10 Extracurricular Activities to Boost Your College Application
Last updated August 21, 2023
There are many great benefits to participating in extracurricular activities in high school. Not only can these activities teach you something new and help you build valuable skills, they can also lead you to make friends and feel a sense of community. Additionally, extracurricular activities are a great way to boost your college applications!
Academics are important, but they aren't everything - especially when applying to college. Admissions staff look for students that are well-rounded and have a good balance of academic and extracurricular experience and achievements. They are curious to know what students are passionate about outside of the classroom and how those passions could make a good fit at the school they’re applying to.
With this in mind, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t have to overextend yourself or participate in a ton of extracurriculars just to get accepted into college. There are many extracurriculars to choose from, and by taking some time to brainstorm and reflect on your interests and passions, you can find an activity that you’re excited to participate in! To help you get started, here are 10 extracurricular activities you can start doing to boost your college application!
Join a club
Participating in clubs shows colleges that you have interests and passions outside of the classroom and enjoy community building. Whether your club volunteers on the weekends or plays Minecraft together, it's all valuable experience that can make a great addition to your college applications! If your school doesn’t have a club you’re interested in, consider starting one with your friends!
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Learn a new skill
There are many sites out there dedicated to helping people learn new skills and build on existing ones - all for free! Sites like Coursera, Codecademy, and Khan Academy are just a few of the many places you can explore new skills to add to your college applications. Many will even provide you with a certificate of completion once you've finished. Start your remote learning today!
Volunteer for an organization or cause that you care about
Giving back to your community is a great way to support those around you and show a college admissions team that you value using your free time for good, can balance school and volunteering, and are a thoughtful, engaged person. Choose a cause that you care about, like local politics, tutoring, or city clean up, and begin volunteering!
Create a story, poem, or work of art and submit it for publication
Getting exposure for your talents not only elevates your craft, but also enhances your appeal to colleges. Submitting your latest writing piece to a local publication or advocating to have your art showcased in a community exhibit are great ways to stand out in the college application process. This shows that you value and believe in your own skills and can advocate for yourself - two skills that are crucial to have while in college!
Play a sport
Participating in sports as a high schooler can instill valuable skills like teamwork, communication, strength, and perseverance - all of which can make a great addition to your college application!
Find an internship
Taking some time while you're still in high school to explore career paths that interest you can help you better decide where and why you want to apply to college. If you find a career path that interests you, try getting an internship in that field. Not only will it help you determine if that career is the right fit for you, it can help you make valuable connections AND stand out to potential colleges by signaling to them that you're someone who thinks and cares about the future.
Tutor friends, classmates, or neighborhood kids in a subject you're confident in
Whether you speak Arabic, love geometry, or have a passion for writing, you likely have skills that can be used to help someone in your community. If you're confident in a specific subject, why not tutor your peers or people in your neighborhood? Tutoring experience can signal to colleges not only that you have knowledge in core academic subjects, but that you're passionate about spreading this knowledge to others.
Try out for a play at your school or local theater
Even if you’re not going to a fine arts or drama school, sharing your love for theater shows another element of your personality that may not be reflected through your academics or other extracurricular activities. Experience in local theater can also help you develop your public speaking skills, leading you to be more confident in class presentations, job interviews, networking, and more!
Get a job
Having a job is a huge responsibility and requires skills like punctuality, dependability, and customer service. If you currently have a part-time or seasonal job, you're already participating in an extremely valuable extracurricular activity! If you're looking for a job, use our free JobLaunch tool to find great gigs in your area. Just enter your zip code to begin!
Have any questions about joining a new extracurricular activity? Text us! Send #College to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!