3 years ago
Admissions Advice

How do I strengthen my extracurriculars as an aspiring CS major?

Hey everyone!

I'm a rising junior in high school and I've been really thinking about college lately. As of now, these are my strongest extracurriculars:

- CS Club (9-present) [President]

Planning to organize a big annual event junior year.

- Gaming Club (9-present) [Lead Historian]

- Digital Art/Design (elem. school - present) [one state award, sold at auction]

- Latin Club (9-present) [two or three state awards]

- Chess (elem. school - present)

I've been teaching children in disadvantaged communities chess for seven years now, I administrate a chess forum (18,000+ members), provide 1-on-1 game analysis and coaching, and help host Grandmaster lectures viewed by hundreds.

- Regional academic support group (10-present) [Co-founder, president]

Also planning to grow this one, hoping to help about 100 registered members.

- Volunteer in church tech department (middle school - present)

- Hackathons (10-present) [one award]

- Rock Climbing (middle school - present)

I've been climbing for longer than I can remember now—there's not exactly an Olympiad for it, but I had the opportunity to summit the largest dune in North America before COVID.

And when I lay them out like this, it almost feels like bragging—but then MIT rejects a high-schooler who built a nuclear reactor in his dad's garage, and it's just like...how do I even have a chance?

I believe my stats will be fine. But especially for top schools, all the glam and honor seems to be absent from my resume. The awards I have aren't the most marketable or impressive.

I'm completely new to the chaotic world of preparing for college admissions, so forgive me if I misspeak here or there. How, this summer, can I start working to boost my EC profile as an aspiring CS major?

Thank you in advance!

🎉 First post
Let’s welcome @Tetrachloride to the community! Remember to be kind, helpful, and supportive in your responses.
@izziann3 years ago

Hi! I had a quick question; you've already done 10 hackathons, did you do them all in freshman and sophomore year?

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Tetrachloride3 years ago

Oh, no! By (10-present) I mean I've done them from 10th grade to now.

@izziann3 years ago

woah, that's a lot of work! good job!!!🤗😍

[🎤 AUTHOR]@Tetrachloride3 years ago

Thank you!

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

I think you're well on your way to having great ECs - you've done lots of interesting things, have leadership in most of them, and many seem to have far reaching impacts for others which is good. Having said that, looking at your ECs it doesn't immediately jump out to my that you're passionate about, and interested in pursuing, CS.

You have CS club, gaming club, your hackathons, and the volunteer in the church tech department. I think you're on your way to having a clear Spike in CS but right now it's more of a medium blip if that makes sense. I'd try to add something CS related, check out this link for ideas: https://blog.collegevine.com/extracurriculars-for-aspiring-computer-science-majors/. Does your academic support group have a website or app? Developing one (or both) of those for your group would be good. If you're already volunteering with kids consider teaching code to them. Or, maybe a bit easier, consider volunteering at the library, nursing homes, or other places where you can teach elderly/older folks basic computer and tech skills.

2 years ago[edited]

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2 years ago[edited]

Hello. Thank you for this post!

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


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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