Some colleges don’t care a fig whether you come for a visit and others want to see your face if at all possible. Most colleges track the interest you show in their campus and among those that do, quite a few add or subtract points when evaluating your application.
Its a good idea to perform, DI, Demonstrated Interest, in the colleges where you will, or have already applied. Its never too late to show an admissions office how much you care.
- Follow their teams and send kudos for victories or express disappointment at loses.
- Follow the college on social media, Yes, this will show all of them which colleges you are interested in so come up with a plan that highlights the top of your list, at least until the early decisions have been rendered.
- Use email to stay in touch with the admissions office. Congratulations are in order for the hiring of an influential professor, National Science Foundation grants, a new president, or anything else new and exciting on campus (like breaking ground for a new building). It shows you are paying attention!
- Update your application with an email explaining a new award, project, successful research paper, sports success, new job, travel opportunity, etc.
- Ask questions! Ask about anything that isn’t on the college website. Does the cafeteria buy locally? Who sponsors intramural tournaments? Can you have your own locker in the rec center? Are there hours during which you can’t practice your tuba in the dorm?
- BONUS: GO VISIT! See the campus at least once before submitting your application and again before a decision is rendered if you live within reasonable driving distance.
Applications from students who have no history with the university are called stealth applications. Typically, they are given less weight under the assumption that the student isn’t particularly interested in coming. The admissions office is charged with filling seats and beds and will choose students who are more likely to deposit if admitted.
Go forth and communicate! Its not too early or too late!