Your teen might have great grades, but does she really have all it takes to get into college? Extracurricular activities are an important part of showing colleges your teen is an individual with interests and hobbies in addition to good grades. So what do colleges look for when it comes to extracurriculars?
Think Beyond School-Based Extracurriculars
When your teen thinks about extracurricular activities, she may think that clubs, organizations, and sports are the only ones that are important to colleges. That's just not true. The word "extracurricular" itself implies that your teen is pursuing an interest outside of her school experience.
Suzanne Shaffer, a college prep expert who runs the website Parents Countdown to College Coach, says that colleges want to know how your teen spends her time outside of school, too. "Explore opportunities in church sponsored groups, service clubs, and outside sports disciplines," suggests Shaffer. Those types of activities show that your teen is interested in community service and leadership opportunities. She also reminds teens and parents not to underestimate how colleges view hobbies — what your child pursues on her own time can provide a glimpse of her unique personality and interests.