Do Ivy Leagues care about demonstrated interest?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a female interviewing a male student

Do Ivy League Universities Take Demonstrated Interest Into Account?

College applications are your ticket into the Ivy League. Understandably, students are often nervous about the weight the college admissions process carries. After working your hardest for years to earn excellent grades, perform well on tests, accumulate the right credentials, and do everything in your power to increase your likelihood of attending the Ivy League, it all boils down to your application. As a result, high schoolers need to ensure their application is complete, which for some colleges, means the inclusion of demonstrated interest. But, do Ivy Leagues care about demonstrated interest?

Here, we’ll take a look at what demonstrated interests are, whether or not the Ivy League institutions consider it, and which schools view it as important.

What is demonstrated interest?

It might sound confusing at first but demonstrated interest is one of the most straightforward components of the admissions process. As the name indicates, demonstrated interest is when an applicant demonstrates his or her interest in attending a particular school.

students discussing a group activity shown on their laptop

Yes, it’s really that simple! However, the theory is much easier to grasp than the practice. That’s because demonstrated interest isn’t always so clearly defined. To make matters even more confusing, some colleges don’t even consider demonstrated interest when determining who gets accepted and who doesn’t while other institutions take this aspect very seriously.

What are some examples of demonstrated interest?

As we mentioned before, demonstrated interest is kind of a loose term. Just because one school recognizes something as demonstrated interest doesn’t mean another necessarily will. That’s why it’s always important to discuss with the admissions committee at the university to which you’re applying to get the most accurate and up-to-date information. Still, to give you a better idea of what demonstrated interest might look like, here are some practical examples:

Why is it important to know if a college considers demonstrated interest?

No matter where you’re applying, you should know the answer to this question: “Is demonstrated interest important for admissions officers?” Even though every school has slightly different requirements, each institution still weighs all of the required documents and information from students.

a student sitting inside a library and appears to be thinking intently

If you happen to not have a particular component of your application, your chances of getting into the university ultimately drop. The same is true when it comes to demonstrated interest. If it’s required, you’ll most certainly want to have it. Some colleges view it as more important than others, while some don’t consider it altogether.

Why do college admissions officers care to see demonstrated interest?

Of the colleges and universities that do accept demonstrated interest, the whole point is to ensure the students which they accept actually accept the offer. Think about it for a second. You’re most likely applying to a variety of different schools.

Even if that’s only three or four, you’re still going to turn down all of the colleges you get accepted to that you won’t end up attending. In order to increase the chances of having applicants accept their offers, colleges sometimes look for demonstrated interest beforehand. If it comes down to two nearly identical candidates, some would choose the individual who has demonstrated that it’s more important.

a college student carrying her things in her arms

With higher yields – the number of accepted students that actually attend – schools have improved reputation, rankings, and other positive accolades attributed. Although demonstrated interest isn’t going to get you into college on its own, it’s certainly an important part of the process for the schools that accept it.

It’s certainly not a replacement for excellent grades, stellar standardized test performance, fantastic college essays, and more, but it’s still a great way to distinguish yourself as a worthwhile and eager candidate.

Which Ivy Leagues look at demonstrated interest?

Demonstrated interest is a tricky part of the application process because it only applies to certain schools. To make matters even more complicated, it’s not that some institutions reject it and others hold it in high esteem.

There’s an entire range of views. In between the extremes, you have colleges that accept it and see it as very important while others still consider it yet doesn’t consider it so critical. Which college is which? Do Ivy Leagues care about demonstrated interest? glad you asked! We’ve broken down some of the most popular universities into each category to give you an accurate idea of how each view demonstrated interest.

Colleges that view demonstrated interest as highly important

  • American University
  • Cooper Union
  • Dickinson College
  • Georgia College
  • Hampshire College
  • Hiram College
  • Ithaca College
  • Morehouse College
  • Quinnipiac University
  • SUNY, College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • Syracuse University
  • Thomas Aquinas College
  • United States Air Force Academy
  • United States Naval Academy
  • Wabash College
  • Westmont College

Colleges that view demonstrated interest as important:

