Do I have to attend college events to show interest?

By Maxine Seya

A college my daughter is interested in is hosting a series of in-person events in our area. We can’t make them all due to other commitments. Will her absence make her look like a bad candidate?

– Paulette, mom of a high school junior Should I attend college events to show interest?

We hear admissions officers, parents, and students themselves talk about how important it is to respond actively and quickly to colleges when they reach out.

They’re tracking how many times you’ve visited their website, opened their emails, clicked their links, attended in-person events, and spoken to recruiters. The more you’ve engaged, the more interest you demonstrate, the likelier it is that you get admitted.

And if you miss a college fair in your town, you’re screwed.


Not always.

A Carnegie Mellon admissions director and Tufts admissions insider shared their insights on this.

In fact, Carnegie Mellon stopped tracking demonstrated interest simply because it was unfair.

Here’s what admissions director Deborah Foell-McDowell told us about that:

It used to be, for instance, when I pulled up a student’s application, I would see how many times they interacted with us. I don’t see that anymore…

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Maxine Seya
Maxine Seya is a former investigative journalist, college consultant, and admissions interviewer. She studied at Peking University (Beijing, China) and Université Paul-Valéry (Montpellier, France) and investigated for CNN and Huffington Post before graduating from Northwestern University. She founded SocratesPost to share the human stories behind the admission gates and offer parents clarity as they help their teens with college.