Does it matter how many contacts a student has with the school?

College Search

Our counselors answered:

Does it matter how many contacts a student has with the school?

Michelle Aronoff
Guidance Counselor


Yes it can. It is called "tracking interest." Every college does not do this. A college will be honest and let you know if they do this, but only if you ask. This does NOT mean call and email the admissions counselors on a daily or weekly basis! It means call or email when you have questions or to check on your application status. If a representative visits your school, make sure you go talk to them. Go to visit the school, go to events they are hosting such as open houses or local information sessions (usually held at a hotel or convention center). They keep track of all of these things and you will be on their radar.

William Kole
President/Founder No Stress College Counseling

Colleges Track Everything

Something students do not know is that colleges are constantly tracking how and when you are contacting them. Colleges actually track every way in which they contact you, and you contact them. Each form of contact is weighted differently, with many giving point values to each form of contact. This basically means that the more points you accrue through communicating with that college, the more interested you theoretically are. The admissions office tracks these students, and will take into account how interested a student is in their school. This helps even more once the student is accepted, as they will be invited to more exclusive admitted students events, along with being considered for more scholarship money if the student appeals their award.

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The Right Fit College

Does it matter how many contacts a student has with the school?

College admissions officers want to know that if accepted, a student will attend. You can demonstrate your interest in a school through "contacts". If a college fair is in your area, visit the booth and fill out a card; email the admissions office; visit the campus; etc. There are many ways to show that you are interested and if there is a decision between you and another candidate, this may just push you over the edge.

Leigh Moore
College Counselor College Admissions Planning, LLC

Does it matter how many contacts a student has with the school?

I think it depends on the college and the kinds/numbers of contacts in question. Having an aunt who went to the college 20 years ago is different than your dad playing golf with the provost. My own children have (literally) 14 relatives who graduated from a certain selective university, but it seems that they will have to make their own way; legacy SAT scores are actually trending higher at that particular university than scores of the rest of the acceptees, which means it's actually tougher to be admitted. (I will clarify that I don't think there is a bias against legacies per se, but that the school is simply reaching into different demographic segments, and with more fervor). Reach out to all your contacts, though. Even if a contact cannot provide direct assistance/influence, they often can help indirectly, by letting you know more about the institution and the best practices for admittance.

Kiersten Murphy
Executive Director and Founder Murphy College Consultants LLC

Does it matter how many contacts a student has with the school?

No, but you want to find the balance. You do want to express your genuine interest, but at the same time, you don't want to overwhelm (or annoy) the admissions staff. Be respectful of their time.

Suzanne Shaffer
Owner Parents Countdown to College Coach

Does it matter how many contacts a student has with the school?

There is not a magical number, but if the student is interested in attending the college contact is important. Check in with the admissions office when you visit. Make an appointment to speak with an officer. Talk with the financial aid office. And don't forget to email them afterwards thanking them for their time. If you don't show interest in them, they won't show interest in you.

Jessica Brondo
Founder and CEO The Edge in College Prep

Does it matter how many contacts a student has with the school?

Not really. Sure it might help, but ultimately schools are looking for the students that will fit best within that school. The number of kids with ‘contacts’ is never going to be enough that you will be denied a place over the kid whose mom works in human resources. Schools recognize that most students don’t have much connection with colleges, hence the lengthy application process so they can get to know you.

Carita Del Valle
Founder Academic Decisions

Does it matter how many contacts a student has with the school?

Yes of course it matters as it is considered Demonstrated Interest each time a student reaches out to a college or university. Think of it this way - when applying for a job each time you contact the potential employer they get a sense of who your are, your focus on their company, your professionalism and the job you are trying to obtain. Getting an admissions team to "look" at you is no different. The more you are genuinely interested in them the more they become interested in you!

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Does it matter how many contacts a student has with the school?

Demonstrated interest is the term used today when referring to campus contact. While some schools will log and make note of any email, phone, mail, or in person visits and take that as a sign of interest; other schools don't care or take the time to track those contacts. Those schools who care about your interaction with their campus do so because they see it as a way of determining how likely you are to enroll, should you be offered admission. Schools would much rather enroll students who sincerely want to be there, than those who are "phantom apps", meaning they have never heard of the student until the application is submitted. While there is no magic number of contacts, make sure you don't over do it and become a pest.

Penny Deck
Owner Champion College Counseling

Does it matter how many contacts a student has with the school?

While contacts will definitely matter for schools who "track interest", it won't make a bit of difference to others that are so large and have so many applicants they cannot possibly track contacts. So, your goal is to discover which schools track interest and make sure you "show the love" to those that do. As a rule, smaller, liberal arts colleges are more concerned with your interest level. Larger, public universities find they cannot possibly track this information. Bottom line - contact and visit those schools who track interest making your interest in them known and certainly contact the other schools when you need information but don't think it will make a difference in the application decision.