UCLA Application - Extracurriculars?Answered
How much does UCLA consider extracurriculars? I'd say I have a pretty good academic standing, but my extracurriculars are a bit weak.
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Hi there @laurenfaze! Like most other elite schools, UCLA places a pretty heavy emphasis on extracurriculars. Because the UCs are test-optional for the foreseeable future, other components of your application will need to shine even brighter for you to distinguish yourself from other applicants.
For higher ranked UCs, you'll want to have an application spike rather than a bunch of disjointed extracurriculars. For example, if you're passionate about playing the guitar, you'll want to cultivate extracurriculars around this. Maybe you upload covers to YouTube, play in a local band, and do volunteer performances at your local senior center. You'll probably want to have a couple of non-music-related extracurriculars just to emphasize that you're well-rounded, too.
When it comes to how these are weighted, there are a couple ways to make your spike stand out. The UCs have a few essay prompts that could work for extracurriculars, and you'll want to write at least one of them about your spike. Using powerful anecdotes and descriptive analysis of how your extracurricular is meaningful to you will underscore your extracurriculars to the admissions committee and help you get a boost in the admissions process.
It's not so much about what your spike is, but how you flesh it out in your life and how you describe it on your application. Hope this helps! You can check out our YouTube video on extracurriculars for a more in-depth look on spikes for elite schools: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30evWEhB21E&ab_channel=CollegeVine
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