Getting involved

You are more than just your grades

Getting involved in experiences that interest you is a great way to show college admissions teams that you are a well-rounded student. Whether you join a sports team, club, volunteer or work part-time, you’ll expose yourself to opportunities to grow as an individual and leader, and demonstrate your ability to juggle responsibilities. Learn more below about what colleges are looking for. 

What are colleges looking for?


Leadership demonstrates your ability to take initiative, inspire and motivate others –  characteristics that colleges value. Consider getting involved in student government, joining sports teams or clubs that represent your passions and talents, auditioning for performing arts roles, tutoring other students, or writing for your school media outlets or yearbook. 


Innovators have the ability to think outside the box. They’re creative problem solvers who are  critical thinkers. Consider becoming involved in an engineering or robotics club; explore maker spaces and learn how to use tools such as 3D printers; or learn about the principles of design thinking and how to apply it to your ideas. 

Compassion and Integrity

Compassion and integrity are qualities that demonstrate your willingness to help others and reflect your commitment to ethical behavior. Consider opportunities for community service, faith-based or diversity clubs, peer counseling or mentoring, working with seniors in elderly facilities, caring for abandoned pets or engaging in causes that interest you. 


Showing that you can set and achieve your goals is a quality that colleges value as it will carry you through challenges you’ll face while earning your degree. Grades are the most obvious way to showcase your ability to achieve, but you should also consider other accomplishments such as sports, artistic displays, and internships or part-time jobs.


Being a good communicator may not sound like something to boast about, but having the ability to hold an audience’s attention, drive home a point and convey your message is tougher than it sounds. Consider public speaking opportunities; joining the debate club or Model United Nations; creative writing competitions; or language, drama or theater clubs. 


Being able to effectively juggle many responsibilities at once and multitask is a skill that will serve you well beyond college. Your future career, family obligations and personal life will require you to shuffle many competing commitments at a time. Consider opportunities where you can demonstrate qualities such as organization, time and stress management, the ability to delegate and remain flexible and quickly adapt to changing situations.

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