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The Urban School
of San Francisco
1563 Page Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
415 626 2919

Next Steps Blog


Demonstrated Interest

by Susan Lee
Director of College Counseling

No doubt, colleges want to admit students who are likely to enroll. If a student demonstrates interest, will it help in the admission process? Possibly. Will it help with a financial aid package? It might. So, then, what can students do to let a college know they really are interested?

First of all, only apply to colleges where you really want to go. Then, treat every application as if it is your first choice. Better to apply to fewer colleges and focus your time and energy than to dilute your limited time with an overly expansive list. 

Know the colleges to which you are applying and genuinely consider why you would be happy there. You will have your preferences, of course, but your list should include only colleges where you would be happy to be admitted and attend. You might not know which college is considering demonstrated interest – or what they might consider to be a "demonstration" of your interest in a college. So, put your best foot forward – genuinely – to all of the colleges to which you apply.

Some advice about communicating interest that we have heard from college reps:

  • Get on the email list – don’t just send the Common Application.
  • Open and read the emails that the college sends you. Respond if you need to.

  • See the rep when they visit Urban or the Bay Area. If you cannot go to the Urban visit because of a conflict, email them ahead of time. (You do not need to attend BOTH the Urban visit and an area reception.)
  • FOCUS ON THE SUPPLEMENT. While many students spend hours and hours on the Common Application essay, the supplemental essays are often more important. Write those essays to the individual college. Know what makes that college unique. Know why you are applying there. And, write in a way that makes you a very good match for that college.

  • If the college is close, visit. Admissions offices know that it is difficult to see colleges across the country. But, if they are close, it is expected that you go to the campus and visit.
  • If the college is far and you are not able to visit (which colleges understand), find other ways to connect.

  • If an admissions rep is doing interviews locally, sign up. (Being on the email list and reading your email is important for this – the reps will contact you about opportunities for local interviews. The slots fill up, so act quickly.)

  • If the school has Early Decision, if you are a competitive candidate and a good match for the school, and if you are ready to shut the door on every other college, then consider applying Early Decision.  

Posted by lgersick on Tuesday July, 29, 2014 at 08:33PM


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Susan Lee
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9511

Lauren Gersick
Co-Director of College Counseling
415 593 9512

Leslie Schaffer
College Counseling Assistant
415 593 9519

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