Every college follows a different criterion for admitting students based on extracurricular activities. While some colleges consider them partly essential in the admission process, others place them right behind the academic grades, test scores, and difficulty level of your coursework in terms of importance. Extracurricular activities positively impact your admission application no matter what college you go to. Having a diverse extracurricular portfolio improves your chances of getting into your dream college. This quick, handy guide will let you through the 7 best extracurricular activities for college applications.
What Makes Extracurricular Activities So Important?
A California State University Sacramento study states that colleges rank extracurricular activities alongside students’ academic performance, such as GPA, test scores, and attendance.
You will have a better opportunity of enrolling if you have participated in extracurriculars in your high school. Students with extracurricular activities are placed high up the ladder because of their extensive exposure that generally benefits the campus community culture.
Your extracurricular portfolio indicates that your abilities extend beyond curricular activities, transcripts, and test scores and that you can be a productive member of society.
What Kind of Extracurricular Activities Matter?
Considering the extensive range of extracurricular activities, you can easily choose the one that matches your interests. Some major niches include:
Academic Activities – These activities extend beyond your classroom and coursework but are linked to the literary genre. Typical examples are debates, quiz bowls, mock trials, pre-college programs, model United Nations, and study abroad programs.
Personality Activities – These activities introduce your hidden talents or personal hobbies apart from your academic performance. These can include; sports, scouting, and anything that makes you stand out from the rest of the applicants.
Community Activities – Volunteering for community service with a local organization at family shelters, rooms in the inn, food banks, and environment protective agencies are considered community activities.
The Best Extracurricular Activities for College Applications
We have picked up some high-ranking extracurricular activities that will make you jump off the page regardless of the college you apply to.
Every college values leadership experience. It demonstrates that you have the quality, desire, and passion for leading and representing others at every forum. If you have a badge of leadership under your belts like a gold award or eagle scout or serve as a representative at the student council, you will have a better chance to enroll in the college you applied at.
If you haven’t explored this side of you, this might be the time to throw your hat in the ring. Apart from helping you build an attractive application form, being a leader can also help you grow personally.
Volunteering in community service is a widely appreciated extracurricular activity appreciated worldwide. This highlights that you are caring and empathizing towards less endowed people of the society.
The best ways you can take part in community service is by helping build shelter homes, serving at community food courts, replenishing food banks in your municipality, and in short, everything that makes the community a better place to live.
Academic clubs offer a way to utilize your genius elsewhere from your regular course material. They include debates, mock trials, model United Nations, and chess clubs. Therefore, having an additional academic certificate along with your college application is the best way to express your mental capacity.
In addition to enhancing your mental capabilities, clubs also allow you to indulge in characteristics like dedication, commitment, and teamwork.
If you plan to join a business college, having a relevant internship in your portfolio can be a valuable addition. Internship experience shows that your interest and expertise lie in the same direction. Similarly, it implies that you can achieve more extraordinary things if provided the guidance and opportunity.
While you are preparing to enter into college, make sure to join a reputable firm or business as an intern. Such experience will put you in a better position to land a seat in your favorite college.
There is more to a part-time job than just pocket money. In terms of college applications, it is almost a mandatory experience as it shows your ability to work in a professional environment and be self-dependent on your expenses.
Not to mention, part-time jobs also indicate your exposure to the world and a practical mindset. So, it is vital to work part-time before entering college, even if your financial means are sufficient.
Artistic talents and creative minds are in great demand in colleges, and we all know that. Skills like drawing, painting, graphic design, theater, music, and fashion design describe your creative abilities in the best way. Such qualities compel college administrations to think you will be a valuable addition to their campus communities.
Sports and Athletics
Sports are the most widely accepted extracurricular activity. Colleges love to have a great sports team representing their campus. Your experience with the school’s or club’s sports team symbolizes your passion for teamwork and ability to work towards a unified goal. Fortunately, some colleges also offer clubs and varsity sports. So if you have the desire to play, you can continue your passion in college as well.
All in all, with these seven best extracurricular activities for college applications, you can build a strong and positive impression in front of the college staff. Make sure you choose the activities strategically and according to your preference and liking.
Should one participate in more than one extracurricular activity?
One can be multidimensional, and there is no harm in that. You can participate in more than one activity at once. But it’s better to master your craft and be good at something you genuinely love. Don’t try to be the master of all trades and jack of none.
Can hobbies be considered as extracurricular activities?
It depends on the hobby itself. A hobby can be an extracurricular activity as long as it induces the desired characteristics in a person. Colleges welcome hobbies like sports or community service that indulge in teamwork, dedication, expertise, and compassion.
Is traveling included as an extracurricular activity?
Traveling for the sake of fun and pleasure is not an extracurricular activity. However, if done for a noble cause like community service or a firm’s project, it can be an extracurricular activity.