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No interviews offered--how does a candidate demonstrate interest?

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Replies to: No interviews offered--how does a candidate demonstrate interest?

  • SlackerMomMDSlackerMomMD Registered User Posts: 3,094 Senior Member
    I have noticed with my daughter, she will email with questions if she has any while she's completing the Common App for a particular school. So far, the admissions office has responded; a couple with phone calls where the admissions officer not only answers her question(s) but then goes on to chat a bit more about a particular program, majors, even the issue of visiting a school.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,529 Senior Member
    edited September 2014
    MiamiDAP wrote:
    How one can choose to apply to school without a visit, without talking to current students, examinning dorms, ask questions about specific program(s), spending overnights?

    Perhaps if the goal is to get the full residential college experience, that may be the case. But many college students, probably the majority, choose college specifically with fitting academic goals around their lives and cost constraints (e.g. commuter students, non-traditional students, students who attend community colleges, etc.). They may consider the above factors unnecessarily luxuries in college selection.

    Visiting may also be ineffective if the student and parents do not do their homework beforehand in knowing what to look for. If that is the case, then they may fall for the best sales job and fanciest campus more than the best (academic and non-academic) fit for the student.
  • 1or2Musicians1or2Musicians Registered User Posts: 1,334 Senior Member
    Visits cost money as well. One can choose to do all sorts of things when one cannot afford the alternative.

    Back when I applied, I did visit most of the schools I applied to. But it was a summer visit so I didn't have the luxury of sitting in on classes or staying overnight. It was the only type of visit my family could afford. If we hadn't been able to afford even that I would have applied to most of the same schools.

    This was in the 80's. These days its possible to get much more information without visiting. So I can understand why some people may choose not to visit, and certainly why some consider it preferable to visit after you're accepted if a school is far away or hard to get to.
  • HannaHanna Registered User Posts: 14,687 Senior Member
    You can get misleading information on a visit, too, especially at a giant school. I had one student whose visit at U of Kansas happened to place him with a raging frat guy, while his U of Oklahoma host was a studious nerd (like him). He came away thinking he'd be a much better fit at OU because of the parties and drinking at KU, which is wildly misguided as far as I know -- both schools have similar wild party scenes, with OU possibly taking the lead given the football tailgating they do.

    The only schools where I think it's imperative to do an overnight, regardless of cost, are the tiny LACs. When there's just one scene on campus, you need to be darn sure it's the right one for you.
  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo Registered User Posts: 5,078 Senior Member
    Hm, my son visited exactly three of the 10 schools to which he applied. It was only after acceptances that he visited three more of the schools. So, he never did visit 4 of his schools.

    Yes, some people do not have the money to do college visits. My oldest was fortunate to be flown out for several visits.
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,917 Senior Member
    Here's my theory about expressing interest: if a college indicates that it tracks interest, you should do the things that an actually interested person in your circumstances would do. You don't have to do more than that. In other words, a person who was actually interested probably would visit the website and sign up for e-mails, meet with a rep if one visits your school, and visit the school if it's not too far away. Such a person wouldn't send in a bunch of questions just to prove interest, though. I suspect that for most schools that consider interest, it's a yes/no factor, and you don't have to do extreme or crazy stuff to get to "yes." If you show the level of interest you actually have, isn't that the best anyway?
  • uskoolfishuskoolfish Registered User Posts: 2,923 Senior Member
    NYU does not have interviews. However, D was able to speak to a person in the studio art department about her portfolio. As they talked, this professor offered to meet with her and review her portfolio if she could get into the city. D met with him and he went over every piece in detail. He sat and talked with her for at least 45 minutes and then asked me to join them. He gave her some excellent suggestions and basically said here are my favorite aspects of your work, do more work like this to show me your creativity. He wanted original concepts, nott pieces that look like every high school assignment. Turns out he was on the committee that reviewed (and accepted her portfolio.)

    We also had similar situations through Pratt, Goucher and Syracuse. My advice is to reach out to the department where you want to study. Try to meet or get a dep't tour. Take summer programs. Attend admissions programs and tours that involve department info sessions. All of these contacts can be valuable.
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    " Not everyone can spare the time or money to travel hours to see a school that won't even bother with interviews."
    - I am in complete confusion here. A child is planning to attend at the place that applicant has never visited? Wow!! I have enver heard about this. D. has visited many times, stayed overnights before she decided. How applicant knows if it is a right place, if they never visited? In addition to visiting, ALL of the D's programs interviewed, they had to because of guaranteed admission to Med. Schools. But respsective UGs did not interview for a general admission.
  • jym626jym626 Registered User Posts: 55,604 Senior Member
    As has been said here several times, there are many students/families who simply cannot manage the time or expense of visiting multiple schools across the country, especially before the acceptances. And this is probably moreso true for internationals. Fortunately, there are many on line video virtual tours available. They don't take the place of a campus visit, but they can help. Of course campus interviews are helpful, and some schools in some cases help students who may not be able to afford do visit with some of the expenses.
  • Dean JDean J College Rep Posts: 4,480 Senior Member
    Once you determine that a school uses demonstrated interest, It is totally appropriate to ask an admission officer what they consider interest to be.

    When seniors have a lot on their plates, it makes sense to zero in on the specific activity that will help them at the schools on their lists. Spending time on calls and emails doesn't make sense if a school just looks at whether an applicant visited them.

    FWIW, my school doesn't use interest. :)
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,254 Senior Member
    edited October 2014
    Best way to demonstrate interest is to know the school. It's true some schools track visits and some don't, but think about it: if you know what your target schools are really about, your application will reflect that. You would have reasons why you think you are a possible match, beyond stats, reputation, and dreaming. You would know their values and that would be reflected in your choices in hs and your self presentation in your app. (I don't mean just saying how much you like the school.) Of course, not all schools care one whit- but if it's a competitive college, be on your game.
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