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Does making clubs actually help you get into college?

stevehwanstevehwan - Posts: 141 Junior Member
edited February 2008 in College Admissions
i have an unrealistic friend who thinks he can get into Brown. he is taking 6 classes, 3 aps, and got 2 b's first semester. he made Chemistry Club and is trying to make a Red Cross Club. he is also american born chinese. he is getting 1800-1900 on SAT and did some volunteer and a lil bit of research at some college. he has really unrealistic goals because he thinks he can get into brown; i dont think he can even though he could get into Berkeley perhaps. do colleges know that people make clubs just to raise their chances of getting in and can they tell if clubs are legit or not?
Post edited by stevehwan on
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Replies to: Does making clubs actually help you get into college?

  • aznfishyaznfishy Registered User Posts: 543 Member
    1800-1900 out of 2400? thats rlly bad
  • llpitchllpitch Registered User Posts: 4,318 Senior Member
    How is that really bad? That may be lower compared to the general population on CC but in the actual world that's a score people would love to have.
  • innervisionsinnervisions User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 221 Junior Member
    Club activity, unless it is a very time-consuming service club or something of the like, probably isn't that effective.
  • Gryffon5147Gryffon5147 Registered User Posts: 3,765 Senior Member
    Oh yeah? I know someone with a 1900 and even less ECs applying to Stanford. I told her she was nuts.
  • hannahtastichannahtastic Registered User Posts: 408 Member
    he might have a chance, you're no admissions officer.
    Besides, you don't really know what Brown is looking for this year. Admissions to colleges are so random, I'd say everybody has a chance.
    He'll never know if he doesn't apply.

    On the other hand, I know how obnoxious kids who state they aren, "going to Yale" in september, before they've even applied are, so I can understand your frustration if he's gloating about where he applied. I, however, don't see how mocking him via the internet on a threat that he will most likely never read, is a productive use of energy.
  • NewEngSocSciManNewEngSocSciMan Registered User Posts: 790 Member
    1. It's a crapshoot (admissions, that is).
    2. Making clubs at random is useless unless they're (a.) large, (b.) do something noteworthy, and/or (c.) sound legitimate (among other factors).
  • dchow08dchow08 Registered User Posts: 3,267 Senior Member
    I can only speak from my perspective, but it seems like in this college-getting-in-frenzy, everyone wants to do whatever he/she can to get into a brand-name college. At my high school, at least this is true. My high school is filled with people who read SparkNotes and never the actual book, who say that they want to go to Williams or Yale in order to get a real education and ironically do homework at the last minute and don't seem to enjoy any learning in high school, and who apply to big-name schools because they think that doing so will guarantee them a good life, and who, unfortunately, largely through legacies, actually get in.

    These people also found clubs just to slap it on their applications. They become presidents of the National Honor Society and Biology club and do a shoddy job, proud that they have something to put on their application.

    I don't think that admissions officers will be suspicious at all that someone who founds a club wants to do it just to put in on an application. They've seen it before.
  • dchow08dchow08 Registered User Posts: 3,267 Senior Member
    Also, he might get into Brown; you never know. At my school, a lot of seniors (myself included) were very shocked by what came out of the Early Action/Decision students who applied to Stanford. The genuinely smart, forward-looking, intelligent students all got rejected (except one). The students who weren't particularly bright, who just sat in class not participating at all, who didn't seem to care or really enjoy learning, got in. I still don't know how Stanford could have done that, but alas, it happened.
  • SherwelthlangleySherwelthlangley Registered User Posts: 202 Junior Member
    It depends on how committed your friend is to these activities. My friends started a race car club, yet since this subject has little to no relevance academically or to anything else, I'm not so sure how much impact that will make.

    Universities most certainly want to see leadership and responsibility in ECs. If religion is particularly significant in a student's life, then it may help if that student is involved in youth groups at church or at a religious club at school.
  • lalaloo6lalaloo6 Registered User Posts: 529 Member
    About making clubs, I would say it really depends. Actually, I saw a thread where people said it was useless to make a club in 11th grade because that "screamed that you were only doing it to get into college." I made a math team in 11th grade, and have been pouring myself into it. I just didn't have enough info, time or organizational skills to make it before then. Also, I got into MIT + Caltech EA. So, I'd say it REALLY depends. Personally, I mentioned it in essays and had awards to show from it. So, for me, math team was a big deal. But if you make clubs just for the sake of making clubs, it probably doesn't do anything.
  • gg0624gg0624 Registered User Posts: 153 Junior Member
    dchow08 - sounds like you're describing my high school!

