Extracurricular Confirmation

<p>So today I was eating sushi while browsing on my new jailbroken iPhOnE (gift from a friend who's a GIRL) until a brilliant question regarding college admissions and its applications came into the Asian mind: </p>

<p>How are the extracurricular activities of one's applications verified by the top universities (MIT, Caltech, Harvard, Yale, Skankford, Berekley, etc.)? Do the admission officers even attempt to confirm these extracurricular activities? </p>

<p>I obviously refer to extracurricular activities of mediocre significance, not anything astronomically major (curing cancer, Intel Finalist, president of the United States, etc.), as such rare activities would simply initiate a confirmation action. However, I do consider internships (research, etc.), sports, clubs, volunteering (ex: 3000 hours at local hospital) and other avocations "moderately significant". </p>

<p>How would the indefatigable MIT admissions officer know you participated in an internship of volcanic research in the Hawaiian islands? How would they know that you are president of NHS, Math Club, Grammar Club, Chess Club, and Anime Club? How would they know that you won the Best Dressed Award? </p>

<p>If the intimidating admissions officers do not check, then this is something destructive nefarious beings can take advantage of... And such would simply be unfair to all those who worked for these activities.</p>

<p>No, they don't check -- how could they take the time to verify that over 15,000 people are telling them the absolute truth? </p>

<p>You are free to lie in many application processes you'll encounter through your life: college admissions, graduate school admissions, job applications, etc. People reading these applications will largely take you at face value. But you should be aware that, if you do lie and are found out, the consequences will likely be swift and severe. </p>

<p>Be aware, also, that other aspects of your application are expected to corroborate your self-provided portion (e.g. teacher and guidance counselor recommendations).</p>

<p>There is no formal check, but I have previously caught out students who have exaggerated their accomplishments. </p>

<p>At the interview, the Educational Counselor (EC) does not spend much if any time on stuff that MIT already has on file. Do not expect to talk about grades, or test scores, or any such stuff. MIT already has all of that, and the interview is designed to try to find out who the applicant really is. So at the interview, I take a lot of time to discuss how the candidate chooses to spend their time outside of the classroom, and often, extracurricular activities make up a significant chunk of that.</p>

<p>So if someone lies to me, and says that they are the president of the NHS, I am going to assume that they are telling me the truth, but I will also be asking them what they like and dislike about the NHS, what made them seek the presidency, what changes, if any, they used the presidency to implement and how successful that effort was. I might ask how they respond to some of the more common criticisms of the NHS, what role they think that they have as president, and other questions. I am asking these, not because I think that they are lying, but because that gives me a clearer picture of who the student is, how THEY valued that office, and how I should present them in my report. On very rare occasions, some answer does not add up, and then, the flexibility that exists in the interview allows me to continue to drill down until I am satisfied. This has exposed some exaggeration in the past.</p>

<p>This isn't perfect, and there is quite a bit of luck involved. For example, if you claim you were a boy scout, hey that's great, I was a boy scout. I am happy to talk about scouting for a very long time. If however, you claim you were a young oceanographer, well that is a subject that I know a lot less about. Though the luck actually mans that nobody can lie with the foreknowledge that their interviewer will be unable to discover the lie.</p>

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<p>Take advantage? There is no real advantage to lying on your application. If the lie is big enough to actually boost your admissions chances, like say lying about winning the national Siemens Science competition, then that's easily verified and your lie will be found out. On the other hand if your lie is small enough that there is no chance of being caught, like say claiming you won the Best Dressed award at your high school, then the achievement is too trivial to help you get in. So what's the point of lying?</p>

<p>I don't know. The vast majority of applicants don't have these easily verified ECs or awards. Like, if some kid says he is president of 5 different clubs at his school, I would think this would help him in the application process, yet it would still be hard for the school to check. If only the most significant things help an applicant get in, then nobody would do things like simple volunteer work or join communitiy service organizations at their schools.</p>

<p>@ Courer: Suppose someone decides to lie about an internship at a professor's lab. In doing so, that phony could use this lie as a basis for his "passion". He could write about his "passion" of working in the area of research he pursued in his internship, resulting in a spectacularly faked essay.</p>

<p>Potentially that is so, but it is less important that you suggest. MIT is an evidence-based institution, they look for evidence of the traits claimed in an application. Yes, you could have worked in a lab for many many hours doing work that you didn't really enjoy, and yes you could potentially use this many hours of work to possibly assist you to get into an institution that you wouldn't really enjoy, but for what?</p>

<p>If you really did not enjoy the internship, then that is possibly an, even more interesting essay and commentary than the contrary. Working on the basis of Edison's famous "I have not failed, I have just found 10000 ways that won't work", you could write about what attracted you to the internship, and what about the field was a lot less interesting than you had expected. Failure (at least temporarily) is intrinsic to the sciences, as you find 10000 ways that do not work, and being able to express clearly what you love and dislike about a field may be more useful to admissions than expressing an insincere love for a topic, because unless you are exceptionally skilled, then that lie will out.</p>

<p>i know for me, my teachers require a resume to write rec letters and talk about what you are involved in at school</p>

<p>why would you even ask this question dude, just dont lie</p>