How to Effectively Complete the Activities Section of College Applications
A student’s character is more important than ever in college admissions, so if students want to market themselves to selective schools, then listing activities that demonstrate caring, meaningful contributions to others, community service, and a commitment to justice will serve them well.
A student’s character is more important than ever in college admissions, so if students want to market themselves to selective schools, then listing activities that demonstrate caring, meaningful contributions to others, community service, and a commitment to justice will serve them well. However, it’s more important that the activities listed be fewer in number but demonstrate significant involvement – rather larger in number with total commitment/time spread thin among them. And leadership in the activities presented – as opposed to mere participation in them – is also important, as is ensuring that they’re part of a consistent picture being presented by the application as a whole.
Sequence: List activities in order of importance to the student – importance often revealed by the depth and breadth of the student’s commitment to that activity. So, list first those activities that show significant time spent — and if they “just happen to be” the types of activities mentioned in the first paragraph of our Content section, above, that’s absolutely ideal.
Form: The Activities section typically calls for information describing a student’s participation in each activity, but provides little space (word or character limits) in which to deliver it. So, be concise – and comprehensive; it’s critical. Get to the point and use abbreviations and truncations. Lead each activity’s description with action verbs that are properly tensed and varied to avoid redundancy.
Exactly how to use the Activities section – and the Additional Information section, if there is one – varies with, among other things, whether or not a résumé upload into the application is permitted. Pulling off excellent content, sequence, and form for the Activities section is one of the most challenging aspects of an application – but one that can surely make you stand out in the applicant pool. Fortunately, we’ve helped thousands of students get admitted to their top-choice schools by shepherding them through the application process from start to finish — and especially the Activities and Additional Information sections — and we’re here to help you, too. Time’s a-wasting, so give us a call today, and let’s get started!