Attending the right college or university is the first step to having a successful career. Statistically speaking, students who attend college have a higher chance of landing a good job and succeeding in the workforce.
Gaining acceptance to a top United States college or university is an arduous process that includes having strong standardized test scores, completing AP classes, and good grades. Extracurricular activities such as sports, club involvement, community volunteer work, and a particular focus in the arts and sciences are also important.
But how important are these extracurricular activities to college admissions counselors? Community service ranked number three in the importance of factors considered for admission—above reference letters, interviews, and legacy.
Community service is essential for many personal development benefits and can be a deciding factor in a college admissions tiebreaker. As more students compete for fewer spots, community service becomes pivotal to getting in your college of choice.
Consistency is the new trend. Students who support one cause overtime show commitment and perseverance, both of which are stellar traits for potential co-eds. The vast majority of admissions counselors—72 percent—prefer that students be consistently involved with one issue instead of various causes.
Admissions officers want well-rounded applicants who take their studies seriously, are engaged in a cause or two they are passionate about and are involved in extracurricular activities like the school newspaper. They don’t want someone exclusively focused on community service just like they don’t want someone solely focused on the school newspaper.
Another factor that schools consider is a student’s “good citizenship,” a skill developed in service activities. Admissions counselors, 76 percent, feel that a student’s leadership ability plays a critical role in getting into college.
Not surprisingly, these qualities also make a suitable job applicant and are the same ones that colleges seek in their student applicants.
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