Extracurriculars

<p>I was wondering from those who have gotten accepted what kind of extracurriculars UVa looks for? Any answers help. Thanks :)</p>

<p>We don't have a list of preferred activities. I'm sure there are rumors about there about what we "like" but those are just rumors. </p>

<p>Keep in mind that there are about 715 student clubs and organizations at UVa. They all make UVa an interesting place. We have mainstream organizations that probably line up with ones you have at your high school and we have some really different activities that you probably haven't seen before.</p>

<p>Just an added perspective from a mom who has had two kids go through the admissions process -- focus your high school activities on those areas that are interesting to you. Being passionate about what you are involved in is likely more important than creating some sort of check-off list for the college admissions process. </p>

<p>In terms of college admissions, especially for selective schools such as UVa, recognize that the schools receive applications from many more ACADEMICALLY qualified students than they can possibly accommodate. So, how do they choose a class from among that large pool of qualified students? In my opinion, they look for students who, based on their high school records, are likely to contribute something to the university/college as a whole, beyond merely being diligent students. Those sorts of "intangibles" are not really quantifiable, but become part of the "holistic" review.</p>

<p>For example, those who took initiative in high school to start a new club, social service organization, sports team, etc., are the type of student likely to do that at the university level. Holding a "leadership" position in an organization during high school is not all that valuable to a university unless you can demonstrate that you actually accomplished something in that position. Likewise, uniqueness is valuable in a university setting. Like diversity, that characteristic makes the class more interesting. Don't pick an activity just because it is "unique," but being truly interested in a unique activity/interest, etc., makes you more interesting to a college.</p>

<p>Bottom line, IMO, under a "holistic" review, admissions officers are trying to identify students who will in some small way make the school better from having that young person attend their school. What does that mean? An an extreme example I offer a student who graduated from UVa last year -- she was a Jeff Scholar, a recruited field hockey player, had more interests/activities than I can remember, was a top student at UVa, and yet, she still craved more intellectual stimulation while in college. As a result, she and a friend started the "flash sems," a program of extracurricular, small-group meetings lead by a UVa faculty member, often in a discipline other than their university teaching position. </p>

<p>My advice -- use your applications/essays to highlight not just what you have done in your prior academic career but also one or two unique things you will bring to the school if admitted.</p>