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Art as an Extracurricular

StarlightSamiStarlightSami 14 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
I really want to include Art as an extracurricular, but I'm not quite sure how to frame it. I have been doing art all of my life in all different mediums like digital, painting, drawing, and photography. I’ve done jewel making and nail art as well, but I don’t think those count.

As a kid I took art classes outside of school, but after middle school, I have taken at least one form of an art class every year in school. Does it still count as an extracurricular if i take it as a class in school? I have competed in VASE (art competition) once and got a perfect score, but did not advance to state.

I also took AP art last year and it truly was one of the toughest most time-consuming classes I have ever taken. Out of the 16 AP courses, I have taken it was somehow the most difficult. I didn’t do great in the class (87) but no one else in the class got an A anyways. I did get a 5 on the AP portfolio, and I’m really proud of it. I was wondering if i could mention that when I talk about Art in my common app? I honestly think it really shows how much I care. I definitely spent at least 6 hours a week outside of school and 4 hours a week in school working on my portfolio. However, its is an actual class, so I’m not sure if i can mention it as an extracurricular.
edited September 18
10 replies
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Replies to: Art as an Extracurricular

  • skieuropeskieurope 39229 replies7003 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    An extracurricular is, by definition, is an activity pursued in addition to the normal course of study. So no, your time spent on an art class is not an EC. There are ways.however, to frame (no pun intended) your art projects that are not connected with class as an EC.
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  • StarlightSamiStarlightSami 14 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @skieurope Thank you for the response! However, I am a little confused, why would things like a school chorus count but not an art class. I have been doing it for a while now and because art classes are so time consuming, most of my artwork is related to a class. How would I frame this on an application?
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  • homerdoghomerdog 5057 replies93 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I say it counts. Count the time you spent on your work outside of school as the hours. You must have had to complete works at home for the AP class. Our S19 is an artist and probably spent two/three hours a week outside of class working on his pieces during the school year. He sent portfolios to all colleges that would take them. He also took art class outside of school so he had those hours as well but you can certainly just count the hours you spent completing projects at home.

    I would just call the EC "Art" on the common app. Then describe it by writing about the works you've done, any mediums that are of special interest, any art awards you've won, your AP score if it was 4 or 5. Are there any art contests you can enter at this late date? I don't think you've missed the deadline for Scholastic Art Awards yet. Maybe look into that. Decisions won't come until Jan I believe but you could say you entered the contest and update schools if you win any awards.

    I do think S19's portfolio made a difference for him in admissions but he applied mainly to LACs with holistic admissions.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21122 replies219 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 18
    My artsy child put together a fine arts resume of classes, awards, summer programs, etc. and included that with an art portfolio which was sent to colleges (LACs). And, yes, I do think it helped in admissions.
    edited September 18
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  • skieuropeskieurope 39229 replies7003 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    edited September 18
    why would things like a school chorus count but not an art class.
    Others may disagree with me, but chorus, band, drama, etc do not count simply because it is a class with class assignments. It does count if there is an EC component attached - plays, recitals, football games, etc. If your art encompasses art shows and the like , then that part is an EC. But hours spent doing assignments for the class is called homework.
    edited September 18
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  • homerdoghomerdog 5057 replies93 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 18
    @skieurope I think it’s a tough call. At some high schools, band or chorus are classes and then have performances etc. At other high schools, those ECs have practices after school and they are not classes. I think colleges want to know what you did outside the realm of academics and art, band, etc obviously count as ECs even if the class is taken at school. That being said, they are way better ECs if the student also takes lessons after school or has won competitions or is part of an art club or a band outside of school.

    If the OP intends to use art as an important EC on his app then looking for art opportunities outside of school can be the way to kick it up a notch.

    We were super conscious of this ahead of time. Made sure S19 entered contests and took summer art classes.
    edited September 18
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  • TiggerDadTiggerDad 1891 replies70 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "Extra - "Curricular"

    Arts in all forms can be great as extracurricular. Just not ("ex") your classes ("curricular").

    Art shows, presentations, competitions, arts related community work, etc. are some examples of extracurricular. Remember, too, you can always submit your best works via arts supplement as a part of your college application if you consider your work to be exceptional.
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  • StarlightSamiStarlightSami 14 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you everyone for your help!
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34116 replies377 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Well, when a school calls orchestra a class, it's *traditionally* seen as a hands on activity, with performance aspects. If chorus is just a class, no more/no less, then it's a class. Adcoms will see it on the transcript.

    If time spent on art is just a hobby, not a peer engagement, it doesn't satisfy the expectation for peer-involved activities. You can add it. But try to understand what's a tip to your college targets.
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