How do Colleges Weigh Extracurricular Activities?

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Extracurricular activities are some of the most important things for colleges when it comes to accepting students. Find out how Colleges weigh extracurricular activities.

When it comes to starting considering the requirements to enter college, the beginning of a long and important process has arrived for high school students. Students start to worry about what they should do to make sure they enter college, and one of the aspects that worries them the most is standing out. 

Having high grades is very important, but if that is everything students have to offer, that might not be enough for admissions officers. They have left many students with impressive grades out because they didn’t stand out from many other students. 

How can you stand out? If high school students are really committed to entering college, they should do extracurricular activities. And not just any extracurricular activities, but meaningful ones. If you are wondering “what extracurricular activities?”, then you are in the right place. 

How to Stand Out in the College Application Process

  • Quality over quantity: There’s a huge amount of students who decide to do as many extracurricular activities as they can because they think that would impress college admissions officers. However, it’s not about quantity, it’s all about quality. 

Admissions officers don’t expect all students to have 10 activities in which they have been passionately involved for a long period of time, as it is impossible to juggle studying and performing so many extracurricular activities. It is not necessary to have a list of 10 activities in your application, with some meaningful ones you’ll certainly distinguish yourself from the rest. 

  • Serious commitment: In addition to the quality of activities, what also matters is not only participating in the activities, but showing commitment with them, meaning that admissions officers focus on accomplishments and academic credentials in addition to participation. 

What would be some accomplishments related to extracurriculars that will allow students to stand out? According to college admissions experts, winning awards in competitions, getting elected in leadership positions, performing research or community service, producing art, and many others is what will set students apart.

  • Examples of accomplishments
    • Working on an impressive personal project independently from high school really impresses colleges as it shows commitment to a successful solo endeavor, conveys initiative, self-discipline and originality. 
    • Something else that can really help you stand out from the crowd is showing talent in at least an extracurricular activity

In a nutshell, what really matters when trying to figure out which extracurricular activities you should do is quality over quantity. This way, you will make sure you impress college admissions officers and have a safe spot at college. 

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