A recent Rochester Democrat & Chronicle article examines how colleges and universities are increasingly recognizing the importance of prospective students’ “demonstrated interest” during the college admissions process. In some cases, schools are granting “on-the-spot admission” to those prospects who show up in-person for high school visits and college fairs. “If all things are equal between two applicants, and one student visited and another didn’t, the admissions committee leans toward the student who demonstrated interest,” said Stacy Ledermann, Director of Freshman Admissions at St. John Fisher College.
As demonstrated interest becomes more of a factor in college admissions, the more important it is to ensure that this interest is captured during the college selection process. According to Jonathan Burdick, Vice Provost for enrollment initiatives at University of Rochester, “We track each interaction a student initiates with us, including clicking email links, calling the admissions office, participating in online chats and even corresponding with the university via social media.”
One specific form of demonstrated interest that can be easy to capture is a website visit. For an institution that is implementing a novel approach such as on-the-spot admissions at a college fair, a great way to promote and enhance that approach would be to retarget website visitors with advertisements that invite prospects to an upcoming fair during the weeks leading up to it. A prospective student who has visited a college website, clicked on an ad promoting a college fair, and then showed up for the event has just demonstrated a significant amount of interest!