It’s not just what you do inside the classroom that interests college admissions folk.  Because they know that a diverse student body creates a vibrant community, colleges are looking to recruit a class of unique individuals—people who have outside interests and pursue them with zeal.

 

By the time they finish high school, college-bound students should have honed in on specific areas of interest and shown increasing levels of involvement in and commitment to them.  During the college admissions process, this is one of the few ways to stand out from the crowd and show schools the one-of-a-kind individual that you are.

 

Here are a few tips for building your resume of extracurriculars:

 

  • Follow your passion.  Do what you enjoy rather than what you think will look impressive on your college applications. 
     

  • Colleges are looking for depth rather than breadth when it comes to extracurricular activities.  So pick fewer activities and commit deeply to them.
     

  • Colleges value leadership skills in prospective students.  When you stay with an activity for a long period of time, you will have a greater chance of earning a leadership role.  Capitalize on those opportunities.
     

  • In addition to sports and the arts, participation in school clubs, work experience, travel, volunteer work, and internships are all of interest to colleges.
     

  • Be clear about what you have gained from participating in any given activity. Skills in time-management?  Teamwork?  Project management?
     

  • Starting in 9th grade, keep track of your extracurricular activities, your frequency of participation, and any titles, awards, or achievements associated with them.  When filling out your application, you’ll be glad to have this list by your side.

 

 

 

Our Take

Dive Deeply into Extracurriculars

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