Colleges, of course, have a vested interest in selecting from their applicants students who will succeed at their schools. But they also want to identify which candidates are most likely to accept, if offered admission. They call it demonstrated interest and some schools consider this factor in making their final admissions decisions. In borderline situations, students may gain an admissions advantage by demonstrating interest--making a school know of their genuine desire to go there.
Not all schools consider demonstrated interest, so you should check individual websites to understand a particular college's policy. Should you wish to demonstrate your interest in a school, here are a few ways to do it:
Contact the admissions officer-College websites list admissions officers. Email or call the person who will be reviewing your application and get on his/her radar. Briefly introduce yourself, and ask a few smart questions.
Visit the campus/schedule a tour-Campus staff will make note of your visit. If possible, while you're there, schedule an interview with or introduction to your admissions counselor.
Attend your school's college info sessions-Most high schools host visits from myriad college reps. Make a point of attending the sessions of any schools in which you are interested, and introducing yourself to the admissions representatives.
Hit the college fairs-Again, this is a chance to introduce yourself to the person who will be evaluating your application, and make a favorable impression.
Use social media-Colleges interact with potential students through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Use social media as an opportunity to connect with college staff.
Apply Early Action-While it is non-binding, applying EA telegraphs your serious interest to college admissions officers.