Nov 252011

Applying for College?  Do sports and extracurricular activities make a difference in your college applications?

Note:  This is  part 2 of the transcript of the information contained in the video from VanderbiltUniversity about Applying for College – an Insiders Guide for Getting Into a Good College.

Follow this here to read part one (the previous post)  about getting into a good college using other things that your grades.

Sports and Extracurricular Activities

Remember when we talked about being involved. Being involved does not mean 95 clubs. It may be a handful, but how did you participate? So for example, maybe you really wanted to be in program X, Y, and Z and could not do it in school.

What did you find in your community? What did you find in your local area? Or what have you? Because again, you need to participate but you have to be able to look at lots of venues to do that.

Applying for College Is a Job!

applying for collegeWe also can look at a school where perhaps, has – I hate giving numbers but for just purposes of description – maybe school that has 60 or 70 students in a class. We look – you have to look there – the opportunities to a school that had 800 in the same class.

Again, so that’s where we are understanding and contextualizing your high school. So we are trying to look at that in one school, they may only be in two things because of the sheer number, they can’t be in anything else.

Or in a lot of times, there are just schools that even limit the number of extracurriculars that are the main core of extracurriculars at the school you can have. Versus a smaller school, you may be wearing multiple hats because you got to do that to keep the school running, to keep that environment.

So again we would look at both sides of that equation and it’s all about you, your application, and who you are as we think about you joining this community. Not you in relationship to everyone else.

The next part of the transcript is about preparing for college, the college  essay.  That will be up tomorrow.

So, when applying for college there is more that just good grades required to get into the college of your choice.

Nov 232011

Getting Into a Good College – What helps Besides Grades?

Note:  This is a partial transcript of the information contained in the video from VanderbiltUniversity about Applying for College – an Insiders Guide for Getting Into a Good College.

Remember, it’s more than just academic preparation. It is how am I vested into the community? How am I vested in my high school or junior high? What clubs, organizations or extra-curricular events that I participate in? Am I adding value? Am I making a difference? It’s not just a litany of “I’m in 20 clubs.” We would much prefer to see a student who has few clubs but they have vested themselves and have made true difference in their lives and in other people’s lives, whatever that maybe. As opposed to a bunch of clubs where the reality at the end of the day, you participated but there was really no true reflective change.

getting into a good collegeAnother would be, “Maybe I’m doing a little less in my high school but I am very involved in a particular medical or environmental cause.” So I mean with the different professional organizations or non-profits within my community. Those would be the same thing. It is participating and saying I’m passionate and I want to help make a difference, whatever that difference is. And again, we are not judging what the topic is. We’re judging: did you take hold and grabbed it and moved forward.

The issue here is that you took hold of something and made a difference and that you vested yourself. You were excited, you were passionate. Those are the things that we would be looking for, not just a type of student. Remember, our goal in building, whether you are looking at Vanderbilt or any school that’s highly selective elite school like Vanderbilt. What you’re looking at is, or what we’re looking at is building a community. If everybody was just involved in one activity, what a boring community we will be developing. It is the individual strength of each person coming – the sum of those make a great class.

The next part of this getting into a good college transcript is called “How important are extracurricular activities and sports when applying for college?”

That was about getting into a good college with other important factors than grades.

Mar 232010

College Application Essay

Some important advice on writing your college application essay is to make sure it sounds like you and that you write it yourself.  You can have another person go over your essay to make grammatical correction but you are going to want it to sound like YOU.

Maybe you don’t think that you are a great writer.  It doesn’t matter.  There are plenty of people that go to school that are not the best writers in the world.  But you need to get your points across about the truly unique person that you are.

After you watch this video about how to write a college application essay you may want to see what an expert college recruiter has to say about your college application essay.  We have a transcript of that portion of the video as well as the entire video about getting into college – the one of your choice.



Write your College Application Essay to Show Off Something Unique About You

Don’t be shy about some of the things you are interested in.  There is a good chance that some college recruiter will find it fascinating!  If you make hybrid geraniums or are a rock climber put this into your college application essay; chances are you’re going to impress someone with that information and you may end up with a pretty goo scholarship to boot!