You might have good grades, exceptional test scores, and fabulous extracurriculars. But, is it enough to get into your dream college? And if it isn’t, what can you do about it? Universities are primarily businesses, and like most companies have sales, academic institutions have a yield rate.
Now, what is a yield rate? By definition, it is the percentage of students that enrol into the university from the pool of all accepted students. Higher the yield rate, higher the exclusivity and the university status. Let’s take Harvard for example, it has one of the lowest acceptance rates in the world, and almost everyone who receives an admission offer from here, attends it. This means that the yield rate for Harvard is super high (82%), and it’s the same for many top colleges.
Universities don’t want to be a safety school, of course, why waste an admit on someone who might not attend, right? So, they started adopting methods to maximize their yield rate. They use technology and other analysis tools to pin-point and accept the students that are most likely to attend. These students are the ones that show demonstrated interest.
What is it? And does demonstrated interest matter?
Demonstrated interest is a way for you to engage with the institute and universities use automated tools to detect this. You might have great credentials, but so do many others who apply. And when given a chance to pick among two similar applicants, admission committees tend to choose the one who they are familiar with since they believe that they are more likely to attend.
Demonstrated interest could be in many forms, but the main idea is to get acquainted and put your name into their system. The most effective way to demonstrate interest is through campus visits, because this way, you can engage with faculty, students and the admissions team in person. Many events are conducted in universities throughout the year, and if you pick the right time to visit, you might get a chance to participate and get your name heard.
But today’s times are tricky, and if you’re wondering how to show demonstrated interest during COVID-19, worry not. Here are 5 other ways and a bonus tip.
- Ask for information on the university website
- Reach out to the admissions team
- Reach out to professors from your department
- Follow the university on social media
- University fairs
Go to the university website, and sign up for their newsletters or any other information that they’re giving out. This is a way to keep yourself informed and also put your email address into the university database. It doesn’t end there though, if you just sign up and don’t bother with the emails you receive, they’ll know. Today’s technology can determine if you open the link sent to you, and even how much time you spend on them. So do read them!
Get your name known to the admissions team, you could email them or even call them up. If you’re emailing them, ask questions about the university, and follow up with a thank you when they reply. This way you’re adding another point in your demonstrated interest table through an extra mention of your name and email id.
Follow the work of notable professors in your chosen department, and write to them about how you found it fascinating. Everybody in a particular college usually receives a university-specific email-id. Reaching out to them through their professional email IDs helps professors notice you and push your application forward. Also, you’ve now got three mentions of your email ID in the university database.
On Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, follow your chosen university on social media and engage with their posts by liking and commenting. If you find a particularly interesting post, do share it with your thoughts added to it. Also, connect with potential professors and admission committee members on LinkedIn.
Bonus Tip: Google yourself, and see what shows up because what you see is what the university will see. So, if you believe that you could do better or do away with certain things that are on your google page, make sure to edit it. Also, if you decide to follow the university and professors with your personal account, tailor what they can view from your profile. Minimize it to the formal, academic and professional aspects.
If you wish, you could create a completely new social media profile for the sole purpose of demonstrating interest.
We saved the best for last! Covid-19 put a stop to people going to universities in person, but this was never much of an option for international students anyways.
So instead, look out for university fairs, these are places you can meet and interact directly with admissions committee members of your dream colleges. And it is the second-best thing after a campus visit.
We at Jamboree host some of the most diverse education fairs in the country and since everything is moving online, so have we. Keep an eye out for our next big career fair, and get ahead with your university admissions. Sign up here to receive updates!