Colleges “score” students on a lot more than ACT or SAT exam scores and GPA. They often also take into account a campus and/or college fair visit, the time you spend on their website or talking to a regional rep, submitting early action, and more. The name for all this activity is “Demonstrated Interest.”

For many schools, Demonstrated Interest ranks right below their college essay in importance. For these schools, they consider Demonstrated Interest a “Very Important” or “Important” consideration in deciding to send acceptance letters. (The Ivy’s don’t track DI, but it’s still a great idea to interview, visit the campus, and learn about each school you’re applying to, just make sure you’re spending your time wisely.)

To find out if the schools you’re interested in do pay attention to Demonstrated Interest, Google the school name and the words “Common Data Set” and scroll down to find a list of factors that a particular school takes into account. Yes, colleges actually publish this info!

If your primary schools don’t track DI, these steps aren’t quite as important, though many of them will really help you decide if a particular college is right for you or not.

And, if your favorites track DI, then look no further! Here’s 10 tips, straight from Yoda, on how to Demonstrate Interest efficiently and effectively.