Can the number of times you contact a college impact your chances?

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Our counselors answered:

Can the number of times you contact a college impact your chances?

Roby Blust
Dean of Admissions & Enrollment Planning Marquette University

Can the number of times you contact a college impact your chances?

Here is my video response to the question.

Nina Berler
Founder unCommon Apps

Contacting Colleges

The general rule of thumb on contacting colleges to do so wisely. That's why students are generally told to send letters or e-mails or make phone calls when they have something newsworthy to report. That might include winning an award or being selected as captain of a school team. The NACAC recently surveyed colleges about what they called "demonstrated interest," and found that only some colleges valued it. I know in my own experience counseling students that some schools appreciated the contact and others clearly did not; some colleges tell students on wait lists to not contact them at all during the waiting period. Students and even guidance counselors should be careful about when and how to contact admissions professionals.

Suzan Reznick
Independent Educational Consultant The College Connection

Colleges will love to hear from you...

But don't just contact them for the sake of contacting them. Don't become an annoyance. Yes- having contact now does impact acceptances because all colleges are focused on their yields. A yield is the number of students who will accept their offer of admissions and attend. One key factor in determining yield is the level of interaction that a student has had with a college including, tours, open houses, Information sessions and interviews. If you call or email a college- have a genuine reason for doing so. Do not contact them for information that would be easily available on their website. Do reach out to coaches, professors and admit staff when it does make sense for you and there is a real need on your part.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

Demonstrate Interest, but Avoid Annoying

Nearly all colleges keep track of contacts with individual students, such as meeting at a college fair, visiting campus for an interview, attending an event, etc. Keeping track of student interactions informs future recruitment planning. However, some colleges use "demonstrated interest" (or the indication that you are seriously considering matriculation to an individual institution) as factor when making admission decisions. Colleges began to use "demonstrated interest" to off-set students who apply to a large number of institutions with little intentionality. And, the practice has evolved as a technique for maintaining a low admission rates and a high yield rates (both figures are used to calculate several national rankings). If you are applying to a school that utlizes "demonstrated interest" to make admission decisions, be sure to take advantage of all optional interactions (such as interviewing or meeting with a representative visiting your school). However, don't "demonstrate interest" on a daily basis--that will likely become annoying.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

Demonstrating Interest

Colleges like students who like them. Let the college know about your interest by visiting, by contacting the admissions office to ask specific questions (not answered on the website) and by requesting an interview. Do not be a stealth candidate--show your interest and it could impact how the college considers you as a viable candidate. However, do not make the admissions officers crazy by wasting their time.

็Ž‹ๆ–‡ๅ› June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

not really

students should contact colleges as early as possible. records such as college visits, on campuse interviews, tours, etc are kept by colleges for showing strong interests. in terms of how many times is right for you, I believe each student has her or his unique situation and should not be copied without the details.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Demonstrated Interest

Colleges love to hear that you love them. They would much rather admit a student who really really really wants to be there, than someone who is just applying for the heck of it. Statistics show that retention rates are higher for the students who apply early action, a common way of demonstrating how interested you are in the school. Whether you visit, call, email, chat with a rep visiting your area; often these contacts are logged and referred to when it comes to decision time. Of course, you don't want to be obnoxious in your efforts to show them how much you can see yourself on their campus. Too much of anything can work against you, so proceed accordingly.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures


Yes. It can impact it either way: if you are stalking the admissions rep, it hurts your chances. If you are friendly with the rep and ask intelligent questions, it will help. This is true particularly in smaller and mid sized colleges/universities.

Jill Karatkewicz
Counselor East Hampton High School

Demonstrated Interest

Yes! On a very basic level, colleges want to send acceptance letters to students who are equally excited about attending their school! At many universities, admissions officers "track" the various ways/times a prospective student shows interest in their school. This can include everything from a simple email or phone call to attending an Open House, going on a tour, information session and/or interview, visiting a booth at a college fair, etc. The more times and ways you connect with that school, the more "demonstrated interest" you have shown. When it comes time to evaluate your application, the admissions counselor will certainly take in to account whether or not it appears you have shown interest, as they usually perceive this as an indication that you are seriously interested in their school.

Rana Slosberg
Owner Slosberg College Solutions LLC

Demonstrating College Interest

Many colleges use college interest as a factor in their admissions decision. Contacting the college to get an information package, visiting the college, speaking to a college representative at a college fair and/or at your high school, and participating in a college interview (if available) are all easy ways that you can demonstrate your interest and increase your acceptance chances. However, don't overdo things and contact the college so much that you become an annoyance to the admissions department.