Category: Extracurricular Activities
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?
Extracurricular activities are a portion of your applicant profile that admissions officers are always curious to learn about. Getting involved in clubs and projects, both inside and outside of school, allows students to explore and develop interests that they may want to pursue in college and beyond.
It’s no secret that science, technology, engineering, and math jobs are the way of the future. STEM jobs are expected to grow almost 2 times as fast as other occupations, yet some people believe that it has become harder to foster an interest in STEM in high school students today.
When discussing the different elements of a college application, we often bring up the significance of the “brag sheet.” At IvyWise, we can’t stress enough how important a complete and comprehensive brag sheet is to the admissions process. Your brag sheet lists all of your extracurriculars, employment, summer experiences, honors, awards, interests, hobbies, and, very notably, community service.
When it comes to your college applications, you will likely need to submit a resume or activity list. Colleges are not admitting facts and figures, they want living, breathing human beings with likes and dislikes, passions and aversions. What Dr. Kat calls your “soft factors,” your essays, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular involvement, will tell an admissions committee what kind of person you are. From the quality and duration of your participation in certain activities, a college admissions officer will gain a more in-depth understanding of your personality and character.
When it comes to the college admissions process, it is imperative to show how you have developed your interests throughout your time in high school. College admissions committees want to see how you have made an impact in clubs and activities during the school year, but also during the summer. While it may be tempting to sit around all summer working on your tan, boards of admissions specifically look to see that you have remained productive during your time away from school. Summer presents many opportunities for students to further develop their interests and goals —travel to a foreign country, continue training in your favorite sport, make up a class or gain extra credits in summer school, start a business, get an internship, or join a community service organization.
Though summer may seem far away, the applications for many popular programs are due soon. Some of these applications can be as complex as a college application, requiring essays, letters of recommendation, and even test scores, so you will need to get started soon! Dr. Kat and the team of counselors at IvyWise, have come up with the following