5 Ways to Demonstrate Creativity in Your College Apps

By IvyWise on Friday, October 9, 2020

Learn How to Emphasize Creativity and Why it Counts

Students who are eager to stand out on their college applications can’t overlook the importance of demonstrating creativity. Based on a recent Adobe study, 95% of admissions decision-makers believe in the value of creative skills. Despite this, only 20% of the same group report that students demonstrate their creativity “very well” on college applications and nearly 70% of students don’t know where to showcase these skills on their college applications.

If you’re looking to beat these odds and set yourself apart from the pack, keep reading to learn more about some of the top ways to demonstrate creativity in your college applications.

Include an Arts Supplement

If you’re passionate about a creative field and have honed your skills extensively, you might want to consider submitting an arts supplement. Many colleges, including all of the Ivies as well as Duke and Stanford, give applicants the opportunity to submit an optional arts supplement with their application. Depending on the art form you are pursuing, this supplement can take several different forms such as a portfolio of your photography or a video of your most recent dance performances. Be sure to include any awards or recognition you’ve received for your craft, such as a publication in a local newspaper or a title at a music competition. 

Emphasize Creative Extracurriculars 

When it comes to listing your extracurricular activities, don’t forget to include any pursuits that demonstrate creativity. Review your high school experiences holistically and identify any clubs, volunteer work, and internships with a creative angle. Think beyond writing for the school paper or playing in an orchestra (although these are also great examples of creative extracurricular activities!) Whether you volunteer at a local art museum or have previously worked as a graphic design intern, there are a host of different extracurriculars than can demonstrate your creativity. 

Think Outside the Box

In addition to calling attention to related extracurriculars, make sure your essay and short answer questions further demonstrate your creativity. Quirky essay prompts can be a particularly good opportunity to let your creative side shine. Instead of writing what first comes to mind, take some time to brainstorm multiple responses to the question and make sure your answer highlights your personality and what sets you apart.

Be Strategic with Your Recommendation Letters

When it comes time to ask for letters of recommendation, consider asking a teacher who has witnessed your creative skills firsthand. Some good options might include an art or music teacher at your high school or your dance team coach. If you’re not sure who to ask, recall some of the work you’ve produced that you’re most proud of and try to brainstorm a list of mentors you admire specifically for their creative skills. 

Don’t Forget the Essay

Your personal statement is another fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your creativity and give admissions officers a sense of your unique voice. Regardless of the essay prompt you choose, make sure your approach highlights your personal outlook, writing skills, and desire to make your own mark on the world. Brainstorm several different essay options and continue to revise your draft until you have a piece that you are truly proud of and something that embodies what you stand for. 

Whether you’re an aspiring art major or not, demonstrating creative skills can be a significant asset that is likely to help you stand out to college admissions officers. If you’re in the midst of compiling your college applications and unsure about how to highlight your creative side, our team of college admissions experts can help you put your best face forward.

Related Topics
College Application Tips, Extracurricular Activities
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