Extracurricular accomplishments are difficult to score properly, since they’re so diverse and varied by school.
For the rest, it’s all qualitative and subjective. That’s why you need to try your best at every club and activity, so your success comes through no matter what you do.
Having worked in College Admissions for 3 years (as well as being a former Ivy Leaguer), I’ve developed several rules on exactly what students need to do with extracurriculars like science and debate to win the college admissions game.
Here’s what you must accomplish:
1) Leadership in roles like student body president or class council representative. It’s hard to argue with accomplishments that are impressive across your entire school. Stanford will be impressed.
2) Involvement in the ECs where your high school is strong. Most College Admissions Committees know what each school is good at (for instance, Academic Decathlon) – participating in your high school’s best areas will help your admissions chances at Yale
3) Anything that leads to national or international awards and recognition – that’s the level you must reach these days to get into the Ivy Leagues
As I share in Hopeless To Harvard, half of your success is what you accomplish in high school. The other half is how well you present it in the college admissions application.
Describing the results and effect of your leadership and extracurricular activities. Don’t just talk about the steps you took and the process – talk about why it was important to you and what the positive impact for your school was
Follow the secret steps above, and you’ll be opening an admissions packet from your dream school in no time!
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