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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How do you decide which extracurricular activities to put on a college application?

Hi folks, I'm in the process of listing my extracurricular activities for my applications, and I'm a bit stuck. I've got a variety of interests from sports teams to volunteering, plus some clubs at school. How should I prioritize these, and how many is too many? I want to show I'm well-rounded without overwhelming the admissions officers.

7 months ago

Hello! It's wonderful that you're involved in various activities. When it comes to listing them, focus on depth rather than breadth. Choose extracurriculars that you've been most committed to and where you've held leadership roles or had a significant impact.

Remember, the tier system categorizes activities based on rarity and leadership: Tier 1 being rare national achievements, down to Tier 4 which includes general membership. Aim to include a few in the higher tiers if possible. For more on the 4 Tiers of Extracurricular Activities, check out this helpful CollegeVine article: https://blog.collegevine.com/breaking-down-the-4-tiers-of-extracurricular-activities/

Ideally, successful applicants to top colleges have about 8-10 total extracurriculars, but they're highly involved in a few key ones. If you're lower than 8 but your activities are of high quality and you've shown deep involvement, that's great too. Prioritize activities that relate to your intended major or showcase your most developed skills and interests—this will present a cohesive narrative to admissions officers.

Colleges are looking for students with a 'spike,' which is a highly developed specialty. This doesn’t mean you can’t be well-rounded, but your primary achievements should align with your spike. If you have more than 10 activities, you might consider cutting the ones where your involvement is less significant. Wishing you the best as you perfect your applications!

7 months ago

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