Why there’s more to your application than grades and class ranks.
By: Gabriel Worthington, Staff Writer
Around this time of year, seniors across America will anxiously watch their grades. Every test, quiz, classwork, project, and every participation grade is a battle as these brave 18 year old soldiers enter the nationwide war of college admissions. Yet often times the best thing to do to get into a dream university isn’t related to grades at all, but doing activities outside of the classroom.
Things like community service, Scouting, or athletics can be forgotten in a rigorous advanced schedule, but these activities can be key to admissions. For example, over eighty percent of students accepted into the University of Chicago have participated in some form of community service, over half did some form of varsity sports and almost a third participated in student government, according to the UChicago admissions website. Because of these kinds of numbers, the College Board recommends participating in these activities.
However, the extra edge in college admissions isn’t the only reason to participate in clubs or sports. One study by the US Department of Education found that students who participated in extracurriculars were three times more likely to have a GPA greater than 3.0, making it a win win for those concerned about grades and college applications. Leadership in after school activities activities also helps with job applications, showing time management and responsibility. Participating in these clubs also helps with trying to get into honor societies like NHS or BETA club and can be the extra boost needed to get in before applying for school.
With a busy schedule, it makes sense that after school activities can be pushed aside. However, there are plenty of after school activities that don’t suck up valuable cramming time. Debate, which only meets once a week is a good example. Taking classes like Newspaper or Yearbook also help, as colleges see these classes in the same light as after school activities.
To conclude, grades, while important in a college application aren’t everything. Much like SAT scores, they show colleges one side of you. Participating in extracurriculars is as wise a use of time as studying.