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"Hunting" as an extracurricular?

katmandu0071katmandu0071 Registered User Posts: 61 Junior Member
edited September 2011 in College Admissions
I want to know if I should list "hunting" as an EC. I'm from Nebraska, and I do hunt a fair amount. I'm applying to some top-tier schools; do you think "hunting" can be helpful to me? The way I understand it, presenting myself as a "down-home Nebraskan" might make my application more appealing to East Coast schools. I've also included in my applications my job working in cornfields for 4 summers.

So, is listing "hunting" a good idea? Or does it sound stupid?
Post edited by katmandu0071 on

Replies to: "Hunting" as an extracurricular?

  • glassesarechicglassesarechic Registered User Posts: 5,487 Senior Member
    It's a hobby, not an extracurricular.

    Some on CC will probably recommend including in. (There's a thread from this past year about "hidden" extracurriculars that recommends including things like knitting and reading.) Personally, I think you're better off mentioning it in an essay if it comes up. Otherwise, it's not relevant.
  • SikorskySikorsky Registered User Posts: 5,851 Senior Member
    I am inclined to agree with glassesarechic.
  • stressedoutttstressedouttt Registered User Posts: 4,111 Senior Member
    It's a hobby, not an extracurricular.

    what's the difference between a hobby and an EC?

    I think you should definately put it down. I know someone who got into Princeton put down rifling as an EC (and wrote about it for the EC portion)
  • M's MomM's Mom Registered User Posts: 4,562 Senior Member
    Yes, hunting is an EC and you should definitely include it if it is something that is important to you. I would also plan to write about it at least briefly because it can be controversial as a sport. And yes, I also think that and coming from Nebraska will differentiate you from the vast army of coastal applicants who are on the math team, editor of the school paper and play in their band/orchestra.
  • avatarmageavatarmage Registered User Posts: 232 Junior Member
    It sounds good if you had some type of hunting competition that you won. I have no idea I'm not much of a hunting kid...but ^no awards then it just looks about as good as virtual hunting otherwise known as call of duty.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 34,402 Super Moderator
    I agree with M's Mom, though there is a significant difference between hunting and "rifling" as stressedout called it (which I assume to be rifle marksmanship competitions).
  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    ECs are what you do outside of academic classes and work. Just because it isn't something that you joined a group, did competitions or took classes for does not mean it's not an EC. I agree that you should include it and that it may indeed set you apart from the crowd.
  • bclintonkbclintonk Registered User Posts: 7,333 Senior Member
    To me an EC is an organized activity, often but not always connected to the school, while a hobby is something one does solo or in a non-organized way. Stamp collecting is a hobby. Chess can be either a hobby or an EC, depending on whether you just play with friends and family members (hobby) or you're in some kind of chess club or organized competition (EC).

    That said, I think it's OK to include hobbies in the EC section of your apps. I once heard an admissions officer at a top LAC say, "We use your ECs, essays, and teacher and GC recs to try to get a sense of who you are as a person. We want to see the whole person there; we want to know your passions. And I don't care if your passion is stamp collecting, we want you to have a passion, and we want you to tell us about it." Stamp collecting, as I said, is a hobby.

    That was a couple of years ago when this "passion" language was in vogue. I think the colleges got a ton of essays with people yammering on about their "passions" and the adcoms got sick of it and toned down their rhetoric about "passion." But the basic idea is there. Especially at small, elite schools, the adcoms are trying to put together a diverse and interesting class. I'd imagine most of the top Northeastern schools don't get a lot of applications from avid hunters from Nebraska, so maybe it will help. Maybe it will ring their chimes, maybe not. Maybe they'll have just offered admission to an avid hunter from Wyoming and another from South Dakota, and they'll figure 2 is plenty. But I think it probably won't hurt (unless someone reading your file is a PETA supporter and finds the activity offensive), and it could help. But it's certainly better than leaving a blank slate.
  • SnowflakeVTSnowflakeVT Registered User Posts: 2,479 Senior Member
    If you spent a lot of time planning, preparing, organizing and participating in hunting, I would put it down. If you do it once a year and tag along with your dad, then I would not bother. What you want to show is that you take something seriously and excel at it, so if that is what hunting is, then put it down. My son will do the same for hiking, as he takes every aspect of it seriously (including the food prep and cooking and the planning of longer trips). Good luck ... coming from Nebraska you'll already have an advantage if applying to the East Coast.
  • bclintonkbclintonk Registered User Posts: 7,333 Senior Member
    ... coming from Nebraska you'll already have an advantage if applying to the East Coast.

    This is urban legend, propagated by Northeasterners to explain why it's so difficult for them to get into the most selective Northeastern colleges and universities. It has no basis in fact. Most schools don't give us admissions breakdowns by state, but Princeton helpfully tells us now many members of its entering class come from each state. In the Princeton Class of 2014, admitted in 2010, there's exactly 1 Nebraskan; nobody from neighboring Kansas; 1 from neighboring South Dakota; nobody from North Dakota. We don't know how many applied from these states, but we can get a very rough upper bound on that figure by looking at how many 2010 college-bound seniors sent SAT score reports to Princeton. Anyone who applied would need to send an SAT score report, because Princeton requires SAT Subject Tests (SAT IIs) from all applicants, together with either the SAT I or the ACT. (Of course, it may be that not everyone who sends a score actually completes an application, but the fall-off rate should be approximately the same for all states).

    In 2010, 54 Nebraskans sent SAT score reports to Princeton; 1 enrolled in the entering class. That a 1.85% rate of enrollments to score reports sent. That same year, 98 Kansans sent SAT score reports to Princeton; none enrolled in the entering class. South Dakotans did a little better: 22 sent SAT score reports, 1 enrolled. North Dakota was also shut out: 15 sent score reports, zero enrolled. For the four-state Great Plains region, the total is 189 students sending SAT score reports, 2 students enrolled in Princeton's entering class, a 1.06% rate of enrollments to score reports.

    In contrast, 3,245 college-bound seniors from New Jersey sent SAT score reports to Princeton, and 178 New Jerseyans enrolled in Princeton's entering class, a 5.5% rate of enrollments to SAT score reports, or 5 times the rate from the Great Plains states.

    Now there could be all kinds of reasons for this. Maybe a higher percentage of score-senders from the Great Plains never completed their applications, though there's no obvious reason why this should be the case. Maybe more Great Plains applicants were admitted to Princeton but a higher percentage of them decided to go elsewhere. Maybe (as the New Jerseyans will no doubt claim) the New Jerseyans were better qualified; though Nebraskans who took SAT Subject Tests (presumably because they planned to apply to elite schools like Princeton that require them) did better than New Jerseyans who took SAT Subject Tests (presumably for the same reason); the Nebraskans scored higher, on average, on both the Subject Tests themselves and on the SAT Reasoning Test (SAT I).

    I do think it's likely that Princeton's yield would be higher for New Jerseyans who can attend a super-elite college and still stay close to home. But 5 times higher? Besides, the data for other Northeastern states are pretty similar to New Jersey's.

    I'm not saying coming from Nebraska will make it harder to get into Princeton and similar elite Northeastern schools. But there's not a shred of evidence that it makes it easier, and constant repetition of the urban legend doesn't make it so.
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