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What can I do in my spare time to help me stand out from my peers in the college admissions process?

This questions was asked by a young lady who hopes to be attending college in the fall of 2017. How can we prepare her for the college application process? #sports #college-admissions #college-bound #volunteering #college-advice #extracurriculars #volunteer

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Lisa’s Answer

I think diversity is a great approach, it's not just about grades. So being active in community service, sports, the arts, working, and being able to express those things you're passionate about both in writing and in an interview scenario.

There is a lot of negativity being publicized about happenings on college campuses these days. Anything you can do to present yourself in a positive fashion can only help. Watch what you put out there on social media ... I always tell my kids, if you can't tell your mother or your priest don't post it online or in an email, because you never know where it might end up. Mistakes made on social media can minimize college and career opportunities. It's tough growing up in a world where you can be recorded at any point in time, and that can land on the internet. We all learn by making mistakes, so think twice and choose the best path forward.

Thank you, Lisa! Student Voices by CV ..

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Michael’s Answer

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I have worked in my school's student recruitment office and I feel very confident that almost every college counselor reviews students applications with this question in mind: "What will this student do to make this school a better place"?

Grades are important, but statistically there will be many student applicants with the same average grade as you. This means that your grade should only be used as a preliminary filter. In other words, a counselor wouldn't give time of day to an applicant with a 65 average.

Now we know what role the number grade plays, it's crucial to volunteer and engage in activities that you can list on your application. Sports show discipline and active life style. Club's like Boy Scouts instill confidence in the good nature of the individual. Volunteering is a tremendous plus as it shows that a potential student will play an active role in developing the college and neighboring community.

True story: I applied to my company three times. The first two times I was not a good fit, but the third interview I only talked about my volunteer experience and made such an impression I got the job.

Robots get perfect gdades, but humans help each other develop and grow!

You're so right. Thank you, Michael! Student Voices by CV ..

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Nora’s Answer

If you can find some unique activities to do, this will help you in the college admissions process. I think the more genuine and different you can seem from the other applicants, the better chance you will have to catch an admission directors eye. I know that so much of today's college admissions is about playing the game and using college admissions professionals to help applicants mold their applications into something that will get students into college. If you can somehow set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants, this will go a long way.

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Jenn Wilcox’s Answer

Wonderful question. I've recently been listening to a podcast that I think offers some great insight on this topic: Getting In (http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/getting_in/2015/09/getting_in_a_podcast_about_applying_to_college.html)

Showing how the student will be a dynamic part of the community is really helpful -- what parts of his or her story / voice are unique and would make the school a better place for other students? I would focus on those elements.

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Gina’s Answer

One great way to stand out is to use your intelligence and skills to help make your community and the world a better place through volunteering. Volunteering is a great way for you to show your leadership and problem solving skills in the real world. Before you choose where to volunteer, look within yourself and think about an area where you could stenghten you skills, knowledge and understanding. Then go out and find a nonprofit organization in your community that is doing work you are interested in or they are tackling an issue you are passionate about. Once there, work with the organization to develop a project or plan to help them solve an issue or better serve their clients. Then, go for it AND document it...what you did, what you learned and how you felt when you helped others. The more creative and more innovative, the better! Just let you heart, your passion and you talents shine through so when you are writing about your experience on your college applications, the admissions officers will see your GREATNESS and INTELLIGENCE and put you at the top of the list!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!