3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Should I put activism in my college application?

Hey, I'm applying to college this upcoming fall (ahh very very nervous) and throughout high school (well for the past 2 years tbh) I've done very heavy activist work and it's been a huge part of my life, haha. It's been my main "extracurricular" ig, though I feel queasy about putting it on my application as it might be too "political" and it feels wrong for me morally to put it in my applicationn even though I've learned so much from leading activist organizations like Fridays for Future, MFOL, and Sunrise Movement. On the other hand, it's something I'm very passionate about, and I'm looking to possibly major in political science, and I have other extracurriculars like clubs and sports/student gov/good grades/SAT/ AP scores to support that.


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@casey_peterson3 years ago

Definitely put it on! Colleges want to see what you're passionate about. Also- if you're super into climate activism, the schools you're applying to probably won't disagree with you on that. Good luck on your application process!

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3 years ago

I have also been heavily into activism for 3 years and it turned into one of many strong spikes. What started out as me using my voice to advocate for women and HS students at my City Council meetings led to my being on 3 boards including being the Chairperson of our School Districts DEI advisory committee. I didn't hesitate to enumerate all the activism roles I've played and made it a point to say I would like to continue doing what I'm passionate about. Unless you were interning for Kevin McCarthy (R) or Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) I wouldn't worry about putting down your activism/politics on a college application.

At some point, you have to choose a side, so it might as well start with what kind of college you want to attend. You can pick a school known for its activism like Columbia, Syracuse, Claremont Colleges, Yale, Harvard, American, etc, or pick a school that makes your presence uncomfortable like Biola, BYU, Liberty, Utah State, etc. If activism is now part of your DNA, why not attend a school that will encourage it and perhaps picks you to continue paving the way. Since you are interested in climate change and gun control, perhaps it would be useful to do some extra research and find out what kinds of clubs and organizations the colleges you are interested in applying to have to offer. Then you can mention that in your "why Us" essay.

Be True or don't be at all. Otherwise, you are not being honest with yourself, your future home for 4 years, and the world. I really don't understand how you would be compromising your morals by not sharing your passions as the previous poster wrote. If you don't want to disclose that you care about people and the planet, how is that compromising your morals?

3 years ago

Hey, that's really awesome that you've been doing that! Yeah, college applications are weird because you have to like say good things about yourself, when usually we want to be humble. I definitely know the feeling of not wanting to put down certain things because it feels like I was trying to gain something from them. And that's not the reason we do them at all!

You just have to get past it, and realize that this is what college applications are and what the colleges want to see. It is not bragging, it's just being honest about the things you love and things that you've done. Of course, if you still just really feel bad about it, you don't have to write it down. Don't ever compromise your morals.

But yeah, especially because it's this important to you, it's been taking a lot of your time, you've learned a lot from it, and you want to major in political science, I think your application would really benefit from this information and the admissions person will be able to understand you better. Maybe even write your personal essay about it!

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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