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What is the ideal array of extracurriculars for elite colleges?


I was wondering what the ideal set of extracurriculars would be for elite colleges; mostly a question of how diverse they should be. We are assuming that someone has perfect or near perfect SAT/ACT scores and GPA and has taken/will take 15+ AP classes. If this person could consistently obtain any lower A tier or upper B tier extracurricular that he/she wanted (no curing cancer or anything like that), what would be the best arrangement? Would all extracurriculars focus on the same subject/activity? What arrangement(s) maximize(s) acceptance rate to elite colleges? (Assuming a maximum of 10 extracurriculars.)


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So as Vinay (co-founder of CV) says you should have an area of specialty that a portion of tour ECs are part of that umbrella group such as DECA shift supervisor at insert fast food and you won an FBLA tournament. Your specialty/spike would be business then you would surround it with your interests/passions whether that's anime debate drawing etc. It doesn't really matter what your spike is unless it's related to your major than it's only a bonus as long as you show you have responsibilities/leadership/accolades and are community involved. Just an anecdote according to collegevine I have strong ECs (not excellent) at Harvard despite my highest tier is D and my average tier is F but if your only EC is you won the NSDA national tournament you still would have a good shot as that's quality over quantity. Hope this helps and please comment if you'd like clarification as I'd be happy to help.

Very helpful, thank you! Do you know what the approximate proportion of time spent on (or number of) spike activities to time spent on (or number of) interest/passion activities should be?
Really it depends but typically 3-5 activities are your spike and if you spend 10hr on ECs a week and you have 4 spike activities try to have it be 4hr. So Id say have all spike activities roughly equal to the equation of time spent on ECs/# of activities or over that. Agin this can vary but this is what Id say is a typical breakdown.