  • Allegheny College
  • Auburn University
  • Augustana College (Illinois)
  • Austin College
  • Bates College
  • Bentley University
  • Boston University
  • Brandeis University
  • Butler University
  • Champlain College
  • Christopher Newport University
  • College of the Ozarks
  • Denison University
  • DePaul University
  • Eckerd College
  • Evergreen State College
  • Fairfield University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Florida Southern College
  • High Point University
  • Kenyon College
  • Lehigh University
  • Loyola University Chicago
  • Marlboro College
  • Michigan State University
  • New College of Florida
  • Oglethorpe University
  • Reed College
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Roanoke College
  • Samford University
  • Seattle University
  • Seton Hall University
  • Skidmore College
  • St. John’s College (Annapolis)
  • St. John’s College (Santa Fe)
  • Susquehanna University
  • The College of Wooster
  • Trinity College
  • United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • United States Military Academy
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Dayton
  • University of Evansville
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of North Carolina at Asheville
  • University of Tulsa
  • Wheaton College (Massachusetts)

Colleges that take demonstrated interest into account:

  • Agnes Scott College
  • Alfred University
  • Alma College
  • Appalachian State University
  • Babson College
  • Bard College
  • Barnard College
  • Baylor University
  • Beloit College
  • Berea College
  • Bradley University
  • Brigham Young University
  • Bryant University
  • Calvin College
  • Canisius College
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Catholic University
  • Clark University
  • Coe College
  • Colby College
  • College of Charleston
  • College of the Atlantic
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • College of William and Mary
  • Colorado College
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Connecticut College
  • Cornell College
  • Creighton University
  • Davidson College
  • DePauw University
  • Drew University
  • Drexel University
  • Duke University
  • Duquesne University
  • East Carolina University
  • Elizabethtown College
  • Elon University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Florida International University
  • Fordham University
  • Franklin & Marshall College
  • Furman University
  • George Mason University
  • George Washington University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Gettysburg College
  • Gonzaga University
  • Goucher College
  • Grinnell College
  • Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Hamilton College
  • Haverford College
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Hofstra University
  • Hollins University
  • Hood College
  • Howard University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Juniata College
  • Kalamazoo College
  • Knox College
  • Lafayette College
  • Lake Forest College
  • Lawrence University
  • Lewis & Clark College
  • Louisiana State University
  • Loyola University Maryland
  • Marietta College
  • Marist College
  • Marquette University
  • McDaniel College
  • Messiah College
  • Middlebury College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Muhlenberg College
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology
  • New York University
  • Northeastern University
  • Northwestern University
  • Oberlin College
  • Occidental College
  • Oregon State University
  • Pitzer College
  • Providence College
  • Purdue University
  • Ramapo College of New Jersey
  • Rhodes College
  • Rice University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Rollins College
  • Saint Joseph’s University
  • Saint Louis University
  • Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame
  • Saint Michael’s College
  • Santa Clara University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Sewanee: University of the South
  • Siena College
  • Simmons College
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Southwestern University
  • Spelman College
  • St. Edward’s University
  • St. Lawrence University
  • St. Mary’s College of Maryland
  • St. Olaf College
  • Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Stonehill College
  • Swarthmore College
  • Texas A&M University
  • Texas Christian University
  • Texas Tech University
  • The College of New Jersey
  • Trinity University
  • Truman State University
  • Tufts University
  • Tulane University
  • Union College
  • United States Coast Guard Academy
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Dallas
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Denver
  • University of Florida
  • University of Mary Washington
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Missouri, Columbia
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Notre Dame
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Portland
  • University of Puget Sound
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of Richmond
  • University of Rochester
  • University of San Diego
  • University of Scranton
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Ursinus College
  • Villanova University
  • Virginia Tech
  • Wake Forest University
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Washington & Jefferson College
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Wellesley College
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Wheaton College (Illinois)
  • Whitman College
  • Whittier College
  • Wittenberg University
  • Wofford College
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Xavier University
  • Yeshiva University

What colleges don’t take demonstrated interest into account?

Do Ivy Leagues care about demonstrated interest? All schools take demonstrated interest into account. The exact reasons for doing this vary between each institution. Some claim that they don’t want college students simply “going through the motions” just to check off a list of activities that might pique the interest of admissions officers.

