Though many high school students are often encouraged to participate in extracurriculars to help them become well-rounded individuals, it is also a factor in determining college admissions decisions. Therefore, college admissions officers often take note of what, if any, extracurriculars students engaged in during high school. Increasingly, this aspect is affecting admission decisions and students’ college careers.

The Importance of Extracurriculars

Extracurriculars are important to the student as an individual, as well as their college application and the admissions process. For example, college admissions counselors know that colleges look at extracurriculars to help make admission decisions. In essence, they are important both for the student and their college career for several reasons:

1. Demonstrates Active Engagement and Commitment

Colleges want to admit students that are actively engaged and committed. Students who participate in extracurriculars demonstrate a willingness to pursue their passions and think outside the box, positively influencing the campus culture. In turn, students also benefit from picking an extracurricular that they enjoy because it allows them to hone and explore their interests, as well as develop new ones.

2. Differentiates Students from Other Applicants

With many college applications displaying high GPAs and other academic prowess, colleges are increasingly relying on extracurriculars in their admission decisions. A dedicated college admissions counselor can help students carefully choose the extracurriculars that demonstrate longevity and commitment on their college application, making them stand out from the crowd. This is also of benefit to the student since participating in meaningful extracurriculars can increase their chance of acceptance by differentiating them from other applicants with similar grades.

3. Helps Solidify Social Networks

Extracurriculars that demonstrate social aspects are important to college admissions officers because they want college students who wish to make a positive impact on their campus. In addition to benefitting the college admissions process, students are given a chance to solidify social networks that may come in handy in the future. College admissions counselors can also use a student’s extracurricular activities to connect them with similar extracurriculars in college. Furthermore, these extracurriculars will positively influence their college career and connect them with like-minded students.  

4. Shows Ambition and Drive

Extracurriculars show ambition and drive on behalf of the student because they require a work ethic and time management skills. Having students that are determined to excel in their college career positively reflects on the college. Therefore, college applications of students who demonstrate this are more likely to be preferred in the admissions process. Also, students who join extracurriculars can utilize life skills, such as hard work and time management, that they need to flourish in college and beyond.

Connect with Cultivate

Admission decisions are increasingly being influenced by extracurriculars, and the right college admissions counselor can help students craft their college applications to reflect their willingness and ability to positively impact the campus of their choice. In addition to impressing college admissions officers, there are many personal and academic benefits for students who choose to participate in extracurriculars. Need some more guidance on how to capitalize on your extracurricular activities in order to use them to your admissions advantage? Connect with Cultivate