a year ago
Admissions Advice

what extracurriculars should i do that will help me stand out?

I'm currently a junior at a very competitive school, to the point where student council is basically already pre-picked, and leaderships for all clubs are given to the incoming sophomores, so i don't really have that chance. I have average grades (3.75 uw gpa), planning to take 7 total AP classes and possibly some DE next year. As for ec's I already have, I'm a competitive dancer and train 30 hours a week, which takes up almost all my time after school. On weekends, I also work 14 hours and have good work experience. I'm in NHS, have some volunteer hours, in a couple clubs, and have won scholarships at dance competitions. However, I was wondering if there was any more extracurricular things I could complete in the next 6 months to put on my college application that will help show that I'm a good candidate for schools! I am open to any suggestions, online and in person, but I know that anything club related at my school won't help me. I'm looking to apply to UCSD, UCSB, UWASH, and possibly UMICH, although it's a reach.


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
a year ago

Your ECs look good overall. The only thing potentially missing is a connection between your ECs and your college plans. You didn't mention what you are planning to study / major in. If you're applying pre-med, you would want to make sure you have ECs that support your interest. If you're applying for an English major, you'd want to demonstrate your love of writing.

a year ago[edited]

If you are planning on applying to college as a senior you don't have very much runway to come up with very impressive ECs. Since you are a dancer and a dedicated one, I think that is your spike activity. I would line up some ECs that have to do with your expertise in dance. So some things that come to mind is

1. Teaching younger kids at your dance studio or neighboring studios dance. Like being a teacher's assistant

2. Try to get a summer job at prestigious summer camp teaching dance to kids. Alternatively, a PT job ins a dance shop.

3. Try to get a part time job in a community dance theater group helping them with marketing or set design or whatever they need help with. Perhaps sewing costumes.

4. If you are going to augment your intellectual curiosity/vitality, take a college course in human anatomy or bio-dyanmics or something related to the physics of movement. Why? Becuase you want to show college admissions officers that behind your love of dance you actually want to understand how the body moves and what you can do to optimize that for yourself and others.

So what I'm trying to tell you is to focus your ECs/Jobs/IV/IC on dance-related things since that is your angular spike.

The other thing I would recommend looking into is applying to a Private Boarding School in order to improve your overall application potential and do what is called a Post Graduate year. I went to Deerfield Academy as PG after HS and after I got ED'd into Columbia University more for my health concerns during COVID-19. Although I didn't have anything to prove academically or with my leadership or ECs, I found that attending Deerfield helped me gain more confidence in using my voice in class, and standing up for myself. I became a better writer for sure.

I think you would be a good candidate for something like this because all the best private boarding schools have excellent dance programs, teachers etc. Deerfield every year puts on a full orchestra Nutcracker during the winter semester and has many dance recitals during the year. I knew dancers, muscians and singers who all participated in this. Having a better-resourced school will give you more runway to up your grades, course rigor, ECs and have a better dance portfolio to apply to better colleges like Columbia, Cornell, JHU, WashU, NWestern, Barnard/Julliard, NYU. Think about it.





Some of the better schools would be Choate, Exeter, Andover, Hotchkiss, Taft, Lawrenceville, Deerfield, Loomis,

They all have excellent financial aid like the Ivy league schools. Good luck

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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