Others think that what might be considered demonstrated interest isn’t as important as other items considered on applications. With that in mind, here are some popular colleges that DO NOT consider demonstrated interest:

  • Albion College
  • Amherst College
  • Arizona State University
  • Belmont University
  • Bennington College
  • Berry College
  • Birmingham Southern College
  • Boston College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Brown University
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Bucknell University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • California Poly, San Luis Obispo
  • Carleton College
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Centre College
  • Chapman University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Clemson University
  • Colgate University
  • Colorado State University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • CUNY, Baruch College
  • CUNY, Brooklyn College
  • CUNY, City College
  • CUNY, Hunter College
  • Dartmouth College
  • Drake University
  • Earlham College
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Emerson College
  • Emory University
  • Florida State University
  • Georgetown College
  • Georgetown University
  • Georgia State University
  • Harvard University
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Hendrix College
  • Hope College
  • Indiana University
  • James Madison University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kettering University
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • Macalester College
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Miami University
  • Millsaps College
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Mississippi State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Ohio University
  • Penn State University
  • Pepperdine University
  • Pomona College
  • Princeton University
  • Ripon College
  • Rockhurst University
  • Rutgers University
  • Saint John’s University (MN)
  • San Diego State University
  • San Francisco State University
  • Scripps College
  • Smith College
  • Stanford University
  • SUNY, Purchase College
  • SUNY, University at Buffalo
  • Temple University
  • Towson University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • University of Houston
  • University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Maine
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City
  • University of Montana
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Redlands
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Southern California
  • University of St. Thomas (MN)
  • University of Utah
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Washington
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Vassar College
  • Washington State University
  • Wesleyan University
  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania
  • Williams College
  • Yale University

How do you show demonstrated interest in college applications?

Now that you know exactly which schools take demonstrated interest into account, you have a better understanding of which applications need to include this element. Yet, you’re probably still wondering, how do I show demonstrated interest? Do Ivy Leagues care about demonstrated interest? We’re happy you asked! Here, we’ll supply some excellent and effective ways you can show colleges that you’re actively eager to attend.

Make a college visit.

One of the most tried and true methods for demonstrating interest is attending a college visit. This helps you in two ways. First and foremost, it provides admissions officers with a clear indication that you’re vested in learning more about and attending the school.

Secondly, and not least important, you gain a wealth of information about the school which makes it easier to determine whether or not it’s a good fit for you. You’ll be meeting current students, engaging with potential applicants, introducing yourself to instructors, and walking around the university. It’s one of the best college two-birds-one-stone scenarios.

When you do make a college visit, be sure to participate in an official campus tour. This ensures you’ll get to participate in some actual activities such as attending a class or even spending the night in an on-campus dorm.

Regardless of what you do on the tour, doing it through the college itself guarantees it will be viewed as demonstrated interest (to schools that recognize it). Simply visiting the college on your own time can still provide you with some excellent insight, but it might not be counted towards your application as demonstrated interest.

Attend a college fair.

Many high schools and other organizations hold college fairs where representatives from colleges across the country come to tell interested students about the opportunities that await them at these institutions. Most of the time, these college fairs are optional. For the motivated student, this “optional” component is like music to their ears because it’s an opportunity to stick out from the crowd.

For colleges that do accept demonstrated interest, this is an effective way to illustrate your desire to attend the school. Make sure to put your best foot forward when at these college fairs as the representatives from each school will most likely be the person who will be supporting and arguing your case for acceptance. Making a good impression can work wonders when applying.

Sign Up for Newsletters

Many universities and colleges offer daily, weekly, or monthly newsletters where information about the school and related opportunities are sent out automatically via email to people subscribed to the list.

Providing the institution with your email through this newsletter list is considered by some universities as demonstrated interest. However, don’t assume that by simply offering your email that you’ve accomplished your goal. Some schools even go as far as to track link clicks and opens. So make sure you’re actually engaging with the content.

Contact the admissions office.

It might seem like a small gesture, but many colleges that accept demonstrated interest consider the number of students who have actually reached out to the admissions office individually. While the contact in-and-of-itself is positive, you can and definitely should use it to gain some more information about the university. For example, you could ask:

  • Do you offer any college visits? And when?
  • What are some ways you assess demonstrated interest?
  • Can I shadow a student in my area of study?

This contact will show admissions officers that you’re passionate, curious, and invested in the university.

Improve your chances of getting into the Ivy League

AdmissionSight is a highly experienced college entrance expert with over a decade of experience helping students perfect their essays to greatly increase their chances of getting into the schools of their dreams, including the Ivy League. If you’d like to learn more about how our services can help you attend the Ivies, feel free to contact us today for a free consultation.



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