Extracurriculars for High School Students

We help students discover their passions and build up their extracurricular portfolios.

Elevate Your Extracurricular Profile

What are Extracurricular Activities?

By definition, an extracurricular activity (EC) is any endeavor you pursue outside of the classroom. It can be athletic, academic, artistic, you name it.

Some activities are team-oriented, like most sports, while other activities like painting are driven by the individual. Central organizations, such as 4H, may lead activities, while others do not require outside assistance, such as writing a book.

You have a lot of freedom to choose what activities you participate in, so be sure to choose ones that you're interested in and that excite you.

Do Admissions Officers View All Activities The Same?

Higher tiered activities show admissions officers whether you demonstrated leadership, good judgement, and initiative given the available resources. Additionally, students are evaluated on whether they earned regional, state-level, national, or even international recognition for their extracurricular involvement.

Learn more about how admissions officers view extracurriculars.

Here's What They Take Into Consideration:

How a CollegeVine Student Boosted His Profile:

Elijah came to CollegeVine as a sophomore with the hope of boosting his extracurricular profile. He wanted to prove his academic capabilities and develop his passion for engineering, but felt restricted by the lack of opportunities offered in his high school and community.

We paired Elijah with Madison, a Stanford Product Design Major. With her experience in engineering, Madison encouraged Elijah to complete his own independent research project and worked with him to reach out to engineering firms and experts in the field. This helped Elijah secure work experience with local engineering groups.

After working with Madison, Elijah’s hard work on energy capture and turbine prototyping was recognized; he became a Science Talent Search finalist and was able to boost his extracurricular profile with a unique achievement.

The Activity's Tier

We've developed a tier system for ranking extracurricular activities the way admissions officers do. The highest tier is reserved for major national and international accomplishments, such as competing at the Olympics or starring in a Hollywood blockbuster. In general, the greater your impact, the more impressive the accomplishment.

Demonstrated Leadership

Your activities help show admissions officers your leadership abilities, and each tier demonstrates a higher level of commitment and initiative. They also want to know if you made use of the resources available to you. If there were no national opportunities available in your hometown, how did you make it a better place with the tools you had?

Level of Recognition

Additionally, students are evaluated on whether they earned regional, state-level, national, or even international recognition for their extracurricular involvement. If you want to set yourself apart in your extracurricular endeavors, look for ways to expand the mark you make on your community.


The Benefits of Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities are a major component of a well-rounded high school experience. ECs give you the chance to do what you love, not just what your teachers tell you to do for homework. They allow you to discover an interest and cultivate it in depth.

ECs give students the chance to learn outside the classroom. There are so many skills – conflict resolution, public speaking, programming, thinking on your feet – that cannot or are not taught during the school day. ECs build strengths that students carry with them into their careers and throughout their lives.

Want to grow your extracurricular profile?

Our Early Advising Program analyzes a student's profile to recommend extracurriculars based on college admissions goals. Consultants then help students create a custom plan to help build their extracurricular profile.

Learn if your child is choosing the right extracurriculars.

How to choose the right ECs

Because extracurriculars have so much to offer, it’s vital to make strategic decisions about how you want to spend your time outside of class. Your extracurricular involvement should be an extension not only of who you are but also of who you wish to become over the course of four years.


We Help Students Get Into Their Dream Schools


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students sent to Ivy League and equivalent schools last year alone

We can help you develop unique extracurriculars

In our Early Advising Program, we help students understand what extracurriculars best fit their profile and college goals. We then create a custom plan with specific goals.

This plan takes into account what tier of activity students need to hit based on their goals. With college admissions becoming more competitive every year, all students need to develop a strong extracurricular profile, even if they're not Ivy-focused. We have data from the over 10,000 students we've worked with to help us make these recommendations.


Meet Your Extracurricular Goals

To discover and meet your own extracurricular goals, connect with one of CollegeVine’s enrollment directors and ask about our Early Advising Program. Improve your extracurricular profile

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