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Demonstrated Interest is one of those weird phrases that you’ll probably never hear for the first 17 years of your life—and then you can’t get away from it once you start applying to colleges! In this post, we want to share with you what exactly Demonstrated Interest is and how TCU uses it.

What is Demonstrated Interest?
Demonstrated Interest is basically the catch-all for everything you’ve done to express interest in a school that they can see. Some of the most common methods of showing a university your interest can include visiting the school, attending a college fair or high school visit, contacting your admission counselor, reading emails sent your way or attending a virtual session.

Many times, students will research institutions they’re interested in via websites, talking to alums, or going on unofficial visits. These are great, but they don’t count as Demonstrated Interest unless you actually demonstrate that research to us. If you find yourself on our website or walking through campus on a Saturday before a football game, reach out and let us know! If you don’t tell us, we won’t be aware of what you’re up to!

How does TCU use Demonstrated Interest in the application process?
The most important thing to know about Demonstrated Interest is that it can only help and can never hurt your application. Especially if a student is borderline between two decisions, Demonstrated Interest can be a great way to give that application a little boost. We value our sense of community and school spirit so much and we really want to have room for those students who really, really want to be here. If a student is right on the line but has visited campus before, done a ton of research and contacted their admission counselor, we’re much more likely to admit.

That said, please remember that Demonstrated Interest (or a lack thereof) will never hurt your application. Every year, TCU admits tons of students who have never toured campus or reached out to us. Sometimes students simply aren’t interested in TCU until late in the process, while other times students might not have the resources to visit us or simply don’t know it’s an option. We won’t penalize students for missing any sort of even or program we have!

Can I increase my Demonstrated Interest?
Always! The great thing about Demonstrated Interest is that we track most of it for you. Whenever you email your counselor, attend a program, or go on a tour, our system automatically tracks that. We can even see when you click on all of those emails we’re constantly sending out!

Because of this, you only need to let us know about any new Demonstrated Interest if you’re doing something unofficial, like walking around campus or cruising the website. In that case, you can add these things to your application or  send us an email and we can add it for you.

Should I stress about my Demonstrated Interest?
Definitely not. Again, it’s a relatively small part of the application and one that cannot hurt you at all. We encourage you to take your college search seriously, but to also enjoy being a high school senior and not worry too much about your Demonstrated Interest at different schools. Do tour schools, build a relationship with your counselors and do your own online research. That said, don’t do things just because you think it’s what colleges want to see. If you’ve already toured campus, for example, don’t feel like you absolutely must come back for a Monday at TCU or an online admission event. We’re always happy to have you, but you shouldn’t feel obligated! 
Dalton Goodier is a Senior Admission Counselor at TCU. He didn’t start drinking coffee until working in admissions.