Category: Extracurricular Activities
Most students know that they need high GPAs to be competitive in the college admissions process, but what about extracurricular activities? Although applicants often understand that they should have passions and hobbies, many are a little less clear about what kind of pursuits to prioritize.
There’s no denying that extracurricular activities are important: 81% of US universities assign some level of significance to a student’s after-school endeavors when it comes to making admissions decisions. Colleges want to learn about their applicants holistically, including the causes they are passionate about and what they enjoy doing in their free time.
Although many students are eager to give back and make an impact, volunteering in 2020 poses some significant challenges. With many outreach programs on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some students may be wondering how they can help their community without leaving home.
By Carrie, IvyWise Master Tutor
When most students think of tutoring, academic support and test preparation are likely the first two things to come to mind. While both are undoubtedly important components of tutoring, students also have the opportunity to receive guidance on independent projects through mentorship.
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.
Join Our Facebook Live Webinars April 15 & 17 to Learn More About How To Prep for College Admissions Process This Fall
Tune in to IvyWise Live on our Facebook page next week, where College Admissions Experts Christine, Scott, Nat, Zach, and Rachel will discuss how students can prepare for the college admissions process this fall and answer your most pressing college prep questions.
How to Pick the Right Volunteer Opportunities for Your Goals
Many students add community service to their high school to-do list but struggle to pinpoint where to start. Whether it’s volunteering at a soup kitchen, frequenting a senior citizen center, or coaching youth soccer, there are a variety of different ways for students to make an impact.
Simple Things Students Can Do to Go Green This Year
Everyone should do their part to protect the planet, and for some students “going green” can also be a valuable opportunity to explore a pressing cause that has become a major focus in the US lately. Recent reports have found that the Earth is warming much faster than previously thought – raising concerns among teens around the globe. A recent survey found that a majority of US teens are worried about climate change and 1 in 4 have participated in some form of activism on the topic of the Earth’s climate.
Learn What to Spotlight on Your College Activity List
When it comes to compiling activity lists for college applications, many students have a tendency to aim for quantity over quality. In reality, it’s far more important for applicants to focus in on pursuits that are truly meaningful to them, even if that means creating a more streamlined list.
Make a Difference in Your Community By Volunteering This Summer
Volunteer work can be a valuable opportunity for high school students to gain hands-on skills, expand their horizons, and make an impact. Between test prep and summer activities, it may feel challenging to find time in your summer schedule for community service, but most students would agree that it’s well worth the effort.
Tune In to These Radio Shows While Traveling for College Tours
Podcasts can be a great way to spice up your commute to school or pass the time while traveling for college tours. In addition to their entertainment value, many of these popular radio shows are filled with interesting facts and important discussions.
After School Jobs Can Help Students Expand Their Horizons and Build Their Skill Set
Whether it’s bussing tables at a local restaurant or babysitting your neighbor’s kids, after school jobs are an excellent opportunity for students to gain real-life experience while getting a head start on savings.
Choose Volunteer Opportunities That Are Meaningful to You
Not only does community service provide you with the opportunity to give back, it may boost your admissions odds. According to a 2018 study by IESD for x2VOL, 58% of admissions officers agree that community service has a positive impact on a prospective student’s application.
Activities Can Help Students Discover Their Interests and Stand Out When Applying to College
If you think grades and standardized test scores are the only factors that matter to college admissions officers, it is time to think again. While these types of quantitative measures are certainly important, there are a variety of other components that will carry considerable weight on your college applications, including how you spend your time on the weekends and after school.
Don’t “Resume Pad” In Order to Look More Appealing to Admissions Officers
Many college-bound students struggle with what or how much to put on their college application activity list. Often, many students will add a number of extra activities in order to make it look like they’ve done a lot more initiatives in high school, but this resume padding can actually hurt more than it helps.
Colleges Want to See Students Actively Pursuing What Truly Interests Them – Not What They Think College Want to See
While grades and test scores are important college application elements that are considered in the admissions process, they are far from the only factors that influence college admissions decisions. In addition to academic excellence, universities are looking for students with demonstrated interests and passions – or specialists. College admissions offices want to admit students who will make an impact on campus by continuing to pursues those passions, but how can you know what truly interests you?
There Are Many Ways That STEM Students Can Explore Their Interests Outside of the Classroom
Extracurricular activities are a great way for students to explore their interests, develop a specialty, and eventually stand out when it comes time to apply to college. For STEM students, finding extracurricular initiatives that match their interests can sometimes be difficult, but there are actually a lot of opportunities out there that allow STEM students to get involved and make an impact.
Are You Participating In Meaningful Extracurricular Activities?
Colleges want to see what students are doing outside of the classroom, so high school students should seek out extracurricular opportunities that they’re passionate about and match their interests. For high school freshmen and sophomores, it can be hard to figure out exactly what their interests are and the activities that best suit those passions. Luckily, there are a number of resources for high school freshmen and sophomores to help them identify their core interests and find activities that support them.
We talk a lot about what colleges and universities are looking for when evaluating applications. Grades, courses, and test scores are very important, but so are the less quantifiable elements, like activities and essays. One thing many students overlook when preparing for the admissions process is community service. Just like with other extracurricular activities, colleges want to see students participating in impactful volunteer opportunities – finding a way to give back and enhance their local community. So how do students find the right community service activities for them?