It is stressful to be a Dean of Enrollment at any college or university. Colleges admit more students than they have room for because not all students will accept an offer of admission. Admissions offices don’t want to over enroll because they will not have enough space to house and accommodate students. Under enrolling is even worse because this means that admissions did not meet their enrollment goals.The percentage of students who are admitted to a university that choose to attend is called the yield rate. It’s every admissions director’s dream to maintain a high yield. How do they forecast?

Colleges are becoming more sophisticated in utilizing data to figure out their enrollment. Some schools track visits, others track data (for example, whether or not a student clicked on an email that was sent to a student or checked in to student portals). Demonstrated Interest (DI) can be anything from registering on the college’s website as a prospective student, to liking a college on Facebook, to touring. The “mother” of all DI is applying Early Decision because you are essentially “marrying” the school.

Best practices regarding Demonstrated Interest:

1. Sign up on all the college websites that you plan on applying to…as a prospective student. Example:

Once you do this, you’ll get updated emails on opportunities to show interest.

2. Try and visit colleges within 200 miles of your home that interest you….this is a good practice anyhow so you can see what appeals to you.

3. Go to local information sessions at your school. Colleges also present at college fairs.

4. Interviews-These can be alumni interviews or on campus. If they are on campus, some are evaluative and some are informational but either way, it’s a great way to connect with admissions. (Note that not all schools offer interviews.)

5. Email local reps with questions, but don’t over email. Well timed emails can occur whenever you have new information to share, such as activity updates or grades.

Finally, remember that while students are trying to figure out if a college will admit them, admissions folks are also analyzing the chances that an admitted student will attend.

It’s all one big dating game!

Nicole Oringer, Founder, Ivy Ed