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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Is abbreviating in Common App activities section okay?

Hey friends, I'm a bit tight on space in my activities section of the Common App. Can I use abbreviations to fit in more info, or should I write everything out? How do colleges view this?

8 months ago

Hello! It's completely understandable to find yourself tight on space in the Common App activities section. Given the character limit, using abbreviations is an acceptable practice. However, do make sure that the abbreviations you use are widely recognized and won't confuse the admissions officers. Common abbreviations like 'NHS' for National Honor Society or 'VP' for Vice President are generally understood.

But if an abbreviation isn't commonly known, you should prioritize clarity over brevity. For example, if the activity is related to a less well-known organization or a specific project, spell it out at least once before using an abbreviation. Admissions officers only have limited time to spend on each application, since they have so many to get through, and they don't want to be struggling to figure out what you're talking about—they want to be able to just immediately connect it to their school's values and your potential contributions to their campus community.

If you're having trouble balancing clarity with the character count, consider reaching out to one of CollegeVine's expert advisors, who have a lot of experience wrestling ideas into limited space. Best of luck with your application!

8 months ago

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