Do Awards Matter in College Admissions?

Recorded Thursday, November 19 at 09:00 PM

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About this livestream


Join Elias Miller for an overview of the role that awards play in the admissions process. Elias will walk you through how to fill out the Honors and Awards section of the Common App and answer common questions about which awards to include and what impact awards have on your chances of acceptance at top colleges.

Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my fourth year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored thousands more through my livestreams. Apart from my work at CV, I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
2:51@anonymous:There's a lot of video lag :(
3:32@Jacob_Monastra:the audio and video are not synced if that helps
13:45@lalageek082006:your camera is still lagging to how your talking?
18:31@mimi:We cannot mention National Merit Finalist yet. Correct? Since the Finalist won't be announced until next year.
18:47@emw:for varsity letters, would be it be redundant if we're including that in extracurriculars?
20:04@mimi:What is Varsity Letters?
25:51@mimi:What are recognized common music & art competitions?
34:51@usha:What types of awards are there to explore if you are interested in science? How about if you are interested in policy?
36:58@anonymous:Is National Student Leadership Conference an award?
37:06@anonymous:Here's a link to a list of academic competitions:
37:29@anonymous:2 Questions: 1) How far back do you list awards? Let's say you achieved something amazing in 8th grade... do you list this? 2) I see you didn't list the dates of the awards... is this common?
38:48@anonymous:Our district created the competitions page, so it's legit.
38:56@anonymous:Should you put awards for activities that you aren't continuing?
39:50@mimi:What is Honor Roll? How do I know if I got it?
41:51@shrey:I got into National Student Leadership Conference and when I searched it up. They said many people get in.
43:45@anonymous:Is participating in National Student Leader Conference an award?
43:49@anonymous:Should you only include awards that you received in high school?
44:04@mimi:Where can we find out how many people applied for an award? I find it hard to find sometime.
44:27@anonymous:If I got accepted to a summer camp but didn't go, could I add that to my "awards" section?
45:35@Jacob_Monastra:Would summer camps fit under the awards or extra curricular category?
47:29@anonymous:If I won a scholarship from a small company essay contest, should I add that to my awards section too? And thank you!
47:56@KSR:How valuable are AP scholar awards and how many APs would you recommend I take if I am applying to ivy leagues as an Asian?
51:32@anonymous:I won a Model UN award at a large conference in Canada. Is it worth putting it in my application
52:34@shrey:What if my AP score is better than my grades?
53:18@shrey:Is 3.92 good GPA?
54:08@anonymous:Should I include elected leadership positions in student governance & NHS as awards or would they be better as extracurriculars?
54:50@KSR:My school does not does GPA out of 4.0, so I have a 94 unweighted out of 100, with a couple honors...Im a sophomore
55:18@shrey:It is unweighted 3.92. And my weighted is 4.7. Also, i am the only kid who took aps in 9th and 10th in my grade. Is that good?
55:34@Jacob_Monastra:I attended an International School and we had APAC band, where students from 16 International schools competed to make the band. would that be considered all-state or something else?
58:54@shrey:How is Harvard as a school?
59:56@goldenretriever1:Any good voice competition?
61:12@mimi:Is Ask an expert a real time meeting? or not?
62:30@anonymous:Thank you for this awesome session! Technical difficulties are fine, it happens to everyone! It's the content that matters :)
63:15@anonymous:What are some things that we can include as awards that people don't usually know??
63:46@goldenretriever1:How do.i sign up for Monday expert q&a
64:56@mimi:Are you going to hold a session that introduce all functions on


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