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Extracurriculars for College: Which Matter? Which are Best?

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Extracurriculars for College: Which Matter? Which are Best?

As you scan the types of extracurricular activities available at your future high school, you may find yourself pinpointing the ones you think will make your college application shine. But how much do extracurricular activities matter for college? And what do colleges look for in extracurricular activities? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more. 

How Much Do Extracurriculars Matter for College?

So, how much do extracurriculars matter for college? The answer truthfully depends on the college and the type of extracurricular activities you choose. Every college weighs extracurricular involvement a bit differently, so you’ll want to discuss what works best with a college counselor

However, there is a rule of thumb that is often used by colleges that are invested in your high school extracurriculars — quality over quantity. Unfortunately, having a long list of extracurriculars won’t necessarily make your application stand out. Colleges are more interested in what you’ve gained from these activities as opposed to how many you were a part of.

Keep in mind that, while extracurriculars can be significant, they are often not ranked above your grades, course load, or ACT/SAT scores. Academic excellence is an essential part of succeeding in college, so you’ll want to ensure that your grades are a higher priority than extracurriculars.

We’ll dive deeper into what colleges look for in extracurricular activities below. 

What Do Colleges Look for in Extracurricular Activities?

You may be wondering, “What do colleges look for in extracurricular activities?” In general, colleges are interested in extracurricular activities that help you become a well-rounded student. The types of extracurricular activities you choose in high school can provide colleges with insights into who you are both in and out of the classroom. 

Many extracurricular activities are meant to teach students additional skills outside of the classroom setting. Colleges are interested in what you’ve learned from your experiences with these activities and how the skills you’ve gained make you a strong candidate for their school. 

Some colleges may look for students who have a wide range of interests as this may be a sign that you are eager to learn. Others may seek students that look to further their education in their field of interest. Read on to learn more about what types of extracurricular activities are the best for your college applications. 

What Types of Extracurricular Activities are Best? 

The best high school extracurricular activities are the ones that teach you widely applicable skills. Admissions committees are looking for students who have spent their time in high school gaining more than just classroom experience. This means that students who are able to showcase additional skills such as leadership, teamwork, or long-term commitment may stand out more during the application process.

When you’re ready to choose high school extracurricular activities, sign up for ones that will provide you with a fun learning experience. If you’d love the opportunity to develop your teamwork skills outside of group projects, sign up for one of your school’s sports teams. Students who know the field they plan to study may want to participate in clubs that match that passion, such as joining the robotics team if they plan to become an engineer. 

While partaking in as many extracurricular activities as you can may be just the schedule you’re looking for, make sure the ones you choose are still quality experiences. The best high school extracurriculars are the ones that help you grow into a well-rounded individual. 

Build Your College Application at King’s Schools

Preparing for college can feel overwhelming. You need to consider both the high school experience you’d like and how your high school will prepare you for higher education. At King’s Schools, we make it our mission to ensure that students have an outstanding educational experience in high school and beyond. We provide exceptional Christian education with plenty of opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom.

Learn more about our King’s high school program and how you can build a strong college application during your time here!