1. CORRESPOND WITH YOUR COLLEGE ADMISSIONS REPRESENTATIVE: Create a relationship by asking questions and letting your rep get to know you. Also, be sure to follow up with your rep after any contact.
2. JOIN THE MAILING LIST AND FOLLOW THE COLLEGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Consider participating in social media networking or online chats hosted by the college.
3. OPEN EMAILS FROM COLLEGES YOU ARE INTERESTED IN AND FORWARD TO YOUR PARENTS: Colleges track if a student opens an email, and if they forward them, so this is an easy way to show interest.
4. ATTEND COLLEGE EVENTS IN YOUR AREA: If there is a chance to meet a rep from a school of interest to you, take it! This may mean attending a college fair or a college tour event at your school (or another school). Be sure to complete contact cards at any event you attend.
5. FILL OUT THE NET PRICE CALCULATOR ON THE SCHOOL’S WEBSITE: This can be tracked and count as demonstrated interest. It’s also just a good idea for financial planning purposes.
6. VISIT THE SCHOOL AND INTERVIEW: The college visit is just as much about YOU learning about the school as it is an opportunity for them to learn about you. If possible, schedule an interview or an informal meeting with your admissions rep while there.
7. ATTEND A CLASS WHILE YOU’RE ON CAMPUS: Most colleges allow you to sit in on a class during your campus visit. Doing this not only gives you a sense of what classes are like at the school, but also shows your admissions rep that you’re going above and beyond in your research.
8. EMAIL WITH A PROFESSOR: Though not appropriate in every circumstance, it sometimes makes sense to send specific questions about a department or course offering directly to a professor. In this case, you may want to ask your admissions rep for a contact.
9. COMPLETE SUPPLEMENTAL ESSAYS: They may say “optional” but these opportunities to show more about yourself and why you’re interested in a particular school are essential on successful applications.
10. SAY YES TO ALUMNI INTERVIEWS: Many highly selective schools have alumni in your area who will meet you for a short interview to get to know you a little better. This is a great opportunity to tell them more about you than they can see from your application and for you to ask questions about the school.
11. CONTACT THE COACH: If you’re an athlete planning to compete in college, filling out the recruitment form on the athletics section of a college’s website and then sending a follow up email to the coach is a great way to establish contact and show your interest.
12. APPLY EARLY: Applying early decision is an obvious indicator of your desire to attend a school. And early action also tells schools that you’re interested enough to submit at the first deadline.