College Plan Timeline:


Your high school is probably going to require some volunteering hours anyway. Why not stick with it and show a true commitment to helping your community?

Juniors should take their extracurricular activities to the next level in preparation for college admissions.

We briefly talked about getting involved in extracurriculars at the beginning of your junior year, but now you need to build on your experiences and demonstrate the consistency, commitment, and leadership colleges want.

What are college admissions boards looking for?

A year from now, when you’re filling out college applications and fighting a battle with senioritis, you’ll notice a good proportion of the college application is dedicated to extracurricular activities and sports. That is, activities far, far away from the calculus classroom and the photography lab.

Colleges are looking for well-rounded students who show a depth of commitment in their outside-the-classroom activities. These admissions boards will see through shallow resumes jam-packed with shallow activities.

Showing leadership and teamwork with one group is much more impressive than simply participating in many. Success also should never be overlooked. Being in the band since 5th grade is impressive, but helping that band win state competitions is better.

What's next?

By now you’ve already chosen your activities, it’s time to supercharge your involvement:

  • Ask about captainships. There’s no better way to demonstrating your leadership abilities than becoming the captain or co-captain on a successful team.
  • Organize events. Whether you want to hold a poetry reading or a break-dancing competition, event-organizing shows college admissions boards that you’re responsible and can follow through on lengthy commitments.
  • Seek the highest position in your organization. For example, Billy’s an Eagle Scout (the highest attainable rank in Boy Scouting) while Pedro’s just a Tenderfoot. Who do you think will have the upper hand when they both apply to Stanford?
  • Not involved yet? It’s never too late to start your own club or student group.

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Related Tools and Checklists

High School Junior Timeline and Checklist
High School Senior Timeline and Checklist

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

Volunteering, Community Service and College Admissions
Extracurricular Activities and College Admissions
Student Newspaper and Media Activities: How They Help Your College Applications
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