College Prep

Aside from playing 2 sports and being in a few clubs, what other things could I do to help with my college applications?

1: FOCUS ON YOUR GRADES, and more importantly, the RIGOR of the courses you're taking (AP/IB/Honors when possible.) While strong grades will offset weaker extracurricular activities, strong extracurriculars (barring national/international awards, DI-III recruited athletic etc.) won't do as well to offset weaker academics.

2: Don't adopt the "Gotta catch 'em all" mind-set when it comes to clubs: Admissions Offices are looking for applicants who have spent time and energy on a few activities, rather than an applicant who has hopped around from club to club and is a jack of all trades, but master of none. Admissions Officers can usually distinguish between applicants with genuine interests rather than those doing activities merely to pad their resumes, and they'd rather have the former: a well-rounded class is more important to them than having an entire class of students who are well-rounded on paper, but isn't driven to excel in any specific activity or field.

3 There's a time and place for the college search and being on College Confidential. While both are important, it's much harder to change your high school academic and extracurricular record come application season than deciding on schools.

Hope that helps!

I agree with @PikachuRocks15 regarding grades. You want A’s, and a lot of them in your classes. You should regard doing well in your classes as the most important thing. The rigor of your high school classes is a close second.

Participate in the ECs that you want to participate in. If you are the president of the club, then make the club better for everyone. Leadership is about helping others, it is specifically NOT about getting your way. Having the longest list of ECs is the wrong approach. Having a moderate list of ECs that you care about is much better.

Do not let this process stress you out too much. There are a lot of very good universities. You do not have to try to guess what Harvard or Stanford want from an applicant. Instead, do what you want to do. Take classes that are good choices for you. Whatever you do, try to do it well. Also try to have some fun and get enough sleep.

When it is time to apply to schools, look for schools that are a good fit for you. Do not be impressed by a big name. Be impressed by a school where you fit in and where you will get what you want from the school. Also, keep your budget in mind and avoid debt if you reasonably can.