or by attending high school visits or local college fairs.  Considering demonstrated interest doesn’t mean that a student with a 2.3 GPA will be chosen over one with multiple extracurricular activities and a 4.0 GPA—it’s simply a tool that will allow colleges to choose genuinely interested students.  Demonstrated interest is a college admission factor that benefits both the applicant and the college. Instead of convincing the college that the applicant is simply “interested” in attending, applicants should be genuinely attentive to their college if they want to find the school that is right for them.