Extracurriculars and stuff

<p>Yeah, I know, I posted this on the Harvard forum a little while ago, but I'd like more opinions on this issue. How much are EC's counted? I'm kind of worried about my chances with the ECs that I currently have. They're nothing "spectacular" from the standpoint of pretty much everyone else applying. </p>

<p>I have good objective stats (2400 SAT, 2 perfect subject tests, salutatorian, 4.0 UW GPA, 10 APs and a research class which is a lot for my school, etc etc), and I'm sure my essays will at least be decent, but I'm kind of worried about my ECs. I have a few that I'm quite passionate about alongside some other ones that are fun, but aren't really a major part of my life. </p>

<p>My ECs are: </p>

<p>Boy Scouts since I was in second grade. I have a ton of leadership positions (Patrol leader x6, Senior Patrol Leader x1, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader x2, Philmont Crew Leader x1) and Order of the Arrow membership, but I'm sure many many people have things like this or similar. I have also been to all three of scouting's high adventure camps and I plan to write several of my essays on my experiences there. </p>

<p>I am also a member of the Marching Band and the Drumline (4 and 3 years respectively). I love doing both of these activities and Drumline is active year-round, playing almost weekly for sporting events, charities, memorial services, etc etc. I also plan on expanding on my experiences here in a few essays. </p>

<p>Lastly, I am Vice President of the Latin Club, something I have been involved in for 4 years and I work very closely with the President (a very good friend of mine) to make sure we are always the most successful of our school's four language clubs. </p>

<p>After that, I am a member of NHS, National Junior Classical League (Latin Honor Society), Athlete 2 Athlete (service org. for helping special education kids), Academic Team, and a Commended NMS student. </p>

<p>When I went to a Princeton college visit, the admissions director for our area told us that "it was not our job to prioritize your lives" and that someone who worked at Starbucks got the same consideration as a 5 letter athlete. Does this hold true for other upper tier schools? As long as you show a great deal of interest in something, will it please admissions officers?</p>

<p>Also, I will not be completing my eagle scout until sometime in the spring, probably around February or March. Will this hurt me in the admissions process? Is it worth sending an update upon my completion of eagle? I'm worried about having no national level recognition or anything like that. </p>

<p>If you took the time to read this and respond, you have my utmost appreciation and my sincere gratitude.</p>

<p>Whoa. We are really similar applicants. I’m in band and drumline too and am an Eagle Scout. Cool.</p>

<p>Anyway. It honestly just depends on how everything fits together. It doesn’t look like you’ve resume-padded very much at all, and I think they’ll appreciate that. Plus you’ve demonstrated that you can keep at something long-term with both band and Scouts. I wouldn’t really be worried about your ECs at all. write good, relevant essays and you should be fine. I would definitely send them an update when you get your Eagle, too. It certainly couldn’t hurt.</p>

<p>How are you a 2400-er on the SAT but commended on the PSAT? I know they’re different tests, so it’s possible, just not plausible considering the similarities between the two exams.</p>

<p>Here is the way I see it. </p>

<p>The school will take a few hundred superstar applicants with top academics and spectacular ECs (the ones who will get the likely letters). </p>

<p>After that, there will be two pools of applicants: 1) a group with spectacular ECs with average/good academics; and 2) a group with top notch academics with average/good ECs. </p>

<p>You are in group 2. I would guess that the number of applicants in the top 5 of their class with perfect or near perfect SAT/ACT scores is high - high enough where the percentage of applicants accepted is likley well under 50%. So, in my view, it basically comes down to your essay and whether it strikes a chord with the admission’s officer and committee. </p>

<p>I know some will say I left out recommendations. I think most teacher recs of students who are at the top of their class and have some reasonable school involvement will be glowing. (After all these are top students who get to self select the teachers writing the recommendation.) So unless the teacher mentions something damaging or can point to something specifically spectacular, it seems to me the recommendations at this level are generally a wash.</p>

<p>So I would try to make sure your essays are more than decent – especially since this is the only part of the application that you can really influence at this point.</p>

<p>[Harvard</a> College Admissions § Applying: Frequently Asked Questions](<a href=“http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/apply/faq.html]Harvard”>http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/apply/faq.html)</p>

<p>Almost at the bottom of the Harvard FAQ’s:</p>

<p>How important are extracurricular activities in admissions decisions?</p>

<p>Each case is different. Harvard seeks to enroll well-rounded students as well as a well-rounded first year class. Thus, some students distinguish themselves for admission due to their unusual academic promise through experience or achievements in study or research. Other students present compelling cases because they are more “well rounded” – they have contributed in many different ways to their schools or communities. Still other successful applicants are “well lopsided,” with demonstrated excellence in one particular endeavor – academic, extracurricular, or otherwise. Some students bring perspectives formed by unusual personal circumstances or experiences. Like all colleges, we seek to admit the most interesting, able, and diverse class possible.</p>

<p>Thanks for your input everyone. </p>

<p>Nikkor50mm, I didn’t study at all for the PSAT and got a 209, but I studied for the SAT, which shows through the large score gap.</p>