Even though your parents have told you you’re special your whole life, you need to find a way to stand out from all of the other students in the application pool.  Admission officers will often use extracurricular activities as a method to choose between two applicants that have similar academic records. Whether its talents, awards, interests or passions, your college application should reflect those special things that will set you apart from other applicants. 

  • During your early high school years, explore your interests by participating in a variety of activities.  
  • By your junior year, you should focus on a couple of activities that you are really interested in and excel at.
  • Your application should include only the activities you were truly involved in, not a laundry list of everything you participated in. Colleges are interested in the quality of your extracurricular involvement and not just quantity.
  • It’s great if you’re on the student council but that isn’t unique for a college applicant. Go ahead and include it as it shows your leadership experience, but find other activities that help you stand out from the crowd in a special way.
  • Don’t limit yourself to school activities – if you are involved in a charity, church organization or special interest group, that’s great. If you have a job that involves special talents or skills, include it as that showcases your ability to utilize your abilities.
  • For the activities that you were really dedicated to, go into detail about them on your application. Don’t be afraid to send supplementary material in order to express your passion or the extent of your involvement in a certain activity.
  • Review what you’ve chosen to include and see if you can find a pattern or theme as to your interests. Attempt to work this into your interview and essay as that is an excellent way to show you have a strong sense of yourself.

If you include what makes you “you” on your application, you’re more likely to find a fat application in your mailbox!