With National College Decision Day coming up, admissions offices across the country are holding their breaths, waiting to see what this year's yield will be.

If you're not familiar with "yield" in the context of college admissions, Wikipedia puts it well: "Yield in college admissions is the percent of students who choose to enroll in a particular college or university after having been offered admission."

On the other side of the admissions scene, students and families tend to obsess solely over acceptance rates. But issuing acceptances, denials, deferrals, and waitlist spots is only part of the equation; those choices come with a great deal of uncertainty for most colleges.

If too few students decide to attend, the college can find itself without the funds it needs to operate properly -- which is terrible for obvious reasons.

If, however, more students choose to enroll than there are actual spaces available, then it creates a different sort of nightmare scenario for the college. (The fiasco with UC Irvine's rescinding of hundreds of acceptances in July 2017 is a good example of that outcome.)

So, for all the students out there looking at this fall's application season, wondering what you can do to help your chances at your top-choice schools, I have a suggestion: start showing your interest now -- especially at colleges that consider the applicant's level of interest.

 "Demonstrated interest" has become a more prominent factor in colleges' admissions decisions over the past decade.

"Demonstrated interest" has become a more prominent factor in colleges' admissions decisions over the past decade.

 

How to determine whether a college considers "demonstrated interest":

  1. Visit CollegeDATA online.
  2. Enter your desired college into the search bar & click its name on the next screen to pull up its profile.
  3. Click on the "Admissions" tab.
  4. Scroll down until you see the "Selection of Students" grid. Look for the row called "Level of Applicant's Interest."
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That's it -- tune back into the next blog for a checklist of ways to start showing your interest to colleges now.

 

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