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How important of extracurriculars for colleges?

I don't have many, at most 4 or 5. Does have a big impact on my acceptance chances?

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Charlie’s Answer

You are on the right track because extracurriculars can matter and be a differentiator for you over someone else.

This is an area where you can show how you did more than just get good grades or get a high ACT/SAT score.

Here are some things to consider.
* If you have a chance to be a leader in any of the 4/5 activities, that looks very good.
* If you participate for 3 or 4 years that looks good too
* Any awards you receive help (example: Academic All-State, Swimmer of the Year)
* Any competitions you do well in (example: 2nd place)FBLA regional competition)
* If there is national recognition - Apply for it. (example: USA Water Polo offers academic All-American for 3.7 or better GPA)
* Essays - There may be an opportunity to write your essay based on your participation in the club (example: show you you led the club or how you worked hard to make the team, etc.

Hope this helps

Good Luck.

Charlie
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Megan’s Answer

Hi Rhyian,

Great question! It sounds like you are doing good with having 4/5 involvements. It depends on the college and how competitive it is. Think of it this way: if you are applying to college and competing with a bunch of other students who have the same GPA and same test score as you, what makes you stand out from them?

Having extracurriculars can help you stand out and show you are more than your GPA/test scores. It also shows that you would be involved on a college campus.

It is always a good idea to get involved and find more ways to stand out in your college application.


I hope that helps!
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T.J.’s Answer

Hello Rhyian!

Colleges place value on extracurricular. However, the amount of weight a school places on extracurriculars varies between institutions.

Generally, what you add should make sense to the overall application.
You want the college admission readers to view you in a specific way - preferably favorably and as "ah, I can see the student doing great things."

So, let's say your goal is to take a couple of classes in Business (Using a random major for this example).
If your four extracurriculars showcase Business related soft skills:

- Club One: leadership
- Club Two: empathy and problem solving
- Club Three: teamwork
- Club Four: personal growth and self-awareness

Then, you can add these things, and write about the skills you learned and how you plan to use them at your university.

While your major is probably not business....
The point is to think about what you gained from those 4-5 experiences in terms of skills and translate them to your application(s).

You don't need to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. However, you should paint a picture of what you want to do.

- Not directly after college.
- Not 10 years from now.
- Not 40 years from now.

Overall, show them the rough ideas of what you want to do in college. Based on what your wants/goals are in this stage of your life, right now. :D

Sending you good luck with your college applications! :)
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Alyssa’s Answer

Universities love to see applicants who are truly dedicated to their chosen extracurricular activities. Demonstrating this commitment can be as simple as showing how long you've been involved in a particular activity. The more time you've spent on an activity, the better it will appear on your application.

To make sure your most dedicated pursuits stand out, arrange your activities in order of duration. Start with the activities you've been involved in the longest, and end with those you've spent the least time on. This will guide the application reviewer's focus towards the most significant items. If you leave the oldest and perhaps most impactful activities for last, there's a chance they might be overlooked.

Lastly, think about leaving out very short-term extracurricular activities from your application. Including clubs you've only been a part of for a few weeks could take up precious space. Plus, it might give the impression that you don't take club participation seriously or that you're easily distracted. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as important one-off events like conferences, competitions or fundraisers.
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