2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Rounding on Application Hours

When reporting hours for college applications, (ie for extracurricular activities, community service, etc) when is it ok to round?

For example, is it okay to round a decimal number to whole number?

I've heard that it's okay to round reasonably, so would this be like when rounding doesn't create larger than a 10 hour difference compared to the actual time spent?

Also, what happens if I have an activity that overlaps in both community service and as an extracurricular? What do I categorize it as?

ie. if an activity is a few hours of volunteering and a few hours of learning (so not all the time spent is community service)

Is there a plagiarism issue if I copy the eligibility requirements of an award or organization details from the website? Or if someone uses the same wording as me?

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Rounding a decimal number to a whole number is okay, but I don't recommend rounding beyond that. It is also okay to estimate your hours - colleges will not ask for anything like hours logs for your activities.

You can classify all community service commitments as extracurriculars and record them on your activities list. Your time spent on both volunteering and learning would apply to the same hours count for each activity. For example, if you volunteered at a local park and spent 2 hours in the field and an hour in a classroom each week, you'd record 3 hours per week as the commitment for the activity. Then, you could explain that your responsibilities include fieldwork and learning in the activity description.

It would be plagiarism if you copied and pasted the eligibility requirements of an award directly from the website. So long as you restate these requirements in your own words, you will be fine. It won't be considered plagiarism if someone uses the same wording as you - that would be a rare coincidence!

Hope this helps!

2 years ago[edited]

Here's the rule of thumb.

You only have 168 hours of time per week.

On average 56 hours are spent sleeping.

35 hours are spent in class

21 hours are spent doing homework

14 hours are spent eating meals

5 hours are showering, bathing, grooming

14 hours a week are spent socializing, using your smart phone, or personal time.

So you only have a maximum of 23 hours a week to do sports, clubs community service, volunteering.

Therefore if you put anything more than that like 25-30 hours, college admission officers are not going to think your ECs are believable. Remember, it's the quality of ECs that matter most, not the time nor the quantity of ECs you engage in. I understand that some HS students only sleep 6 hours per night or have zero social life but be aware that if I can do the math in 5 min., then professional college admissions officer see 30+ hours on ECs, that a red flag okay?

Good luck.

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