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Explore On Vol 1 – Is it important to Visit Campus? What is “Demonstrated Interest”?

By Bob Wagner, M.Ed., Executive VP, Higher Education at College Interactive
(formerly of Pace University, Bentley University, and Babson College Admissions)

Did you know that almost half of the students that visit a college campus will ultimately apply to that school? And colleges take notice if you visit or not. It’s a very good indicator to them of how serious you are about applying and ultimately enrolling.

Visiting campus is a very important part of the college search and application process, from a few different perspectives.

Getting a feel for a school’s campus, and picturing yourself walking from class to class, studying in the library and connecting with other students is equally as important as meeting the academic requirements to attend. You want to assess whether you will “fit in” and be happy when arriving on campus.

A campus visit can have a significant impact your decision to apply, and if accepted, enroll.

Equally, the Admissions Office wants to know how interested you are in applying and enrolling at their school. When you sign up and attend an official campus tour, you are “demonstrating interest”.

As you may know, college acceptance is very competitive. You want to do everything you can to improve your chances. Great essays, grades, test scores, and community service all count, but in many cases, if you apply to the school without visiting, it’s possible that a student with similar credentials may be offered admission over you because you did not “demonstrate a high level of interest” by visiting campus.

Admissions officials use the campus visit as one of the determining factors in your likelihood of accepting an offer to enroll. If you have not visited campus, chances are less likely that you will enroll.

What if I am unable visit campus?

If you do not have the opportunity to visit campus prior to submitting your application, then it may be beneficial to connect with the Admissions Office via email or phone. In doing so you can inform the Admissions Office of your interest, perhaps even indicating that you plan to visit the campus if you are accepted to the school. You can also request an interview at many colleges, either in person or by phone.

Meeting an Admissions Rep at your high school is also a good way to connect directly with the college and to demonstrate your level of interest. The more you research and know about the college, the more this will reflect in your application and is yet another way for you to indicate your level of interest in the school.

When it comes to finding the best fit, it’s a two-way street for the student and the college. Hopefully a perfect match!


About the Author
Bob Wagner Senior Vice President,
Enrollment Management
College Interactive

Bob has had over a 25 year career in higher education enrollment management. Most recently, for 15 years Bob ran the MBA admissions process for Babson College, Wellesley, MA. Babson has been the No. 1 ranked “B School” for Entrepreneurship for the past 20 years. Previously he has held positions at Pace University and Bentley University. Bob is an Elon University graduate and also holds a M.Ed. Degree from Northeastern University.