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Engaging in extracurricular activities

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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Tanya Jain
    At , the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale University mentioned that significant family responsibilities are also a part of extra-curricular activities. How are we supposed to inform them about these?
    (14 votes)
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    • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Qfactor
      Many college applications also include a space somewhere in the application-- whether on the activities list or on the personal statement section-- that asks if there is anything that the admissions counselors should know. You could take that opportunity to write that you didn't participate in your school's extracurriculars or certain programs because of family obligations.
      (31 votes)
  • piceratops seed style avatar for user dragonlord2461
    Would posting our account to khan or other learning sites be good an a collage application? (Assuming-that they her well respected sites and we have impressing scores one them)
    (0 votes)
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    • leaf blue style avatar for user Peterson
      Not really. Since Khan Academy (and a variety of other free, online education sites) have no accreditation, most colleges would not view your scores very highly (even though KA is a wonderful resource). A better way to make use of what you do here on this site is apply the knowledge to standardized tests (SAT, GMAT, Compass, etc.) and score well on them -- colleges understand and respect these high scores, and while you will not ever mention Khan Academy on them, this site will be a major part of helping you do well.
      (24 votes)
  • leaf orange style avatar for user Vegeta276
    For say, a plan of being in the field of Computer Science or Politics, would athletic activities be seen as that much important
    (4 votes)
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    • leaf red style avatar for user Kirk Daulerio
      College admissions officers are seeking students who are involved in their schools/communities, and who will be active contributors in college, as well. As a former admissions officer, my advice is to explore activities that interest you, and dedicate yourself to them. If you enjoy athletics, get involved. Don't think of adding activities solely for the purpose of resume-building. You might also consider activities/internships/research related to your particular academic interests, but generally speaking - do what you love and love what you do.
      (13 votes)
  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Peter Nguyen
    Say I'm in the 8th grade right, would it be too early to prepare for college? I want to become a pediatrician so can you help me with deciding a major?
    (6 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user DKmoon
      No way! 8th grade is a good time to think about what kind of job you want to pursue. Then you need to look up the collage you hope to get into. What are the high school requirements for that? Then you need to make sure you make all of those requirements next year. I'm also in 8th grade, already know I'm striving for UC Davis for a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine.
      (5 votes)
  • piceratops tree style avatar for user samuel.patriquin
    Why does it cost money to partcipate in some extra curricular activities
    (5 votes)
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  • leaf green style avatar for user Suryaansh Krishna
    I am sorry that this is out of context, but I really need this question answered and I don't know anywhere else to go. It is about the extracurricular requirements for colleges.
    First of all, I'm from a small city from India so there are almost no opportunities to get internships and jobs at my age. There is simply no concept of pre-college employment here. I am the captain of my school volleyball team but since COVID-19 came we have not had an opportunity to play a game. I have also volunteered for a foundation that helps children who live in poverty. These two are the only extracurriculars I have a record of.
    Now here is where it gets interesting. I play recreational football and cricket, but I'm not part of any official team. Thus I have no official writing that says I play. I also learn piano and guitar from a tutor. I also do a lot of woodworking projects, but again no record of any of this. I have taken part in a lot of my school's science fairs and debate competitions. However, in my school, there is no certificate or any record of these competitions. All of this is still considered intra-school and is not given that much importance here in my city.
    I aspire to get into a top college in America. I have SAT scores that fall well within the top colleges' range. I'm confident I can clutch out the essays and personal insight questions. My only fear right now is the extracurricular part.
    I am a senior and my applications get submitted in a month.
    (6 votes)
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  • primosaur tree style avatar for user Lane Molsbee
    I've been wanting to do work on learning languages on the website Duolingo. Would that be sufficient for an extracurricular activity and worthy of being on an application? Also, I do online school, and as far as I know, there are no leadership positions available in any club except for student council, and I'm not interested in that. Can I let colleges know on applications that there were no leadership positions available? I know that colleges like to see those things, especially the top-tier schools like Rice, Harvard, Yale, etc. Also, I was wanting to look into learning coding as an extracurricular, and I saw something on Khan Academy about learning coding. If you do offer coding lessons, do they go into advanced coding or is it just the basics? Could I use those coding lessons as an extracurricular on an application?
    (4 votes)
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    • spunky sam blue style avatar for user CZ
      Colleges want to know two things from your application:
      1. Can this person thrive academically at my institution?
      2. Can this person thrive personally at my institution?

