The Ultimate College Application Workbook

Are You Stressed About Your Child's College Applications?

If so, now's the time to learn how to:

  • Understand What Admissions Committees Want
  • Help Your Child Highlight Their Strengths
  • Figure Out the True Costs Before Applying

Where Should I Send the Download?

Before college application season begins in the fall, you might be thinking about which activities your child has done and how to highlight them on their college applications.

extracurricular activities

So what exactly should you emphasize for your extracurricular activities?

There are many different categories to consider. These include school-based activities like clubs, sports, school politics, or the arts.

Colleges are also interested in students who demonstrate a commitment to community service.

If you have been providing childcare for younger siblings while your parents have been working, you need to highlight that. In addition, work experience or internships might be another arena to highlight. What about any special interests, hobbies, or pursuits? Have you done any travel?

Remember that it is much better to show a high level of commitment to one activity rather than a limited interest in many activities.

To get started, you are going to do a “brain dump.” Get a blank sheet of paper and take a moment to reflect back on all activities that you have participated in since grade nine and list them. Pay no attention to length at this point. You just want to get them all down on paper. This exercise will be particularly useful as you begin to think about responses to your college essay. Moreover, having all activities in one place will make it easier to get strong letters of recommendation.

There are a couple of different ways that you can approach the brain dump activity.

First, you can list the activities that are of most interest to you, indicate which grade years you participated in them, include the time commitment, and note any leadership positions, honors, or awards.

The other way to deal with the brain dump is to go through activities chronologically. If you fear that you may leave out some possibly important activities, this is the better strategy. Essentially, you go through and construct a timeline of activities that you have engaged in since grade nine. It should take about an hour to do this brainstorming activity.

For more tips, download my free ebook: The Ultimate College Application Workbook.

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