December 11, 2021

What COVID-19 means for demonstrated interest


Nicole Charpentier

Is demonstrating interest as valuable in the remote world?

Demonstrated interest, or a student’s active interest in a college, might not weigh as heavily as a student’s GPA, but colleges do care to see a student who takes advantage of all the opportunities to get to know their school. 

According to the 2019 NACAC State of College Admission report, higher education institutions consider demonstrated interest #6 in overall importance to their admissions decisions. Demonstrated interest is more influential in decision-making than extracurriculars (#10) and teacher recommendations (#8). 

Based on The Common Data Set (CDS) Initiative, different colleges and universities count demonstrated interest differently. For instance, American University and Dickinson College rate it as ‘very important’ whereas Boston University and Carnegie Mellon University rate it as ‘important.’

But how did the value of demonstrated interest change during COVID-19 when all student-college interactions moved online?

Before the pandemic, students would demonstrate interest by visiting a college campus or connecting with an admissions rep at an in-person college fair or high school visit. For the past two years, students have now had to engage with colleges and universities online. Schools have opted to attend virtual college fairs, offer virtual college tours, communicate over email, and more. With an even easier way to track the student engagement online, students should be sure to take advantage of the ease of demonstrating interest during this time.

Students interested in demonstrating ‘virtual’ interest can:

1- Follow their top schools on social media

2- Open emails and reply with thoughtful questions

3- Visit the school’s website and fill out forms for more information

4- Register for webinars and online tours or information sessions

5- Schedule an interview

6- Write your essay specific to the institution

7- Apply early

8- Explore VisitDays and chat or email an admissions rep

Are you a high school or district interested in joining our network of 1,800+ colleges and universities?

Fill out this form or email us and someone from our team will follow up! We'll share how your peers' high school students have used our free online platform to more easily communicate with colleges and universities.