High school students spend a lot of time on extracurricular activities, schoolwork, at jobs, and volunteering. So, are colleges really looking at more than just your grades and test scores? Yes! Admissions officers take note of what you do outside of the classroom. Those extracurricular activities give them a sense of who you are, your passions, and what you can contribute to the campus community.
Not only do extracurriculars look good on your college application, but they also help you to develop new skills, pursue your passions, and help guide you to a potential career. Also, college admissions counselors know that what you do in your free time can say a lot about you. For example:
-Working a part-time job (while maintaining good grades) shows that you are good at time-management.
-Serving as an officer on the Student Council shows you have leadership skills.
-Playing on the tennis team shows that you can make a long-term commitment.
-Serving as a volunteer at the local senior center shows that you care about others.
Most schools and communities have an abundance of activities to choose from that will help you explore your interests.
High school is a great time to explore your passions that could eventually lead to a career path. For example, do you love working with animals or love being near the ocean? Maybe you want to work with marine life as a career? What can you do now, in high school, that can help you in college and beyond to reach that goal?
Although high school activities are important for college admissions, you should remember that they only supplement the grades and test scores. Extracurriculars are not the centerpiece, and they shouldn't cause your academics to suffer. You should focus on the quality of the activities you choose, not the quantity. If you focus on the activities that you are most talented in and passionate about, that's what will show through on the college application.