Don’t Be A Stealth Applicant!

According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), 78% of colleges track “demonstrated interest” (DI).

DI refers to the level of interest that a student shows in a particular school through a range of possible activities including, campus visits, information sessions, college fairs, attending a high school visit and having an interview (when offered). This information is carefully tracked by the admissions office and for those schools, it definitely plays a role in  on how a student is viewed.

Believe it or not, colleges report that one-third of students have never been in touch in any way before applying!  Admissions folks call these students “stealth applicants.” One does not want to be part of this group (even though it has a cool name!).

Why not? Because colleges want to accept students who they believe will attend. The percent who do (the college’s “yield”) influences their perceived value among future applicants. That’s why there are many cases in which a less qualified – but more eager – applicant will be admitted over one with higher credentials.

So what should your student do about DI? If your child is even somewhat interested in a particular school, he or she should…

  • “Officially” request information. Even if information has already been mailed to the house. Get in touch and request again.
  • Open all the emails. Yes, the schools can track whether or not their sent emails were opened.
  • Contact the admissions officer for their geographic area. This can be done during a campus visit or by contacting the officer and asking when they may be visiting your local area or high school. These people are important – give them an opportunity to get to know you!
  • Send a follow-up note. After meeting with an admissions person(s), send a note. Email is actually better than snail mail since it’s more easily tracked by the school.

Does increasing your DI require a bit more organization and effort? Absolutely. But it’s an area that’s completely within your student’s control and one which has been demonstrated to yield tangible results.  Don’t miss this opportunity to show the love!
Easy Ways to Connect With Colleges This Spring:

Often, the representative at the local college fair is the person who will be reading your child’s application.  Here are some upcoming opportunities:

  • New England College Fairs. Upcoming events at Stonehill, Assumption, Merrimack, Keene, Mitchell.
  • Colleges That Change Lives Fair. Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, Saturday, May 14th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM.  Click the link for further information and a list of attending colleges.
  • Boston National College Fair. Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Sunday, May 22nd, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Monday, May 23rd, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Search for a list of participating colleges and universities.
    This event is free and you can register at

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