We all know that when you are able to visit a college campus, attend their information session and go on their campus tour, hosted by a friendly student, you take in invaluable information that will help you understand if this school is for you. You not only learn about what the college wants to communicate to you, as a prospective student, but you also get a feel for the student body, the environment on campus and off, and how you would potentially fit in, or not.
Visiting a College Campus May Help Your Chances of Being Admitted
What you may not know is that for some schools, visiting a college’s campus can help your chances of admission to that school. You may ask, why and how could that be? They know that I have visited their campus? And why do they care?
Applicants who show interest, such as through a visit, are more valued than one who doesn’t. Many colleges factor demonstrated interest into admissions decisions because they want to admit applicants who will enroll to help with their “yield” numbers. What does yield mean? Read on to find out.
Tracking Visiting Students Begins with the College’s Yield
Why colleges keep track of students who visit is related to something called a “Yield”. Every college, each year, budgets the number of students that they want to attend their institution that coming academic year. Meeting or exceeding this number is very important to them. Why? Well, let’s remember, that as much as this is an educational institution, this is also a business (I always say that everything is a business, but I digress). Yield, that very important number, means revenue, and revenue can translate to profitability. If a school doesn’t meet their yield, this could put that school in a precarious financial position, basically paying their bills, on a simplistic level, and growing their institution on what they have planned. Certainly it is more complex but the basics are that you need the money coming in to run this business (Yes, this is a business, as much as some don’t want to acknowledge this fact).
What Does Yield Mean to You?
Colleges want to meet or exceed their yield so students that show demonstrated interest can get a leg up in communicating to that school that they are interested, one way of which is visiting their campus. Let me be absolutely clear here. Not all schools track demonstrated interest but more and more do, for exactly the reason I stated above, to meet or exceed their yield.
How Schools Track Interest
So, a very important goal is for each school to meet or exceed their yield. How do they do this? Well, they have to market themselves to prospective students and families to get them to become interested in their school to then apply and, if accepted, ultimately attend. Again, this is a key part of running any business. How do they do this? This is an intricate and in-depth process, where many schools purchase elaborate and complex software to track students’ behavior. Yes, big brother is watching. Why would they do this?
It has been proven, over and over again, that if a student shows something called “Demonstrated Interest” they are more likely to accept a college’s acceptance than if they don’t.
There are many ways to show your demonstrated interest in a school but the one we are speaking of is visiting their school, either virtually, by attending one of the virtual information sessions or visiting the school in person.
The College Visit – Admissions Connection
There are a variety of ways a student can show demonstrated interest, one of which, and a very important one, is visiting a college campus. This is actually the ultimate in demonstrated interest a student can show. When a student visits a school they now form a relationship with this institution, form an attachment. It becomes more personal to them. Almost as if that school is akin to a person. In reality, it kind of is. It is a conglomeration of many people that form this school’s personality. Colleges understand this and remember, their goal is to meet or exceed their yield, that ever-important number.
Do All Colleges Track Student Visits?
Not all schools track or consider demonstrated interest during their admissions process, but many do. You can gauge how much so by Googling the school’s name and “Common Data Set” then scrolling down to section C7. Even if they don’t, following through on the above will never hurt you and you will actually gain some additional insight into their school.
In the end, understanding how to be strategic in your college admissions journey, while always taking into account what is best for you on a social, academic, financial and emotional level, is imperative. This is probably the single most important decision you will make and you want to be sure you leave no stone unturned.
Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 845.551.6946. We work with students in person, through Zoom, over the phone and by email.