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New Study Highlights How College Visits Boost Admissions Chances At Selective Colleges

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,252 Senior Member
"According to an article on InsideHigherEd.com a new study shows that high school students who show demonstrated interest in a college by making an official visit to campus have an advantage in the admissions process over students who don't make a campus visit. ...

...The Inside Higher Ed article states, 'Demonstrated interest is one of the admissions criteria used by many competitive colleges -- even though it may not have anything to do with an applicant's intelligence or character. The term refers to ways that an applicant shows he or she is serious about enrolling at a given college. An applicant who calls with questions about a particular program is more valued than one who doesn't communicate beyond applying. An applicant who visits shows more demonstrated interest than one who doesn't, and so forth. Many colleges factor in demonstrated interest to admissions and aid decisions, wanting to admit applicants who will enroll. The idea is to have better planning and to improve the yield, the percentage of admitted applicants who enroll.'" ...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/troyonink/2017/08/23/new-study-highlights-how-college-visits-boost-admissions-chances-at-selective-colleges/
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Replies to: New Study Highlights How College Visits Boost Admissions Chances At Selective Colleges

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 61,510 Senior Member
    The Inside Higher Ed article is here:

    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/07/27/study-says-common-admissions-practice-measuring-demonstrated-interest-favors

    It references the following article (behind a pay wall):

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/coep.12216/abstract

    According to the abstract, it is a study of two admissions cycles at a specific "medium-sized highly selective university".
  • 3puppies3puppies Registered User Posts: 942 Member
    Does "medium sized highly selective university" mean they are need-blind in admissions? When I think of highly selective, I think it means they are a top school, most of which would be need-blind.

    Would the study author's recommendation that the school provide funding to permit low-income families the ability to afford an on-campus visit, present conflicts with this - adcoms are not supposed to know the applicant's financial situation. They might be able to guess from some factors - like zip code, SAT scores, etc. but while those can be correlated with wealth, they are not necessarily definite.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 61,510 Senior Member
    3puppies wrote:
    Does "medium sized highly selective university" mean they are need-blind in admissions?

    Given that it is not named, outsiders cannot know whether its admissions are need-blind (with respect to individual applicants) or whether it provides good financial aid.

    Three of the authors are at Lehigh University (which considers level of applicant's interest to be important), and one of the authors is from Princeton University (which considers level of applicant's interest).
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 61,510 Senior Member
    It is at least theoretically possible for a college to track interest, but use it only in predicting yield, rather than make the admission decisions for the particular applicant.

    For example, a college may find that admitting an "overqualified" applicant will result in, on average, 0.05 additional matriculants, but a college may find that admitting an "overqualified" applicant who showed additional interest will result in, on average, 0.25 additional matriculants. So the college may choose to admit both without regard to showing interest, but keep count of how full the class gets based on expected yield considering additional interest so that it may indirectly affect where the line is drawn at the bottom edge of the admissions class.
  • Much2learnMuch2learn Registered User Posts: 4,210 Senior Member
    @millie210 "So the big finding of this article is that schools that say they consider demonstrated interest do, in fact, consider demonstrated interest?"

    For cc: posters, that does seem silly, but most parents are completely lost in the college admissions process. I bet that is news to many of them.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 10,828 Senior Member
    Showing interest is particularly important if your stats put you in the top 10 percent of admitted students. Otherwise they may think you are using them as a safety and deny you.
  • millie210millie210 Registered User Posts: 320 Member
    @Much2learn Fair enough.
  • hzhao2004hzhao2004 Registered User Posts: 489 Member
    A 40% bump in admission chances is much larger than I expected.
  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie Registered User Posts: 1,493 Senior Member
    Factoring in visits may also be a way of schools reducing the number of need based scholarship dollars required. Kids who are able to visit will tend to have more money than those who cannot.
  • GnocchiBGnocchiB Registered User Posts: 1,588 Senior Member
    Three of the authors are at Lehigh University (which considers level of applicant's interest to be important), and one of the authors is from Princeton University (which considers level of applicant's interest).
    @ucbalumnus did you mean that Princeton does or does not consider level of interest?
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 61,510 Senior Member
  • EyeVeeeEyeVeee Registered User Posts: 460 Member
    @ucbalumnus
    It is at least theoretically possible for a college to track interest, but use it only in predicting yield, rather than make the admission decisions for the particular applicant.
    . Exactly my thought.

    Someone who applies after a visit has to be XXX% more likely to enroll than someone whose first visit is the admitted students day. Pre-app visits screen the "no way in hell..." response to the bad neighborhood, questionable downtown, marginal dorms and the "too" preppy/jockey/nerdy/uptight/laid back kids.

    The other issue is financial, and for more select schools some of that screening was done on the "fly-in" apps.
  • billcshobillcsho Registered User Posts: 16,096 Senior Member
    edited August 25
    Factoring in visits may also be a way of schools reducing the number of need based scholarship dollars required. Kids who are able to visit will tend to have more money than those who cannot.

    From the books about admission I read, if the school is within a few hours driving distance and the applicant did not visit, it demonstrate a lack of interest. If the school is across the country, there are other ways to demonstrate interest. Protecting the yield may be more important than guessing the need from this. Need aware school have other direct data for evaluating need.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 23,720 Senior Member
    Folks, no one polices the CDS and different schools can use it to mean what they wish.

    Highly selective isn't the category, "most selective."

    It's much more than setting foot on campus.

    And, again with the Y Word! How can a kid show "he or she is serious about enrolling at a given college" when they haven't even applied yet? And they've visited other schools over several years?

    There are programs that bring low SES kids to see college's in the northeast (10?) I think also the UC. Not all kids, of course. But also via selective mentoring or enrichment programs.

    I do agree a kid in driving distance would be noticed for not visiting. But lots of kids meet reps at college fairs or hs visits.

    Best way to demonstrate interest? My tired, boring advice to know what the school values and wants to see, have not just matched them to you and your "dreams," but you to them. And show it in your app. That's more than a visit, email or checking your stats vs the CDS.

    Be savvy.
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