Question: Are you interested?
Yeah, loaded question, I know.
But let me explain why it’s important – and why you need to understand this to stack the admissions odds in your favor.
In fact, this is the ONE factor that is easily and completely in your control, unlike grades, standardized test scores, recommendations and other stuff subject to the vagaries of teachers, the College Board and other third parties.
About three years ago, I was chatting on the phone with a client who told me about her friend, Molly. Molly’s daughter was rejected from the University of Delaware, while her friend’s kid, with lower grades and scores was admitted.
So Molly did what any card-carrying Helicopter Parent would do: called the admissions office and demanded an explanation!
Instead of telling her to go commit an unnatural act, as I might have done, the admissions officer pulled up Molly’s daughter’s file.
I see here that Molly never visited campus and took a tour. We didn’t think she was interested in coming here, the admissions officer told her.
I can’t go into details, but your daughter’s friend did that and much more, which indicated that she was seriously considering us, she said.
I’m talking about “Expressed Interest.”
In a nutshell, students who show more interest in a college have greater chances of getting in!
Furthermore, many colleges have complicated, sophisticated software that tracks and “scores” each candidates expressed interest.
I can almost see you rolling your eyes now, but I can explain how you can “play the game” to win…
And why this matters so much to each college. (Personally, I think it’s a little creepy, but it ain’t changing as far as I can see…)
But first, let me give you some examples of how you can show “Interest.” I recommend doing ALL of these, by the way.
Sending away for written information via response card on EVERY piece of mail the college sends you
Filling out an online form at the college’s website
Having your guidance counselor contact the college on your behalf
Introducing yourself to a rep at a college night
Chatting online with that rep or another
Calling the school to ask questions/set up an interview
Visiting the college, taking a tour
Speaking to the department heads in the areas of study you’re considering
Interviewing with the admissions office
Interviewing with a local alum
Sending a handwritten thank you note to each person you met
Logging into the college’s portal
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Now, it’s important NOT to cross a line and become a stalker.
Creepiness rarely helps your chances of getting admitted….
So don’t call the admissions office hourly, daily or too frequently.
How frequent is “too frequent?” My rule of thumb is that you should not call unless you have something important to ask or say.
Once a month sounds like a lot, but if you think long and hard about it, I’m sure you can come up with significant, interesting questions or other tidbits more or less on this schedule.
Now, do you want to why “Expressed Interest” is so important? (What a cliffhanger…)
It’s all about their rankings – here’s how it works.
More interest from you translates into a higher likelihood that you’ll go to that college if they admit you
This helps the college’s “Yield,” the golden ratio and a critical rankings factor by US News and World Report. Yield is calculated by dividing the number of students admitted by the number of kids who enroll. The higher the yield, the more attractive the college looks, the higher the rankings.
The higher the yield, the better the school’s bond ratings. So when it goes to borrow for those new dorms or $20 Million athletic complex, their interest rate will be lower that a college with a lower yield.
So that’s more than enough information than you need. You get the point – show them that you’re interested!
– Andy Lockwood
P.S. If you crave scuttlebutt on EXACTLY what steps you should follow to multiply your chances of getting in – and gettin’ paid by – America’s top colleges, this training is for you!