Launch Global Education
Sparks blog: A different kind of demonstrated interest

by Mr. Michael Wagner

There are many factors that are considered by admissions departments of colleges and universities in making acceptance decisions on student applicants. A few that are commonly used are transcripts, essays, and letters of recommendation. Then there are the factors that differ among schools such as the submission of standardized test scores, additional supplemental essays and admissions interviews. One that varies a lot among schools is what is commonly known as demonstrated interest.

Student on college campus

Demonstrated interest

Demonstrated interest is the tracking of behaviors that students exhibit when they are interacting with a school. For example, it can be when a student requests information from the website. It can be when a student takes a virtual tour online. It can be when a student attends a college fair and interacts with the admissions representative or even just has their QR code scanned at the fair. There are multiple ways for students to demonstrate their interest or a new term I recently heard – demonstrated engagement. I actually like this term more because students should be engaging with the schools. However, for the purpose of this blog post I am going to stay with the original term of demonstrated interest.

Student at Whiteboar

A different kind of demonstrated interest

There is another way that students can demonstrate interest to the schools they are applying to without focusing on each individual school. It is a way to show all colleges how interested they are in in attending. What is it? It’s to start early, even before the ninth grade, and set up a four-year, high school academic strategic plan.

Students need to sit down with their advisor or counselor in the eighth grade to set up the academic path of courses that will demonstrate to colleges how serious the student is in taking the most challenging courses the school offers. Students should make sure that their transcripts will reflect the highest academic rigor that is offered by the school, as outlined in the school’s profile, which is a document that is developed by the school’s college counselor and shared with colleges and universities.

College students around laptop

What colleges want

Colleges and universities look for students who push themselves, ones that select (and thrive in) the most rigorous courses that their school offers. Students need to show themselves to be lifelong learners, ones that take their academic life seriously and strive to be the best they can be. Colleges understand having these types of students making successful contributions on their campuses will benefit the university. It is a two-way street: the colleges admit students with the desire and the students get the opportunity to shine.

Students can show demonstrated interest by successfully crafting an impressive transcript that is filled with academic rigor, one that reflects how much the student will likely apply themselves on a college campus. It is a different type of demonstrated interest, but one that will apply to all the colleges and universities students are interested in.  

Mr. Michael J. Wagner

Michael Wagner, MAED is a founder and the Knowledge Pilot for Launch Education.  Mr. Mike has assisted hundreds of students around the world on their college pathways.