3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Activities section in Common App


Can you group activities related to each other in the activities section on Common App? (example: Debate Club and MUN, or Environmental Club and Recycling Campaign)

Thank you very much!


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1 answer

Accepted Answer
3 years ago

I would not recommend grouping activities because they give you 10 separate areas to write in your activities and the whole design around the drop-down choices are hard-coded so you have to decide which one type to pick from.

The only reason to put multiple activities in the description would be if you had multiple roles within one activity. For instance, if you selected "Journalism/Publication", Organization name "HS Newspaper", you might put 2/3 positions under Position/Leadership such as "Editor-in-chief/Web Editor/Columnist". And under participation years you might select 10th/11th/12th. Then the admission officer will easily understand you did this one activity for 3 years and had different roles leading up to the Editor-in-chief role.

But it doesn't make sense you combine Debate and MUN or Env. Club and Recycling Campain (unless the campaign was part of the Env. club).

You have 10 sections to work with. If you really need more space you can use the add'l information section to add more activities.

While I think it's important to present yourself as accurately as possible don't do that at the expense of NOT showing evidence of both your "depth and breadth" of an EC. They give you 10 spaces so you can list them in terms of importance to you. They are not looking for a dossier of everything you ever participated in but rather what are the significant activities you have spent your time on during the last 4 years.

For example, if you have a 4.0 GPA and a National Merit Scholar and have checked all the other major boxes, writing in that you made honor roll four years in a row doesn't do anything for your narrative, it's just redundant.

Hope that is useful and helpful

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