The college admissions process can be complicated and even confusing. As educators, we spend a lot of time discussing what students should look for in a potential college or university
. And we actively help students put their best foot forward during the application process.
However, sometimes, a college will eliminate the guesswork and go out of its way to make clear to a student that it is interested in having them attend. If you’re fortunate enough to be one of these students, there are a few clear signs to look for as an indicator that you are on a particular school’s shortlist. Rather than reaching out to colleges to follow up on your college application
, you may instead have colleges reaching out to you!
Let’s take a closer look at how to know if a college is interested in you. We’ll also explore the steps you can follow to respond to their heightened interest with the help of our College Counseling department
How to Know if a College is Interested in You: The Signs
Thankfully, colleges have many ways of making it clear when they are interested in a particular prospective student. Each school may have its own unique approach in these instances, but there are a few key signs to look for when trying to determine if a school is actively interested in recruiting you.
Sign #1: Personal Outreach
If a high school student is on a college’s radar, it is not uncommon for representatives from that school to initiate personalized contact with the prospective pupil.
If a student has had prior contact with a representative from a college or university, the school will likely have access to the student’s personal cell phone number or other contact information. A representative from the college or university can take advantage of this contact information to reach out to a prospective student directly.
Representatives often reach out to invite students to attend information sessions, campus tours, and other admissions events. This may occur via email, phone calls, or some combination of the two.
A coach or athletic director may also review a student’s references, stats, social media profiles, highlight videos, and academic records as they seek to determine whether the athlete would be a good addition to their department.
If a college coach is interested after reviewing these materials, they will often reach out to invite the student on an official visit where they can familiarize themselves with the campus and faculty. Students can also reach out to coaches for follow-up discussions.
Students from other programs or with other extracurricular backgrounds can also be scouted and recruited by colleges. A student may receive an initial introductory email from a member of the admissions team or a representative from a particular program. Sometimes, students will also be contacted by current students who are willing to share personal insight about their experiences within the program.
Sign #2: Fee Waivers
One sure-fire sign that a college is actively interested in receiving your application is if the college offers you a waiver for certain admissions-related fees.
Many colleges charge an application fee when a student submits his or her admissions application. When a college is particularly invested in receiving a student’s application, they will often offer to waive this application fee to reduce the student’s financial burden.
Fee waivers are an effective means of appealing to a more diverse applicant pool because they make the application more accessible to those students who may find the cost of applying to college overly cost-prohibitive.
There may also be additional fees associated with the application process. A school’s willingness to waive or reduce these fees for a prospective student can often be interpreted as evidence of their interest in having that student join their community.
Sign #3: Scholarship Opportunities
In some cases, top schools will make early scholarship offers
to students they are particularly interested in recruiting. These offers essentially state that if a student were to apply, the school would be willing to offer them a particular amount of scholarship funding.
If a college or university makes a preemptive scholarship offer like this, it is perhaps the most obvious sign that they are extremely committed to attracting this particular student.
Scholarship availability is one of the most significant decision-making factors for many prospective students. So, receiving a scholarship offer early in the admissions process can help make a particular school or program seem especially desirable.
What Comes Next?
It’s important to remember that just because a college or university is pulling out all the stops to attract you to their program does not mean you should stop exploring all available options. On the contrary, if a school shows substantial interest in you, then other schools may share that level of interest and be willing to make a similarly attractive offer.
If you are in the middle of your college admissions journey and need help narrowing the field of potential college fits, there are many resources at your disposal to support your decision-making process.
Reach out today to speak with a member of our College Counseling team
to learn more about how to know if a college is interested in you. We can help you and your parents make an informed decision that will set you on the path to success.