Does Visiting Colleges Help Admission?

As you start your college search and application process, you may wonder if physically visiting a school will help your chances of admission. The simple answer: yes, it does, on many levels.

Visiting a Colleges Demonstrates Interest

In college admissions, there’s something called demonstrated interest. It is a term used by colleges that describes how much a student is interested in attending their college and it encompasses every touch point that a student has with a specific college. The school uses elaborate software to track a student’s interest, including:

• Signing up to receive school news
• Opening emails – if, when, and whether they click on links
• When you click on the links, where do you go on their website and how much time do you spend there
• Following the school on social media and liking posts
• Signing up for virtual information sessions
• Taking a virtual campus tour
• Physically visiting the school

All of these actions are taken into account by admissions at many colleges at varying levels.

Why Colleges Track Whether You Visit their School

During the admissions process there is something called a yield, which refers to the number of students that a college has budgeted to enter into their next year’s freshman class. This is a very important number to them because for many schools it’s a huge part of their revenue; that number is their target. This is where demonstrated interest comes into play.

If one student has shown all this demonstrated interest and another student hasn’t shown any – they don’t sign up for the emails, if they get an email they don’t open it up, they haven’t bothered signing up for virtual information session or looked at a virtual tour, they haven’t visited the school – then the school infers that the second student isn’t all that interested in attending. If everything is equal between the two students and admissions has to pick between the two, they’ll pick the student who’s shown demonstrated interest because the likelihood of them accepting the offer of admission is much higher than the student who hasn’t shown interest.

So, as you can see, visiting a college can affect college admissions. But visiting a college doesn’t only serve the purpose of, and should not only be used for, checking off the box for demonstrated interest. As a note, not all schools track demonstrated interest but many do, especially since the pandemic so either way, showing demonstrated interest may not only relay onto a school that you are interested in them, but it also relays onto you what they want you to know about their school and how they operate. A valuable insight for any prospective student.

The Value of a College Visit

The ability to research colleges online and take virtual tours is a wonderful thing. It can give you an initial idea as to whether a school is a good fit, but there’s nothing like visiting a college campus in person. Being on campus helps you understand what you like and don’t like about the school beyond the landscaping and pretty buildings. Physically visiting the school enables you to get a better understanding of what going there would feel like and what they offer their students. It will show you if a school fits you.

When planning college visits, do your research first and focus on the schools that really interest you. We have plenty of blogs on the topic of college search, including:

How to Begin the College Search

How to Find the Best College for Me

What to Consider When Searching for Colleges

What to Look for When Searching for Colleges

Searching for Colleges by Major

How to Research Colleges – Follow this Checklist

What Size College is Best for Me?

How to Research Colleges Online

As a recap, visiting colleges can help with college admissions, as well as help you make a final decision of where you want to attend.

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 or by phone, 845.551.6946. We work with students through Zoom, over the phone, and by email.