How do you indicate to a school that they are your first choose besides early decision?
Mention it in your essay(s), but it should have been revealed at your interview – you did have one, didn’t you?
Demonstrated interest through campus visits, regional admission events, alumni interviews and video conferencing and college fairs are all ways that students can show a school that they are interested in attending their campus in the Fall.
Do you know what a YIELD is? YIELD: The percentage of accepted students who will enter a college or university in the freshman class; these students have received formal acceptance notices and must respond by May 1 with their intention to enroll.
The more competitive the school, the higher the yield percentage. Colleges are always trying to get a “sense” of which students are seriously interested in THEM. Beside using their Early Application Plans, here are some strategies that will help you send the “right” signals to your “first choice” college:
1. Attend their Open Houses
2. Set up a “Formal Campus Visit” through the Admission Office
3. If you have a major in mind, contact the Department Head to explore their program and make them aware of your talents.
4. Attend College Fairs and sign-in at their table
5. Been invited to the college’s “Breakfast” locally? Plan to attend.
6. Got an Interview at the college, make sure you do your homework before you go and ask them questions that will really demonstrate your depth of knowledge about them.
7. Is this college visiting your high school? If they are, attend this session and be prepared to ask questions.
8. Attend events on the campus–go to their theater performances, sports events, gallery openings. Talk to people when you’re there, you’ll be more knowledgeable about the university after that exposure and feel more confident about your decision that this college really is your “first-choice.”
We don’t know you love us unless you tell us! Many schools will require or offer interviews. Interviews are HUGE. I cannot emphasize enough how important interviews are as they can often make (or break) a college admissions decision. Take advantage of interviews and make sure you indicate not just that you love us, but why. Why do you feel as though you are a good fit? Show us that you’ve thought about it a bit more deeply than, “This is where my boyfriend is already going, so I want to go here, too.” Do some research, do some soul-searching, and reflect on why we are truly the best option for you. Also, make sure you visit campus. Dedicating time and resources to a campus visit demonstrates interest. Lastly, develop relationships with your admission counselor! We have a radar and know who is on it. Make yourself known if you want to be included on it!
If you can manage to “tactfully” add this information into your essay, that’s great! The reason that I say “tactfully” is because nothing is worse than a college admissions essay that is basically a love letter to the college. Admissions counselors are experts at their craft and they don’t want to read that stuff; they already know how great the school is! Another thought: On most (if not all) college essays, there is typically a space for you to write additional information. You can plug that little factoid in there, too! Again, stay away from sounding like a lovesick puppy! Best of luck!
Demonstrated interest helps. This means that you have visited the campus, requested information and/or met with admissions representatives. You are much more likely to accept an admissions offer from a campus that you have demonstrated interest in, over a campus that you found online.
Sometimes sending in one extra letter to a school explaining why this is your first choice is not a bad idea. The letter must have a good reason other than ‘it’s the highest ranked school I’m applying to” of course, but you should explain what about the school made you feel that you were a great fit for their culture, and what you could offer the school that would make them want you to be a part of the student body, and what the school had that you would love to be a part of, whether it’s a specific research project, their philosophy towards education, certain groups on campus that are unique to that school etc. Remember that you should point out not just what the school can do for you, but what you can do for the school.
Call them every single day. Obviously, don’t do this. What should you do? It’s like the first rule of creative writing: show, don’t tell. Do:
Go to information sessions and meet the representative.
Go to high school visits and do the same.
Try to visit the school and take advantage of all of the ways you can get to know the school.
Try to get an interview.
Get the name of your regional rep, and at least email them so they know who you are.
Really get to know the school, the profs in your major, and so forth. Don’t:
Assume that “interest” in a school is a super-important factor in admissions. It matters, but not too much. What matters more? How much you’ll fit in with the general feel of the school. Because of this, you really need to get to know the place.
Let the admissions counselor know. When an admissions counselor visits your school, or you go to the college on a visit, let them know. They will certainly take note of that.
Usually on a common application and/or on the individual college’s/university’s application there is a question where students provide where else they applied/also in their personal statement/additional comments they can indicate that this school is number one for them.
Tell them! While applying early decision is the easiest official way to indicate your interest and desire, sometimes financial considerations preclude that approach given uncertainty about aid and scholarships at that point in the process. Nevertheless, it is still possible to communicate directly and let a school know. Each school will treat that information in its own way, and of course in the end your desire to attend only goes so far, but it never hurts to let the school know. They want student on their campuses who want to be there.
Get your application in early! Also, if you are applying to school for music or a different art, schedule your audition or portfolio review early so that you have the best chance of getting accepted. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to the head of your anticipated department. You can show them how much you are interested in their university as well.
Early action is another way to indicate it. The student can mention it in an interview.
