Admission News

Your College Application: Extracurricular Activities

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Every college application will ask you to enumerate your high school extracurricular activities. Of course! You are a person beyond the classroom. But, be sure you understand what extracurricular activities are and how broad-ranging they can be so you don’t sell yourself short.

Never think of extracurricular activities as school-sponsored only! They go beyond school to include family activities, community activities, even hobbies.

• Think of your church. Teaching Sunday school, missionary work, choir, helping the elderly, selling your crafts are the church fair are some things you should include on your application.

• Arts can go beyond school, too. They may include journal writing, blogging, photography, knitting, learning to sew, or playing in a band/quartet. They should be noted on your application.

• Clubs do not only include those which are typical in high school like key club or the National Honor Society. Other clubs you could reference on your college application are mock trials, belonging to role playing groups, or taking part in a minority community group.

• Family activities you should elaborate are caring for grandparents, a sick parent, younger children or doing chores, especially for two working parents, even cooking.

• You may not be on the Student Council, but you can let colleges know you have governance experience if you helped plan the senior prom, led a community group, joined ROTC, or worked on the yearbook staff.

• You may want to highlight volunteer work like working at the local animal shelter, reading to nursing home patients, doing hospital volunteer jobs, or working at the fire department.

• Community service includes fund raising, mentoring, tutoring, doing road clean up, or recycling.

• Hobbies you might want to have on your application might be building models, collecting, trail grooming, fishing, or traveling.

Think broadly and be sure to include ALL your activities. If you have extracurricular activities beyond school, it helps and further shows you are both well-rounded and interested beyond your immediate world.

Although paid employment does not count as an extracurricular, it can substitute for extracaurricular activities as it brings its own set of skills and experience to bear, all of which colleges are interested in when they evaluate your application.