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What tier extracurricular is a Podcast?

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Hi all, I’m a rising junior who is looking to apply to competitive colleges like Yale, UPenn, Brown, Georgetown, etc. I have a very specific question about an extracurricular: I am starting a podcast this summer to tie into my website/online portfolio. I already have at least 20 episodes planned and I am going to make it both analysis and interview-style with several of my friends and classmates (as guests; I’m the creator/leader).I am planning to put it out there via Anchor, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and RSS. I am confused about which Tier of activity this would be on collegevine’s chancing profile. I put it under “hobby” and it says for a Tier C accomplishment "I took substantial initiative with this hobby and have some sort of tangible accomplishment/documentation for it” and for Tier F "There's something tangible to prove my participation in this hobby…” Which one would this podcast idea fit into, and how can I turn a Podcast into that Tier C extracurricular? Thank you!


2 answers

answered on
Accepted answer

Starting a podcast is an awesome idea! To reiterate what the others have said, for a self-driven extracurricular to be Tier C, you do need some sort of quantifiable results. That might mean producing a certain number of episodes (like 50+), getting a certain number of monthly streams (like 1000), or number of 5-star ratings. You'll likely want to learn marketing strategies to help get your podcast "out there," like SEO, networking, and social media. These are also great applicable skills that can give your self-driven extracurricular more weight. Just remember that while there is a strategy behind growing a podcast, be sure to enjoy what you're doing. Colleges can tell if you're doing things just to pad your resume, or if you genuinely like what you do. It can be easy to lose sight of the fun if you're always concerned with stats. Best of luck!

thank you so much! yes, i’m not starting this as something ingenue or a way to scheme a “world-class” extracurricular; i’m genuinely super hyped up for this project and i’m investing a lot of time into developing it since it’s about my passion (word culture/politics) and my intended major (IR). do the specific stats/views matter or for it to be legitimate does it just need to have some sort of an impact?
No problem! The stats help establish it as a higher-tier EC, but it doesn't need outstanding stats to be "legitimate." How dedicated you are to it and how much you develop it will determine its legitimacy. Your stats are not really something you can 100% control anyways, but you can nudge it towards quantifiable success with proper marketing strategies.
that is comforting haha, thank you! i agree that i can’t really control how it turns out other than how much effort i put into it :)
answered on


This depends on how much tangible impact your podcast has. In order for this EC to be a higher tier, you must have something to show for it ie. it gets written about in a publication like HuffingtonPost or the NYT, or you receive 10,000 streams. Of course, these are only examples but so long as you show that your podcast is recognized and well-established, it will be a substantial boost to your application and an excellent potential essay topic for you to write about.

Hope this helps!

I agree it depends on its popularity if your town newspaper promotes it or if you have a large reception (ie viewers)
thank you both, that helps!