      Number 2 is more of a concern then you might think. At my undergraduate 10% of the student left with in the first month of arriving (no joke). Everything that you have written above answers question number 1. Nothing you have written answers question number 2. You will eventually need to form friendships and have activities so that you remain personally stable and supported at your institution. If you try to go it alone, you will most likely eventually end up in a very bad situation (humans are not robots, I tested this theory myself and got bitten by it). The leadership position addresses question number 2. It says "This person in high school got involved with a group that performs functions outside of academics." This gives the college confidence the person will do the same at the college level. For your application you need to find a replacement for this. What are your activities outside of school. How do you thrive outside of the academic environment? Trust me this will matter. If you have not been away from home or been involved in activities outside of your family, and you want to go to a college away from home, this will be a red flag for the admissions office. I am speaking from experience as an applicant and college student who went to college away from home. Yes it matters and yes they want to know beforehand you can handle it.
      (5 votes)
  • hopper cool style avatar for user maceden
    What could be considered an extracurricular activity? Sports and clubs would be, of course, but what if you have a hobby like knitting? Would that count?
    (3 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Renny Wilder
      I'm not sure if it would count as an extracurricular, but like they said in the video, if that's your passion and what you do after school you could definitely mention it. And if you want to, you could try to start a knitting club at your school and then it would definitely count as an extracurricular.
      (2 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Adi
    I'm half-way through 11th grade, and I feel like I haven't done much of any substantial extracurricular activities that I can put on paper. Considering where I am, I'm don't think I have much time to take up these activities or access to them. Since I can lack in this area, is there something I can do to make up for it?
    (3 votes)
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    • female robot amelia style avatar for user Johanna
      You can try taking an online course, volunteering, getting a job, or even starting a club at your school if that’s possible. However, colleges do realize that people don’t have equal access to extracurriculars, so they probably won’t count it against you if that’s not an option for you. You could explain your situation in your application, if you wanted. Colleges recognize that activities aren’t just clubs and stuff, either. For instance, the Common Application also lists “Family Responsibilities” as a category to put in your activities list.
      (1 vote)
  • leafers tree style avatar for user Gillian Li
    Should I include extracurriculars from middle school on my application, even if I don't continue to do them? (ex. did piano for 9 years but then stopped in Highschool)
    (2 votes)
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Video transcript

- So while I was traveling in the fall, I realized that not everyone really understood what they should be talking about when they tell us about what they do after class and that's the phrase I use, "What do you do when you go home from school?" - For some students that might mean significant family responsibilities. If both of your parents are working and you're picking up your brothers and sisters from school and tutoring them on their homework, please let us know that because we won't expect you to be doing all of the same things that someone who doesn't have those expectations placed on them are doing. So I always suggest to students to really give us more when it comes to extracurriculars. Everything outside of the classroom is really what extracurricular means. - Leadership positions are great because they show commitment, but we want to make sure that students are doing things that are meaningful to them, that they're spending time doing them and they're doing them well, whatever it may be. - If you're spending your time by learning how to build formula one racing cars because that's what you want to do and there's no club for that at school, we still need to know that that's what you spend all of your time doing especially if it's something that you're accomplished in. - What we also want to understand is how the student has really made an impact in their school community or greater community through the different interests and passions that they have. - So admission is also going to look at your summers and what have you done in your summers. Ninth grade summer probably not the most important summer they're going to look at, but certainly tenth grade, eleventh grade summers they're going to start to take a look at what are you doing in that time frame. That doesn't mean you have to go and spend a lot of money on a program to look impressive to a college. My advice to you would be think about something you want to do in the summer that could really be exciting to you. That may be having a summer job, learning how to manage your own money. It may be there's an academic program that you want to take online or at a local college that could really be exciting, you've always wanted to try, you know, architecture, and there's an opportunity to try that because there's no chance to do it in high school. It doesn't have to be something fancy. It has to be something that's really exciting to you. - Ultimately, what we want to see is depth, what we want to see is commitment and what we want to see is leadership in some of these different activities. - When we're looking at the extracurriculars that you are involved in, it's important that you're giving us accurate descriptions of what they are. So while you may know what it means to be leader of the organization for protecting animals, we would like to know a little bit more about the specifics. What does that mean? What have you done? How many hours do you spend on that? So make sure to tell us in detail what those extracurriculars actually look like in your day to day life.