Extracurricular Activities 

The importance of extracurriculars

Every student applying to college in the entire country will have a GPA, usually on the 1.0 to 4.0 scale. Every student in the entire country applying to college will have an SAT score somewhere between 600 and 2400 or an ACT score between 1 and 36. But not every student does the same thing on a Tuesday afternoon. Not every student had the same experience last summer. Not every student makes the same choices with his or her free time.

Whether you are applying to a community college or a fancy private school, the extracurricular section of the application is the only section (aside from the essay) that allows you to be you. Admissions officers know that people do things just because it might look good on an application. Don’t do that! Admissions officers want quality over quantity. Colleges are looking for interesting students. To a large extent, a college’s opinion of how interesting you are will be determined by what you do when you’re not in class. Your extracurricular activities can play a big part in distinguishing you from other applicants.

Which activities are best?

The truth is, no one can tell you which activities look best on a college application. The point is to be passionate about whatever activities you are involved in, and to let that passion shine through on your college application. To come up with a laundry-list of must-have activities is to miss the whole point. Admissions officers can see right through attempts. If you have been doing something every day since you were eight, and it‘s your favorite thing in the world to do, that’s what they want to hear about!

Think about all the extracurricular activities you are involved in. Rate your level of commitment and passion on a scale from 1-10. If you rated anything less than a 10, then you need to reevaluate your reasons for being involved! Colleges would prefer that you make a meaningful commitment to a few activities than a lukewarm commitment to a dozen.

Here are some extracurricular activities that students get involved with. Figure out which one fits your passion and get involved today!

  • Student Newspaper
  • Student Government
  • Any Leadership Positions
  • Choir or Orchestra
  • Varsity Sports
  • Community Service/Volunteer Work
  • Eagle Scouts
  • All-State Anything
  • Math Club
  • After-School Jobs