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Constructing an Effective College Application Activity Sheet
What is a College Enrollment Activity Sheet? The activity sheet is a tool for admissions counselors to assess the student from a perspective that goes beyond grades and test results. All college applications require information outlining the applicant’s extracurricular involvement. Building an activity sheet can be a daunting task for students as they try to gather all of their information. What should they include? What is important? What are colleges looking for? All of these questions are legitimate and should be considered when preparing a college application activity sheet. Having gone through the college application process four times in six years, I am able to share some ideas on how to put your college application resume forward.
First and foremost, recognize that the activity sheet is your chance to shine! This sheet allows you to highlight all the major aspects of your high school career that are not on your transcript. So don’t hesitate to brag and sell yourself! Before you start filling out the activity sheet, compile a list of all of your high school activities, clubs, departments, sports teams, honors, or accomplishments. Add to this list any activity groups you have participated in that have taken place outside of school. These may be religious groups, theatrical or musical groups, or service organizations such as scouts and boy scouts. Now evaluate your list. Eliminate anything that was a one-time activity unrelated to others. For example, you don’t need to add the 2 hours you spent in your sophomore year sorting cans for a food drive, unless you have a full community service resume. You don’t want your activity sheet to be a long list of “hit wonders”. Your goal is to show deep commitment and focus on areas that are important to you.
Don’t overlook sports participation by simply listing your teams and years of participation. Include any titles or recognitions the team has received. If your team made it to the National Finals, it means you had an extended season requiring more than the usual hours of participation. Also include any individual recognition such as honors from all leagues. Finally, many high school sports teams include a service element in their season. It could be a charity fundraiser, like a Hit A Thon, a food drive, a clinic for local children, or a summer camp. These should all be part of your college application activity sheet.
A final tip is to limit your sheet to one page. Keep the format simple and easy to read. Avoid complex spreadsheets, clip art, and fancy fonts. Finally, rank your activities in order of your strengths. If you have a lot of service work, list it first. If your honors are few, put that toward the end. Always, always include any jobs you’ve had. Holding a job is a reflection on your responsibility and reliability. My advice to younger students..start a document your freshman or sophomore year where you can enter your activity information on an occasional basis. In the final year, you will have a list in place and can modify it accordingly. This makes the process simple and stress-free.
For additional tips and to see a sample college application activity sheet, check out Celebrate College at Celebration Ideas Online.com.
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