Obviously you don’t want to make a nuisance of yourself. However, if you have specific questions regarding the universities you are applying to (that aren’t answered on the university’s website,) why not contact their admissions office and ask? The caveat here is that you ask politely, and do not call every day. Being “one of those” students can actually hurt your chances of admission, as admissions officers don’t want problem students or parents. If in doubt, ask your guidance counselor to reach out. Questions to Ask Admissions Offices 1. How many applications do you expect to receive, and how many students will be offered admission? 2. How much weight is given to the essay as part of the whole application? 3. How many people evaluate each application? 4. What kind of rubrics are used?
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.
Yes, in both a good and bad way. Many colleges, and particularly smaller schools with few slots to give out, are interested in students who, if accepted, will attend their schools. A student can and should show interest in a number of ways: visiting a school, having an interview, going to an info session at your high school or at a location in your area, contacting a professor or administrator if you have a question about a particular academic or extracurricular subject, even posting on an online blog or website set up by the school. Not only will you show interest in the school, but you will also learn about the school and may even be able to use this knowledge on one of the application essays. However, you have to be very careful not to cross the line and become annoying. Don’t send emails if you have nothing to say or for no reason. Don’t visit three or four times, hoping to speak with an admissions officer, if you have been told that no such conversations are possible. And be aware that there are a number of schools, particularly public universities, where interest is not a factor at all.