What is Demonstrated Interest in College Admissions

Beyond the standard metrics of grades and test scores, there’s a critical component that often goes overlooked: Demonstrated Interest (DI). What is DI? Why does it matter? And how can you leverage it to enhance your college application?

Understanding Demonstrated Interest

Demonstrated Interest refers to the proactive steps a student takes to show a college or university their genuine enthusiasm and preference for attending that institution. This can range from campus visits and attending information sessions to engaging with admissions officers or faculty members. The underlying idea is to communicate to prospective colleges that students understand their unique offerings and that they are more than just an option; they are a priority.

Why Demonstrated Interest Matters

Colleges and universities are not just looking to admit students who will excel academically; they are also looking to build a vibrant, engaged student community. Demonstrated Interest helps admissions officers identify applicants who are likely to accept an offer of admission and contribute positively to campus life. In essence, DI can be a tiebreaker among applicants with similar academic credentials.

Benefits for Students

Engaging in activities that demonstrate interest does more than signal a student’s enthusiasm to colleges; it also provides them with valuable insights. Through their interactions, they gain a deeper understanding of what each college offers, helping them make an informed decision about where they’ll best fit. This process ensures that their chosen college aligns with their academic goals, social preferences, and career aspirations.

How to Show Demonstrated Interest

  1. Visit the Campus: If possible, students can plan a visit to the campus. A visit gives them a feel for the college’s atmosphere, culture, and facilities.
  2. Attend Virtual Events: Many colleges offer virtual tours, information sessions, and webinars. Participating in these events is a convenient way to learn more about the institution and its programs.
  3. Engage with Admissions Officers: Students can reach out to admissions officers with thoughtful questions that reflect their interest in their college. This interaction can provide personalized insights and make their application stand out.
  4. Attend Webinars and Info Sessions: Take a proactive approach to learning about the institution, gain valuable insights, ask questions, and demonstrate interest in the college’s offerings! Students can register for upcoming events, actively participate, take notes, and follow up with any additional questions they may have.
  5. Include School Details in Essays: Incorporating specific details about the college in essays demonstrates that the student has done a thorough research and is genuinely interested in attending. It shows the admissions committee that they are a good fit for their institution and have a strong understanding of what they offer.


Demonstrated Interest is a powerful tool in the college admissions process, serving as a bridge between students and the schools on their balanced college list. By actively engaging with colleges, they increase your chances of admission and ensure that the college they choose is the right fit for them.

For more personalized advice or questions about Demonstrated Interest, don’t hesitate to seek guidance. Together, we can work to build a balanced college list and authentically show DI.


“Sylvia is a phenomenal college counselor. She is patient, kind, organized, and extremely knowledgeable about the college application process." - Susie

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