    In the past few weeks, about four new clubs have sprouted up in my school and my peers (juniors) have been vying for leadership positions in them. They're all dedicated to certain charities, but their objectives are fairly superficial. One is a club that wants to raise money for victims of the Darfur genocide, another is a chapter of Habitat for Humanity that I don't think will actually get off the ground...I know the kids that founded these clubs and I am positive there is an ulterior motive behind their so-called "humanitarianism." Frankly, I think the majority of the kids that do this in my school are juniors that are frantically packing their resumes after having slacked off for nearly three years. This all frustrates me as someone who actively participates in clubs that correlate to my hobbies (politics, writing) and doesn't just join a random club so I can put it on my application.

    I really hope that the adcoms know the difference between a genuine participant and a slacker who just puts the club down on their application. I almost feel at a disadvantage because I'm actively and passionately involved in a couple of very time-consuming activities while many of my classmates just dabble in nearly a dozen. Can the adcoms spot true passion and tell it apart from a laundry-list of superficial EC's? :-(
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    I'm an Ivy alum interviewer, and can say that making clubs would only rarely help someone's chances. Why? It's very obvious to interviewers and admissions officers that most students who create clubs do so only as resume dressing.

    For the colleges that really factor ECs into admissions decisions (and a strong EC may help the living, but won't raise the dead, to paraphrase the head of Harvard's admissions), for a club creation to be a boost, the club would have to be more than something that exists on paper. It would need to serve an important need and make a strong impact.

    Pie Eating Club (they eat pie each week) and Games Club (they play games each week to relieve stress )aren't impressive (I have seen students who took credit for starting such things).
  • sarah786sarah786 Registered User Posts: 220 Junior Member
    also, i was wondering, what about those kids who create clubs through thier churches - i think the schools for schools is something like that. i dont doubt that people who start these clubs genuinely want to help the world, but i am doubtful when it is through a church or part of a national organization because you know the kid is not making a huge contribution and likely only doing it for thier resume. also, some people are not part of churches, so do these church trips to third world countries to build houses really help? also, i think colleges see that even though you did not start a charity club, does not mean you dont care about charity as much as someone who did.
  • mairoula517mairoula517 Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
    It's really sad that colleges think that most student's who make clubs are just "resume padding." As founder of my school's environmental club i can say that it's had a huuuuge impact on my life and I have really devoted a lot of time to it. I created the club because I am passionate about helping the environment, now because I want to get in to college.

    I understand that is the current climate during this whole college admission frenzy, but it's still pretty sad.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    "It's really sad that colleges think that most student's who make clubs are just "resume padding."

    What's sad is that most students who start clubs do so only for resume padding. One sees this all of the time on CC: Just compare the numbers of students whose posts say things like, "What kind of club can I start to impress colleges" with the students who post things like, "I'd like to start a club because I'm passionate about the environment, and want to get students in my high school to care about these issues. What do you think could be some good projects for my club to do?"

    marioula, you sound like the type of club founder who colleges would be impressed by, and trust me, it's easy to differentiate those who start clubs for self aggrandizing reasons and those who do the hard work of starting a club to make a difference in a cause they believe in.

    Meanwhile, one may not need to start a club in order to address issues that one cares about. One may be able to address such issues through clubs one already belongs to. For instance, one of my sons was very moved by the tsunami's devastation, and spearheaded a fundraising drive by his NHS chapter even though he was a shy junior who didn't hold any office. That kind of leadership (which one should list in one's activity section of apps, e.g. "organized an NHS fundraiser that raised $1,000 for tsunami victims") can be more impressive, incidentally, than being an SGA officer or NHS prez yet having no real accomplishments in those positions except gaining the office and figuring out the prom theme.
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