When it comes to applying for colleges, people typically focus on two main sections of their applications – grades and extracurriculars. Not everyone has exceptional grades, but he or she may be heavily involved in the community. Others may not have a single club on their application, but have perfect test scores. Is it more important to have perfect grades or to have multiple clubs and activities on your college applications?
Clubs and Sports
By joining different clubs and sports at your school, you are able to show colleges your unique interests. These activities are good for showing off who you are as a person and what you will specifically bring to the college’s campus. By having multiple extracurriculars, you can show colleges that you are balanced and well-rounded. If you have been a part of a certain activity for multiple years or seasons, you demonstrate that you are dedicated. On the other hand, if you joined a multiplicity of clubs for a short time, you show that you are willing to try new things and are a diverse individual . Extracurriculars are a great way to demonstrate how you will be involved with your college’s community.
Work experience, whether it be at a pizza place or at a technology start up, is another option to “boost your resume” if you do not enjoy the clubs offered at your school. Being able to prove to colleges that you were able to keep up academic performance while working as a high school student is impressive to say the least. When you work, there is much more commitment compared to school activities that may be more willing conform to your academic schedule. Therefore, colleges find it impressive when a high school student is able to have a job while keeping up academic performance.
GPA, Standardized Tests, and AP Classes
Students with a high GPA and multiple AP classes have an obvious edge when it comes to applying to colleges. It is important to show colleges that you are able to succeed in a classroom setting. However, it is not necessary for all colleges that you make perfect scores in class or on standardized tests. By taking and succeeding in more advanced classes like AP classes, you demonstrate that you are ready and willing to take on a heavier workload. This is important because colleges want students who are willing to work hard to do well at their school.
Extracurriculars, grades, and work experience show colleges who you are. It is important to use this to your advantage. If you lack in one category, then accentuate that quality of your application. When choosing activities you want to participate in, choose the ones that represent you and your interests. Academically, you want to take classes that will challenge you, but will also allow you to do well. Colleges aren’t looking for robots that spend their free time only studying. They’re also not looking for someone who won’t try in their classes. Overall, you want to have a well-balanced, well-rounded life. This will show colleges that you’re ready to take on the academic and social load of higher education.
*THIS ARTICLE IS MY OWN OPINION AND NOT CONFIRMED BY ANY ADMISSIONS OFFICERS OF ANY COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY*