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Congressional Award

lynjobeslynjobes 329 replies27 threads Member
Is a Silver Congressional Award (she is 3/4's through) in this really of any use in college admissions for colleges which have admission rates of 25% or less (most my child is focusing on are 20% or less). I am beginning to get jaded about many things in the process, don't remember seeing the Congressional Award discussed much in my couple of years on College Confidential (though I am sure it has been). She would have to hurry to finish to get it on her applications this Fall (including a few EA applications). I am starting to think with stress levels, many serious family issues, that it's just not worth it. Input? Thanks.
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Replies to: Congressional Award

  • T26E4T26E4 23243 replies1031 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    From my brief glance at its description, it's not a WOW item. "It is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive program open to all 13 1/2 to 23-year-olds... more than 50,000 youth had registered as participants."

    It seems a nice program to honor kids to pursue and complete some milestones -- but your kiddo having a better GPA or a few more ACT points or a less stressful Junior and Senior year will be of more direct benefit than this one award -- which will be a few sentence on her Activity list of he Common App
    edited August 2015
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  • renaissancedadrenaissancedad 1472 replies8 threads Senior Member
    To me the Congressional Award (like the Duke of Edinburgh Award) is a nice way to log hours done in activities. It basically requires sustained participation at a fairly low threshold in voluntary service, physical fitness and personal development (arts or music in most cases). Lots of people do these things anyway - why not log them and get an award for it? Plus there's no question about how many hours you have put in to a given activity, since the hours have to be logged and someone needs to sign off on the log.

    It's a nice thing to have, but I don't think it carries much weight beyond participation in the component activities.
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  • momof2daughtersmomof2daughters 16 replies1 threads New Member
    If it's the Silver Medal, I do think it's worth your time. Silver Certificate, maybe not. My daughter received the CA Gold Medal a few years back, and there were only a few hundred kids from the entire nation that received it, so I think it carries a good deal of weight...but maybe that's just me wanting to justify the time we spent tracking all of it and logging hours in order for her to earn the medal! While I do think lots of kids easily earn the required hours for volunteering and the other 3 areas, it is somewhat of a pain to track it all (but you're most likely doing that for HS community service hours anyway) and get the hours validated, and I really think that's the main reason it is not awarded to that many kids. That being said, I feel like receiving it shows that you're well-rounded and that you had the motivation to stick with the program and complete it. But you can probably show them your well-roundedness on your application and through the essay too. Senior year is so stressful though...I'd suggest pulling out a calendar and scheduling everything she needs to do for college apps (essays, apps, requesting transcripts and test scores) and plan on completing all of that a week before your deadlines to have a buffer. Then see if it's even feasible to finish up the silver requirements amidst all of the other stressful stuff. Just as an FYI, my daughter attends a college that has about a 20-30% acceptance rate. One last thing I'll tell you is that she had to put on her application "met all requirements and applied for Gold Medal" since she hadn't received notification of receiving it by college app deadline. She was notified about a week before college decisions came out and she called the colleges and told them to please add that to her application. I guess we'll never know what role it played in her acceptance. You might actually call a college admissions officer at your schools and flat out ask them what sort of weight they place on CA. That may give you the best answer to your question.
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  • kjake2000kjake2000 997 replies222 threads Senior Member
    does anyone know if you can log hours from a little bit ago? I just signed up and wanted to know if I could use hours from a couple weeks ago.
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  • UnhealthyAdmissionAddictionUnhealthyAdmissionAddiction 56 replies18 threads Junior Member
    You can use hours since the printed date on the letter
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