By now most everyone has applied to schools and one of the hardest parts is the wait to receive decisions from schools. Most, or at least many, students believe there is nothing they can do at this point. There are certain things that students can and really must do.
One of the topics I mentioned in an earlier post is something called Demonstrated Interest. What is it? This is a slightly complex topic but the key concept to remember when considering Demonstrated Interest is that schools are a business. When a student shows demonstrated interest, they are implying that they would attend to the school if accepted. Where this gets complicated is how a student goes about expressing their demonstrated interest, and doing so genuinely. You cannot intend to enroll in every school to which you applied. And you need to be an appropriate i.e. qualified candidate.
At this point in the year a simple way of showing that you are interested is by emailing the representative at the school to update them on anything that has happened since you submitted your application. This may include things like new SAT or ACT scores, improvement in your grades or projects, awards you have earned in the last couple of months. You should generally do this for every school to which you applied.
But what if you have nothing to report? It is still a good idea to let them know that you are excited to have applied and that their school is on your radar. What if you had terrible performance on your end-of-term exams? You should definitely update them and at the same time report measures you are taking to fix the issue(s). However, blaming the teacher or citing some bizarre, unrelated event or one that is not true is not in your favor. Take responsibility and show them that you are concerned, by taking the appropriate actions to rectify the situation. Owning up to your mistakes provides you with a learning opportunity.
Admitting your faults can go a long way, even though it is challenging to do. While this may not get you into a school, schools will be impressed by the maturity it takes to come forward. It is important to be honest and completely forthcoming. The process may actually be a bit cathartic!
Things you should not do:
Don’t send cards posters or presents. They typically end up in the trash or on eBay.
Don’t send cakes, cookies or singing minstrels, they are a waste of time and energy.
Don’t hound the admission officer, it looks desperate and will ultimately backfire.
Updating schools about related recent events in your life helps the school see that you care and that you are being appropriately mature in giving attention to them. They want to know what has been happening, particularly if the news is good. And as I mentioned, even if you have little to say, letting them know that you are still thinking about them can go a long way.
Schools are currently in committee, reviewing and reading applications. Now is the time to reach out and let them know University of X is on your mind! Now, get back to your school work.