Not all elite colleges observe if applicants take additional action besides applying to show that they are already interested in becoming students of a given college. However, there are several, such as Dartmouth, Duke & Northwestern, that supposedly pay some degree of attention. While applying early is the strongest sign that an applicant really wants to join the student body, there are a few other ways to demonstrate interest:
- Join the admissions mailing list – Use a search engine to find where on a college’s website is the page to add one’s email address to the admissions mailing list.
- Social media following – One thing to note about this option is that some colleges have specific pages on social media platforms for their admissions office, which if it does exist, is a much better choice than the college’s general page. Do spend the effort to look for said admissions offices pages, making sure the applicant’s social media pages contain no questionable content before following anything related to colleges.
- Information sessions – Whether it is in-person or online, it is a good idea to attend because it is an opportunity to interact with admissions staff. If convenient, choose an in-person session for higher quality interactions. Typically, elite colleges travel as a group (e.g. click here).
- Campus visits – Colleges understand if applicants are not able to visit faraway campuses due to cost. Such visits should not be made in the hopes of improving admission success. A tour of a college campus should be about better understanding its physical environment and the applicant’s emotional response to it, to see if it’s a good fit for him or her.