Sep 3, 2021
5 Myths About Activities and College Applications
When it comes to completing college applications, things have changed a lot over the years.
Today, completing an application is a holistic process; in an ideal world, a student’s essays,
application and academic record will all paint a picture of a student that gives a clear idea of what
type of person he or she is.
To help you navigate this piece of the admissions process, we believe it is important to discuss
and comment on a few application myths and misconceptions.
- Stellar activities can mask low test scores or grades. This is not true. Your grades and
the rigor of coursework is the most important factor in college admissions, followed by test
scores (when applicable).
- More is more. Sorry, but this is false as well. These days, less is more. Meaning that
students are engaged in fewer activities but have developed deep skills or expertise in
those narrower interests. Being well-rounded is no longer the goal.
- My service hours will tilt the scales in my favor. Generally, this is not the case. Even if
you have an impressive number of hours; schools do not weigh this heavily when
evaluating your application (unless service itself is your main angle or focus). Service for
its own sake is fantastic, but if you have to choose between getting in some service hours
or doing an internship, the choice is easy–skip the service!
- Activities should appear in chronological order on the resume and application.
Definitely not! The most important elements in a student’s story need to go at the top of the
application and/or resume. If a student is applying to a certain program, then put those
relevant items first on the application.
- Include everything you have ever done. Yes, that award in 6th grade might have been
impressive, but colleges don’t care. Really. There is a way to weave long-term involvement
into relevant sections on the resume, but the applications will only provide spaces for
activities from 9th grade onward. Remember, the most important items and passions are first on