Demonstrated Interest: Email with Admissions Representative

As we mentioned, demonstrated interest involves creating relationships with college representatives, faculty, alums, etc. Your admissions rep will be your main point of contact during the admissions process. To find your rep, look at the admissions page on the website and find the name of the person who represents your state. Then, get ready to write your first email to him/her. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

A good first email to your admissions rep:

Hello Ms. Smith,

I have been researching the University of Rhode Island and really believe it is a great fit for me! The Oceanography program with the trip to the Arctic sounds amazing. I wanted to touch base with you because I still have a couple of questions. First, because I am coming from so far away, I was hoping you could connect me with a current student from my area—I’m interested to learn how a fellow southerner found the adjustment to New England. I also wanted to know if there is a professor I could talk with about research options in Oceanography.

Thank you so much for your help. Please let know if you’ll be visiting Austin; if so, I’d love to meet with you and possibly set up an interview. I look forward to being in touch with you throughout the upcoming semester/year!


A bad email to your admissions representative:

Hi, Bobby,

I am very interested in URI! Can you tell me whether your school has a pre-med program and what the acceptance rate is? Thank you.



Some important reminders:

  • Be polite: address reps appropriately, use mature language, write thank-you notes/emails
  • Be considerate of your rep’s time (no asking questions you should be able to answer with a little researching!)
  • Be curious: what is it you really need to know to make an informed decision about a school?
  • Proofread your emails for grammar and spelling issues
  • Make sure you are sending the right note to the right rep--with the right school name mentioned (be very careful if you are cutting and pasting notes from one rep/school to another)


3 Ways to Stand Out in the College Admissions Process

With millions of students applying to college each year, it can be a struggle to stand out. But there’s no way around it: your students must be unique. A Stanford University admissions reader was recently quoted as saying:

"At Stanford, when reading applications, we did use one acronym in particular—SP ("standard positive"), which indicated that the student was solid and had an overall positive application, but unfortunately was just standard.” (Source)

“Just standard” isn’t how you want admissions officers remembering your student. So here are three ways your student can stand out from the crowd when applying to selective colleges:

1. Tell a coherent story.

Given the stiff competition, it feels like your student has to do everything. Music, sports, student government, volunteering, tutoring...the list goes on. But if you think about it, that’s not an interesting story—it jumps all over the place and doesn’t feel rooted in anything.

Try to think of your student’s journey toward college as a tree. They have to lay down their roots, and form a trunk—and only then can they start growing branches. If they don’t have the roots and trunk in place, those branches will fall right off when the first storm of the (application) season hits.

2. Follow at least one interest in depth.

You might be excited that your student plays varsity baseball, is in the National Honors Society, and gets straight A’s. But here’s the thing: everyone has that same story. Your student needs to pick one interest and follow it in depth. If soccer is actually important to your student, then they shouldn’t just be playing on the varsity team: they should be volunteering at a baseball camp, interning at ESPN, and doing their AP Statistics project about baseball stats.

The goal: your student will showcase their unique interests while demonstrating that they are committed to them. Plus, if your student is truly passionate, they’ll enjoy the entire journey.

3.. Use internships to your benefit.

Internships are beneficial no matter how you slice it, but if your student navigates the process well, they can use these gigs to further distinguish themselves. Especially if they’re not as strong academically, an internship will allow your student to show their outside-of-school prowess. For example, they could intern somewhere that’s hosting a massive summer conference; that way, they can highlight the conference as a tangible outcome of the work they did.

In fact, your student can even use a regular summer job—one they take to make extra cash—and spin it into a resume stand-out. For example, if your student gets a summer job at Old Navy, they should ask to be put in charge of inventory for the summer. It shows leadership, drive, and responsibility.

If your student takes these three things into consideration, they’ll be a non-standard positive—and that’s what’s going to make admissions officers do a double take.

How To Set Up A Campus Tour

There’s no better way to learn about a college than going to visit the college. Going on admissions tours, visiting classes, and talking to current students will help you see if you can visualize yourself at the school.

So how do you actually set up a campus tour? It’s easy! Just follow these nine steps.

  1. Go to the college’s website and click on the Admission tab

  2. Go to undergraduate admissions (this will be an option at universities where graduate programs are offered)

  3. Click on the Visit or Visiting Campus tab

  4. Choose the right option for your visit - i.e. Daily Visit, Weekend Visit (if offered)

  5. Check the calendar for an available day that you can attend and click on the day

  6. Fill out the required information - name, address, school and graduation year, academic interests, etc.

  7. Sign up for everything possible if you have the time, including a class visit, specific majors information sessions, lunch, meeting with a professor or coach (if applicable), etc. (if those options aren’t on the form, be sure to call the admissions office to ask if they’re available).

  8. Hit Submit!

  9. Check for a confirmation email. If you don’t receive one within 24 hours, make sure to contact the admissions department to check that your request was received.

Can’t make it to the actual campus? Don’t worry. Many colleges offer Virtual Tours on their admissions page and a calendar of when admissions reps may visit your city or school.

11 Great Examples of Demonstrated Interest

Demonstrated interest is the degree to which you show a college that you are sincerely interested in coming to their school. It is a subtle but important tool that many colleges use to predict the likelihood that a student will enroll if admitted to the college - and it can increase your chance of admission at colleges that track it. Here are 11 great ways to show your interest in a college.

  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. (See the examples of good--and bad--correspondence on the following pages.)

  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.

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.

Take the College Tour Parent Pledge

Your student is about to embark on a wonderful journey. You’re excited for them, of course, but also nervous to see them moving further toward independence. Thinking about it all in the abstract is one thing, but there’s a specific moment when it all becomes tangible: the college tour.

Because of the emotions that arise during college tours, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the moment and forget to let your student take the lead. As much as we tell ourselves we can handle it, it’s smart to be prepared.


That’s why we’re inviting you to take the MatchPoint “College Tour Parent Pledge.” We encourage you to print it out and tape it to your mirror the week before the tour and keep it in your pocket as a physical reminder during the tour.

  • I will step back and let my student take the lead.

  • I will remember that this trip is about my student, not about me.

  • I will bite my tongue until I know what my student thinks about the college.

  • I will understand that my student’s evaluation of the college will differ from mine, and I will respect their opinion.

  • I will give up the expectation that this trip will be perfect.

  • I will be grateful for this time together and will appreciate that my student is including me on their journey.

You know yourself better than anyone, so determine which part of the pledge will give you the most trouble, and focus on that aspect. The dynamics of a college tour can be tough, but if you take our pledge, both you and your student will get the most out of it.