Colleges Love To Be Loved
America’s elite colleges love to be loved. Heck, who doesn’t love to be loved? But our nation’s most prestigious schools even have a name for it: it’s called Demonstrated Interest. You see, these schools seek to admit students who they believe will actually choose to matriculate. So, yes, mindful of their annual yield, they’ll deny a student with perfect grades, perfect scores, and an otherwise stellar application if they don’t believe the student will come in the fall. And while some of our nation’s elite colleges will choose to deny the fact that they measure Demonstrated Interest (why hello there, Emory University, the school that invented Demonstrated Interest), some are more forthright about it.
Let’s take the University of Pennsylvania as a case example. In a recent piece for Penn Today by Lauren Hertzler entitled “Talking admissions with Whitney Soule,” UPenn’s admissions chief says, “There are about 55,000 undergraduate applications, and we have an undergraduate class of 2,400. So, the most direct answer is we need to read them all and select applicants that we think are a great match for Penn. When I say ‘match’ I mean the students have a good understanding of Penn and what they might want to do when they get here, and that we understand those interests and how they might align with the Penn community.”
Yes, Dean Soule is referring to Demonstrated Interest. In fact, both supplemental essays on the UPenn supplement are indeed measuring an applicant’s Demonstrated Interest — or their fit for the school. Both questions are versions of Why College essays, one that focuses more on academics while another that focuses more on extracurriculars. The first essay is 400 words. The second essay is 250 words. So does UPenn care about whether a student loves the school? You bet they do!
Remember when Emory tried to claim they didn’t measure Demonstrated Interest? That was cute!
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