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On my college application, can I list things I accomplished prior to high school?

I am going to apply for colleges by the end of the year. I have a lot of things I can talk about prior to high school because I was an immigrant and I did a lot back then in another country. I hope I can put those on my college application so then the people can understand me more.
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Describe what makes you unique regardless of whether it happened yesterday or ten years ago. Iman Morisset

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6 answers


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Luke’s Answer

Hi Joy,


If there are aspects of your life that are shaped from experiences you had when you were younger, those are definitely valid things to discuss! Be mindful, however, that colleges also expect to obtain knowledge of who you currently are and specifically what you are currently involved in. Having a balance of discussing things that you experienced when you were younger and things you're involved in today will hopefully give colleges a good idea of who you might be in the future. At the end of the day, colleges attempt to bring students that will have success in the future (in the community, in classes, within programs and groups, etc), so anything you can provide to express who you are will be advantageous in your application.

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Amit’s Answer

Hi Joy,


You are certainly allowed to discuss events prior to high school on your college application. I personally talked about experiences prior to high school in my college applications. Just make sure that you can tie whatever events you talk about back to the essay prompt. Important experiences that are life-changing, or helped shape who you are today, are great to talk about; colleges want to know that you are more than just a student who focuses on studies. I am not sure what types of actions/volunteer events that you performed, but it will show character and that you are willing to go the extra mile.

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Don’s Answer

I would absolutely include if it impacted your development or influenced additional engagement but especially if it provided you with useful skills that you still use. For example, if in middle school, you participated in some type of anti-bullying training or were a peer mediator and learned valuable skills towards deescalating heated situations , those types of engagements should absolutely be included.

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Nicole’s Answer

Certainly you can include activities and achievements prior to your high school career on your college applications! If these activities and achievements were impactful and taught you valuable skills which will help you in your college career, they are very worthy of inclusion. If you find that when you are filling out the application forms and there is no viable place to list these activities and achievements, you may be able to find a way to include them in your essay, which many colleges still require to be considered for admission.
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Rachel’s Answer

Absolutely you should include any and all accomplishments in your life when applying for college.
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Richard’s Answer

Most applications have specific places to post activities and in those sections it would not be recommended to post things you did before high school.

However if you want to mention something that had a great impact on you before high school, you may be able to include it on your essays.
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