What Extracurricular Activities Are Colleges Interested In?
While most colleges place more weight on academic achievement than participation in extracurricular activities, they do prefer applicants who are involved in projects or organizations outside of school. The particular extracurricular activities aren't as important as students' depth of involvement in and commitment to the activities. This article explains how colleges view applicants' extracurricular activities.
According to CollegeBoard.com, colleges view all extracurricular activities as equal, and they do prefer applicants who participate in some activities. Colleges use applicants' extracurricular activities to get an idea of their personality, interests, motivation and commitment. Whichever extracurricular activities high school students choose, they need to have a high level of involvement in them to interest potential colleges.
Seek Leadership Positions in Extracurricular Activities
Colleges are often more interested in the roles that students play in their extracurricular activities than in what the specific activities are. A student might be better off being the president of a club with five members than as a member of a 100-person organization. Taking leadership positions in extracurricular activities demonstrates initiative, commitment and good social skills, all of which are qualities colleges look for.
Choose Extracurricular Activities that Reflect Various Interests
It is advisable for students to take part in extracurricular activities that show they are well-rounded and have a variety of interests. Demonstrating varied interests helps college admissions officers get a better understanding of the applicants' personalities. One caveat to this advice is that students shouldn't participate in activities that don't truly interest them or ones to which they aren't willing to commit.
Balance Extracurricular Activities with Schoolwork
One important factor that students need to remember regarding extracurricular activities is the finite amount of time available each day. Students should never choose extracurricular activities over academic achievement and need to set aside enough time for studying. While impressive extracurricular activities can help academically qualified applicants be admitted into their school of choice, they aren't as valuable to applicants who have lower grades and test scores.