6 Things You Didn’t Know About Demonstrated Interest (from a Former Admissions Counselor)

2. College Visit Registrations

Visiting colleges is a key part of going through the college search and application process. Remember when I mentioned how colleges track information? That extends to visits too. 

When you register for a visit, attend a visit, cancel a visit, and no-show for a visit, the college takes note. All of this information is visible to admission staff when making an admission decision.

If you can’t make your visit, cancel.  As a former assistant dean of admission, I can’t stress enough how much work goes into planning a campus visit. They’re personalized (for the most part). Campus visit coordinators spend a great deal of time finding a tour guide in your intended major or scheduling a one-on-one with a faculty member who shares your academic interests, so if you no-show, it’s a bummer. If you can’t make it, please cancel! 

Of course, last minute things come up and you won’t be able to make it to that open house you registered for a couple weeks ago. We TOTALLY get that. Just let us know. It could be as simple as a text or a call to your admission counselor saying, “Hey something came up last minute so I won’t be able to visit campus, sorry about that! I’ll be sure to reschedule.” 

COVID has complicated the feasibility of visiting these days, but there are viable virtual visit options available to students who can’t make it to campus in person right away. And hey, if you can’t afford to visit a college or are simply unable to travel there ahead of applying, there are tons of other ways to let a college know you’re interested. Many schools offer travel vouchers, and schools often equate a virtual guided tour or meeting to a campus visit.

Here are some examples of college’s travel voucher policies:

3. High School Visits and College Fairs

Did you know that admission reps travel every fall and spring? Personally, I used to spend eight weeks on the road in the fall and at least four in the spring to meet our prospective students face-to-face. We call it “travel season” in the biz. When we’re on the road, we spend each day visiting high schools and going to college fairs

Traveling serves two purposes: (1) it gives admission counselors the opportunity to meet prospective students; and (2) it helps colleges promote themselves to people who may not have heard of them.

Attend college fairs and high school visits when you can. If  a college rep visits your high school during the day or you see them at a college fair, stop by to chat (if you’re feeling up to it #selfcare).

If your admission counselor comes all the way to visit your school, they’re taking time out of their crazy busy schedule to try to connect with you in person. So, if you have the time, meet with them or visit their table at a college fair. Think of it as an “off-campus” visit of sorts. Connecting with an admission counselor when they’re on the road is especially beneficial for those students who can’t make it for an in-person visit to campus right away. 

4. Inquiry cards

Ever meet an admission rep at a college fair or at your high school and they hand you a little white card that asks for a whole bunch of information? They’re called inquiry cards, and when you fill one out it puts you in the college’s system. 

Here’s some inside scoop for you. Colleges collect them. All of them. Those cards help them keep track of the students they interacted with on the road. It’s like a receipt in a way. When we collect that inquiry card, it reminds colleges of the exact date and event you met with them. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, inputting those cards into the system. 

Fill out the inquiry card. I know, they take forever and it feels tedious. They ask for so much information and it seems like every college has the same little card with size-five font that they ask you to fill out. Ask the person at the booth for a card if they forget to hand one to you, and fill it out even if you’re already in our system. 

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