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Extracurriculars: What really matters, from an experienced admission officer and college counselor

My friend and former colleague Sara Purviance is a smart and compassionate counselor, with a background in admission at Colorado College and Hampshire College.

She recently published a spot-on piece that addresses many of the mythologies of building an extracurricular profile.

Here’s the thing: there is no magic formula when it comes to extracurricular activities. Some believe that you need to go all in with one thing and be the very best in that one thing. Sure, that works for a few (I’m looking at you, DI athletes) but very, very few students get in mostly based on non-academic talent. Others go for the longest list possible, including things they did for one afternoon one time in 9th grade. Quality is definitely better than quantity; colleges would rather see a short list of activities in which you’ve shown commitment, depth, and leadership.

Click through the image to read more and find a self-reflection exercise.

Follow Sara's site at for more good advice and great resources!

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