The Importance of Extracurriculars in Admissions

By this time you might well have decided on your higher education or might be in the thoughts of it. Well, definitely you are thinking of getting into some good colleges and I’m sure this very question that how should you supplement your good academic grades to make a strong application. Strong applications are not just about having a great GPA, but few other components to help make it stand out from the competition. And one of them, and an important one is your extracurricular activities. Extracurricular may not be the main part of your application, but they are definitely an important part and can help you distinguish yourself from other applicants. Extracurriculars are like extra toppings on a dish served in a restaurant. They may not be the part of the main dish, but they’re deliberately chosen by the chef. Without them, you may get disappointed and feel like having an incomplete meal. The Extracurriculars may not constitute the main portion of your application; grades, scores, and essays will always hold more importance; but your application may be left incomplete without them, like your meal.Deciding which activities should be best for you is an important thing to do as they are meant to elevate you and bring out your best qualities. Colleges are not interested in students who like to spend all their time with books in the classroom and the library. The more you get active as a member of the community, the better you do to your chances as a candidate.

Students often neglect the importance of choosing the correct Extracurriculars and also the number of extracurricular they should get involved in. Many of them choose way too many activities and bombard their application with a cluster of clubs, teams, and organizations; and none of which stand out. You can afford to do so in your junior year as you need to filter out the activities in which you are most involved in the activities you are most passionate about. Colleges are definitely looking for extremes. They want to enroll students who are highly focused in few areas rather than a person who show is uncertain of being involved in a lot many. They don’t look for someone who’s a member of five different societies; they prefer someone who is the president or founder of one or two and have shown dedication to. This way you can showcase qualities like leadership skills, problem-solving skills, adaptability, being focused, teamwork and much more which forms the core of a good professional.

Explain your role in each activity you pursue. Don’t just say you were a member. It’s important to explain the kind of responsibilities you carried and the challenges you faced. Colleges do search for different experiences of applicants and their learning out of them. Your extracurricular experiences help paint a picture of your personality and of what you love to do. You must really think about which activities you love most, and put your 100% into them.Extracurricular also help you boost the effectiveness of your essays. Many students often fail to justify why they want to study a particular subject in college, the only answer we get is “I just know I am interested”. Colleges look for a demonstrated interested in the subject. So, if you write all of your essays on business management, but have never had any participation in a team activity or have never been a team leader or have no entrepreneurial experience of starting any club/business, you are failing your chances.Thus, extracurriculars strongly help support the claims you make regarding what major you are interested to pursue in college.

Your extracurriculars may not turn 1400 into 1600 on the SAT. They won’t turn a B- into an A, and they don’t guarantee admission solely based on them. But, they definitely add a unique perspective to your application and can help you be one of the ‘accepted’ few. They are an essential part of a strong and balanced application. Through them, you must be able to distinguish yourself as a person from others and justify your claims so that the admissions committee get a better understanding of what you can contribute to your would be the peer group.

Chinu Vasudeva,
Head-Academics | Leverage Edu
chinu@leverageedu.com | www.leverageedu.com
Making Higher Education Intelligent & Awesome!

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