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How to improve your college application

There you are. Sitting at your desk listening to your teacher go on and on about the Pythagorean Theorem and why it is important to master so that you test well and can get into college. Per usual, you struggle to focus and your mind starts to wander. In that exact moment, you begin to wonder, what things actually look good on a college application? You know the stereotypical importance of getting good grades and scoring well on your ACT or SAT but you really haven’t thought much about your college application holistically. Does HOSA look good? Does JROTC look good? Does AVID? Thankfully, this blog should help you understand what things colleges will be impressed by so that you can continue to work on maintaining your focus in math class, and get those good grades too.


Clubs and Organizations Let’s first start by talking about clubs and organizations. Clubs and organizations are certainly activities that you can include on your college application that will strengthen your application. There are likely going to be many clubs and organizations to choose from at your school, so you should focus on those clubs that you are truly interested in, that have leadership opportunities, that are unique, and that are well known. Participating in clubs and activities that you are interested in will likely align with the majors or course of study you are planning to pursue. Colleges love this – as it shows that you are a passionate and dedicated student who is invested in their learning. After finding clubs that you are interested in, it could be beneficial to focus on participating in clubs that would provide leadership opportunities. Typically, colleges would prefer that you have some type of leadership position such as President, Treasurer, etc. than just a general member to further show your dedication. Next, colleges prefer to see clubs and activities on an application that are both unique and well-known.


Simply put – stand out from the others that will also be applying to the school. Clubs like HOSA, National Honor Society, and JROTC are generally favorable when coupled with leadership and longevity. However, the more unique the club or organization, the better. Are there clubs that you can join that are selective in nature? Are there organizations that you can apply to be part of outside of school? Are there clubs and organizations that aren’t offered at your school that you could start?


Here is a list of some common clubs and organizations that may be offered at your school:

  • FFA (Future Farmers of America)

  • HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America)

  • FCCLA

  • NHS (National Honor Society)

  • FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes)


Volunteering

So you’ve identified some clubs and organizations that you can be a part of, but what else would look good on a college application? Have you ever thought about volunteering? Volunteering is another excellent activity that you can participate in that will impress college admissions committees. Sometimes there might be volunteer opportunities in your school such as food drives, mentoring programs, or recycling programs. Other times you may feel more aligned with other opportunities in the community. Check out your local animal shelters, food pantries, and other community-based organizations that may be accepting volunteers to help carry out their mission and goals.


Why is volunteering such a great “thing” to include in your application? This activity shows colleges that you are involved in your community and pr