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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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What extracurricular activities are colleges really looking for?

Hello folks, as I start planning my junior year, I'm trying to figure out which extracurriculars I should focus on. What kinds of activities do colleges actually like to see? Are there specific types or categories that make an application more compelling? I'd love to hear about your experiences or any advice on how to make my extracurricular profile stand out!

8 months ago

Hello! It's great that you're thinking ahead about your extracurricular profile. The key to impressing colleges with your extracurriculars is less about the type of activity and more about the depth of your engagement and what you've accomplished. Colleges are looking for evidence of passion, leadership, initiative, and impact. They love to see students who have taken their interests to the next level, whether that's by leading a club, starting a new initiative, or achieving recognition at a high level.

For example, if you're interested in computer science, developing an app and getting it published, or winning at a hackathon could be impressive. Similarly, if you're into social activism, organizing community events or fundraisers can showcase your leadership and dedication. It's about quality over quantity, so rather than dabbling in many clubs, choose a few areas to really dive into. Think about what you love to do and how you can take it a step further to make a substantial impact or develop a meaningful project.

Another thing colleges like to see is when students with multiple interests combine those interests through their extracurriculars. For example, a student interested in both computer science and medicine might create an app that tracks essential health data and medical information. Or, someone who likes ballet and history might choreograph and perform their own dance that depicts a famous historical battle.

Also, remember that consistency over your high school years can demonstrate commitment and growth, which colleges definitely value. So stick with your activities and try to build upon them each year. Best of luck!

8 months ago

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