You could address it in the essay you submit with your application for that school. Explain why you want to go there and why it would be a natural fit for you. You can also call and arrange an interview with either an admissions counselor or an alumni. This is always recommended when you have a deep interest because they get to know the real you, not just the person on paper.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to admissions officers to let them know that you’re applying and that their school is at the top of your list. Get in touch by email or phone and ask thoughtful, relevant questions about the school and its programs that will make your sincere interest apparent. If you have the opportunity to meet admissions folks in person at college fairs or on campus visits, this is also a great way to make contact. Strive to make your interactions with officials courteous and professional, and while it’s fine to get in touch a few times, don’t go overboard: No one wants to be an “admissions stalker”.
Many schools ask students to write a supplemental essay that effectively asks “why us?” Students can use this essay to describe how and why the school best matches what he or she is looking for and how they plan to contribute the school.
Write a letter, email, or send them a video simply saying that they are your first choice school. Most colleges save all the communication they have with students in a customer relationship management (CRM) database. For instance, if you send your Admission Counselor an email saying “institution XYZ is my number one choice”, they will save this email, along with others you have sent them, in the CRM database and likely even code you as an applicant who is really interested in attending the school.
If you have a first choice school and don’t want to apply early decision, there are other ways to let the admission committee know. You can tell them in an interview that it is your first choice college, you can put it in your application in some cases, or you can start emailing your counselor at xxx college to introduce yourself, then eventually tell them it is your first choice. Even if you don’t apply ED, applying early is always a good idea.
it is one of the most important task for me in the past to indicate the student’s choice for college to admissions office. most international students are not qualify for early decision and it is the best interests of the college to manage their yield successfully. with less than 50% yield, you have to believe that early committment is the key for any schools to manage their yield.
it is not so effective for the stduent to indicate such committment for reasons other than legal perspective and impact made for admissions results.
School’s love to hear that you really see yourself on their campus. You can demonstrate this by visiting, interviewing, making reference in your application, staying in touch via email, etc. Students who apply early, whether it is rolling, EA or ED admissions; are sending a message to the school that they are seriously interested in attending that institution. It’s a 2-way street: students want the school to want them, but schools likewise want to know that students have made them their first choice.
Visit, request and complete an interview if available, ask specific questions about programs or ask to be connected to a professor through the admissions office, ask to be connected to a student ambassador if possible. Show the school how interested you actually are.
There are several ways to indicate preference for an institution, some more explicit than others. Requesting information via the a college’s website site, “following” a college (via Facebook or Twitter), applying Early Action, visiting campus, attending high school visits (by a college’s admissions officer), and arranging for an interview are all ways to demonstrate enthusiastic interest. The latter provides you an opportunity to explicitly communicate to an an admissions officer that College “X” is your first choice. You may also do this by writing a (very brief) letter or email to the admissions counselor who is assigned to your area.
Tell Them! When in an interview, writing why you want to go there, or speaking to an admissions rep let them know that it is your top choice. Also, just showing interest can help them to understand how passionate you are. The fact that you did an interview, took the time to visit, and made the effort to email a rep to ask questions lets them know that you are seriously considering their school.
Contact them. Ask questions of the admissions counselor. Visit the college. Like the college page on Facebook. Subscribe to any newsletters they might offer. Visit that college’s table at the local college fair. In other words, make contact in anyway you can. They will know that you are serious.
If you are writing an essay that would just be going to that one first-choice school, you could perhaps include that information in your essay somehow. You could also ask your Guidance Counselor to include your preference in the recommendation letter he/she writes for you. Care should, of course, be taken to only include that comment on the letter going to your first-choice school! If you’re indicating a first choice, it would be beneficial to indicate a reason/reasons why you feel that way. Some reasons would obviously not be very convincing – “All my friends are going there”, “I’ve always wanted to go to an Ivy League school”, “My boyfriend/girlfriend is going there”, etc. Your reasons should have to do with what you know about what the school offers and how you would fit into that environment.
If you are writing an essay that would just be going to that one first-choice school, you could perhaps include that information in your essay somehow. You could also ask your Guidance Counselor to include your preference in the recommendation letter he/she writes for you. Care should, of course, be taken to ensure that that comment is only included on the letter going to your first-choice school! If you’re indicating a first choice, it would be beneficial to indicate a reason/reasons why you feel that way. Some reasons would obviously not be very convincing – “All my friends are going there”, “I’ve always wanted to go to an Ivy League school”, “My boyfriend/girlfriend is going there”, etc. Your reasons should have to do with what you know about what the school offers and how you would fit into that environment.
Tell them sincerely that they are your first choice. If a school is indeed your first choice, then you’ve done good research and know a lot about it – ask questions and make comments that demonstrate that you know the school and have solid reasons for applying there. Visit the school if at all possible. Maintain a continuing relationship with the admissions person who will read your application. Above all be sincere and honest about it.
Here is my video response to the question.
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