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Articles / Applying to College / Demonstrating Interest at Georgetown

June 13, 2015

Demonstrating Interest at Georgetown

Question: Hello and thanks. My son recently went on a scheduled tour of Georgetown University so he is on record as 'going on a tour.' Would it also be helpful to visit the admissions office to show his high interest and to tell them he would apply early action?

He is highly interested in sailing for the college and has reached out to the sailing coach whom he will meet in MA this summer. Would it behoove us to also visit admissions or would that be too much?


We do hear a lot these days about the importance of “demonstrating interest," and sometimes the admission folks who claim that showing love is not at all a factor in their institution's admission verdicts are not being fully honest. But, don't worry … your son is doing fine. An on-the-radar campus tour plus a meeting (and related correspondence) with the sailing coach are more than enough to prove that Georgetown is not just a passing fancy or a last-minute add-on.

In addition, your son should try to attend any Georgetown programs that are being held close to home. He should also make contact with the regional rep who covers applicants from his high school. First, he can check out this link to the “Georgetown in Your Area" schedule.https://uadmissions.georgetown.edu/visiting/your-area . Then, he can write to the regional rep to alert him or her to the fact that he is looking forward to attending a listed event or that, unfortunately, he cannot attend due to [fill in a rock-solid excuse here!] If the online schedule hasn't been updated (which is the case right now), your son should ask the rep about events that have been tentatively planned but not yet posted.

Your son can wait until the end of the summer to do this, because then he can also provide a brief synopsis of his meeting with the coach. This letter is also a good time for your son to ask questions, if appropriate. “Inappropriate" questions would include those that your son can find answered elsewhere (“What are the median SAT scores?"); those that require inordinate time and effort for the admission official to research (“Can you put me in touch with a student who joined the sailing team but then found it was too much work to continue because of the demands of pre-med requirements and the debate team?"); or that are clearly contrived to bolster the candidate's image (“Would it be unrealistic for me to expect to do 40 hours of community service every week and still serve as an admissions-office tour guide?").

Finally, you asked if a visit to the admission office would be “too much." It's not clear to me what your son expects to do there. If he has not attended an information session, he might find it worthwhile. But admission officers usually don't appreciate drop-in visits from families with questions nor does your son need to schedule an appointment to tell his admission rep in person that he's eager to apply Early Action. (A few admission officers would appreciate your son's enthusiasm, but many would view it as a time-consuming, suck-up move.) So if the purpose of the visit would be primarily to “demonstrate interest," then your son will have that covered without heading to the admission office.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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