Some colleges and universities will try to determine interest based on the number of contacts they've had with a student via visits, emails, and online activity. The benefit of using demonstrated interest in an admission process is that it can lead to a higher yield rate. A school's yield rate is the percentage of admitted applicants who accept their offers of admission. If you're trying to "wag the dog" when it comes to your yield rate, using demonstrated interest in the application review process can help.
UVa does not use demonstrated interest during the early action or regular decision review processes. We know people don't believe us when we say this. They come to our office dressed to the nines after already submitting an application. They come to our college fair tables without any questions, but want to shake our hands and say their names. They send us cute packages.
The way I see it, your application is how you demonstrate your interest. After all, submitting a Common App takes more than the few clicks some people say it does. Those who can afford to travel to Charlottesville to visit us do not get an advantage on our side of the process. We obviously think a visit is really important for your side of the process. Soon, you'll have to decide which school you'll be joining as a student and a visit can really help with that.
Do I have to wear a tie?