Participating in extracurricular activities make you stand out to college admissions staff.

College preparation means more than good grades. College admissions committees like students who are unique and well-rounded. In addition to good grades and college prep classes, extracurricular activities should be part of your college preparation plan. Which extracurricular activities for college are you interested in?


Playing a school sport takes dedication and hard work – two characteristics that college admissions counselors like to see.

Music and Arts

There are numerous activities in the field of music and arts that will improve your college application. These include band, choir, orchestra, drama, art, photography and design. If there are music and arts-related classes you are interested in but aren’t offered at your school, don’t hesitate to explore classes at local community centers.

Community Service

Community service is good college preparation because it shows admissions committees that you are a responsible and caring individual. Many high schools even have community service clubs. You also can  find volunteer-oriented extracurricular activities for college in your local community. Check with nursing homes, daycare facilities, libraries, and soup kitchens for opportunities.

Additional Activities for College Preparation

This is by no means an exhaustive list! There are many other activities for college preparation that you can participate in while still in high school.
Student government, foreign language clubs, the debate team, model UN, math clubs, and other school clubs are all good options. The point is to do something that interests you, and to dedicate your time and energy to it.

How Extracurricular Activities Help Your Application

Extracurricular activities are an important part of college preparation because they allow college admissions committees to see that you are about more than just books. Colleges are interested in admitting well-rounded students. Take this into consideration when you think about what extracurricular activities to include in your college preparation. Another benefit of extracurricular activities is that they will help you stand out as an individual when college admissions committees look at your application. Great universities get tons of applications, and most of the applicants have a great academic background. Extracurricular activities for college will help to make your application unique and memorable. It might even be useful to include certain extracurricular activities on your resume someday.

But Don’t Go Overboard!

Remember that it can be dangerous to pile on too many activities for college in hopes of impressing admissions committees with your stellar college preparation. It’s much better to dedicate your time to a few extracurricular activities than to pile on as many activities as possible on your college application. College admissions committees won’t be fooled by a long roster of activities you joined for no other reason than simply to “impress” them.