On September 17, Expert Admissions co-hosted a webinar entitled, “Creating Your Roadmap to Success: Extracurriculars + College Prep During Covid.” The webinar provided tips for high school students and their parents regarding extracurricular activities and the college application process.
Here are the highlights:
- After an application makes it beyond the initial academic review, college admissions officers still have thousands of applications to read. There are lots of things they take into consideration when making decisions, including a student’s extracurricular activities.
- Though we are still living, studying, and going to school in a pandemic, colleges care about how students are engaged outside of their classes.
- Colleges gave students a pass on activities last spring, as they should have, but now they expect students to have figured out some ways to be involved and productive.
- Students should find an activity (ideally more than one) that they truly enjoy doing.
- There is no right or wrong activity! Colleges want and need a range of students to contribute to their community.
- Community service can be widely defined. Do you write for your school’s newspaper? That’s serving your community. Do you act in the school musical? That’s building culture in your community. Of course, volunteering somewhere is also serving your community– but don’t think that’s the only way to define “community service.”
- What actually “looks good” to colleges is actively engaging in activities. Don’t just participate!
- Students shouldn’t be overly concerned with titles. If you’re President of a club but you don’t actually do anything new or exciting in that role, then it’s just a title. Better to be an engaged member than a lame-duck president!
- If a student picks an activity they truly like, they often take that activity farther and do more with it.
- The same guidelines apply to a student’s college search: the search should be guided by what’s right for them.
- It’s OK to want to feel proud about where you go to college. But don’t pick a school for the wrong reasons. Choose a place where you’ll thrive personally, academically, and socially.
- The more a student knows about the schools on their college list, the more impactful their essays and applications will be.
- Students actually have an extraordinary amount of power and control in the college application process. It requires hard work and engagement but remember that a solid profile and a well-researched college search yields a better college list and, ultimately, better results!
- Students and parents: you don’t have to “white-knuckle” the process! Students should be empowered to choose the extracurricular activities and colleges that are right for them. If they do, by the time they get to the application process it will be much easier to share a compelling, authentic story.
For support on how to reduce stress around the admissions process, essay writing, or testing advice, please reach out to Expert Admissions for more information.