How Ivy EC's are "looked at"?

<p>Hello, i'm interested in some of the ivies, and i have a question about EC's and how they are "looked at". In my case, i am a member of the highest band and i wanted to know whether that would look better to admissions, than being in a lower band. would they recognize that based on my transcripts? or would it need to be made known somewhere in the application?
another similar situation i'm in involves cross country/track, im on varsity and will have a good amount of varsity letters by senior year, and i am wondering if admissions will know of this? how would they be notified?</p>

<p>Why not take a look at the brand new common app that was just released? You'll see just how you are expected to provide info.</p>

<p>The question about impressive ECs comes up regularly on the forum. There is a thread with comments by Northstarmom, a Ivy alum interviewer, about what constitutes impressive ECs from the point of view of the most selective colleges. The post is at <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>2 very interesting articles about ECs that stand out and how to get them (same author, different examples) are at How</a> to Be Impressive and Save</a> This Grind? While I don't agree with everything in them, take a look at these 2 articles and I think you'll get some original ideas.</p>

<p>N'starmom's list is extreme. Not everyone can win national level awards, etc. Her list mirrors something running around that supposedly shows how the UCs give points for certain activities. </p>

<p>Op asked whether high band will be seen as better than low band, but also, how adcoms are made aware of ECs.</p>

Excellent ECs (e.g. ECs that are of the caliber that many accepted students to HPY have) include having 2 of the following, preferably from very different fields:</p>

<p>Eagle Scout or comparable Girl Scout
SGA president
Varsity team captain
Regional or national ranking in an activity like Mu Alpha Theta
First place citywide award for something like leadership, service, public speaking, arts
President of a major citywide or regional organization (such as being president of a regional religious youth organization)
Spent the summer working abroad or doing community service abroad in a program that the student found themselves and funded themselves or was paid for participating in
Works a job doing work that normally an adult would do.
Created any type of local community service program that had impact such as getting one's school or church involved in serving monthly meals to the homeless; starting a once a week tutoring program for low income kids; raising a couple of hundred dollars to give to a charity.... </p>

<p>Just to clarify: The lists are not absolute requirements for admission to top schools. There are students who get into places like Ivies without those things. more will be expected of a student who is from a part of the country like the urban Northeast than a student who is from an underrepresented part of the country. Also, more would be expected of a student from an excellent school, affluent family in an urban area with lots of opportunities</p>

<p>Just getting a club office, taking an instrument for years, or going on a trip doesn't really count for that much when it comes to top college admissions. Going above and beyond what most people do -- and accomplishing these things through your own creativity and hard work (not through your parents' buying opportunities for you) is what helps ECs stand out to admission officers at top colleges.

NSM's list is provided by someone working as an alum interviewer for an Ivy and with first-hand experience seeing who gets in and who doesn't. What is your background to claim it is wrong? </p>

<p>While I am not affiliated with any Ivy League school, I think achieving 2 of the types of things on the list is well within the reach of many motivated students. If you think this is "extreme", we'll probably have to agree to disagree.</p>

<p>higher band would looked at as better if it was more competitive to get into and required a more talented musician to be in
attach a resume and explain them more in depth and maybe write your essay on one of them and how they have influenced you or something</p>

<p>Mikemac, I have seen Eagle Scout totally ignored. The impressiveness of "first place city-wide award" depends on the org giving the award, the competitiveness for it and the review process. Spending time abroad in comm svc is an activity of kids who can pay for it- one doesn't always know who found it or paid for it. And if it's an isolated effort, it can less impressive, depending. Founding a comm svc group is not necessarily indicative of the effort or impact, for a variety of reasons. It all has to be taken in context and that includes whe whole pattern of what the kid did.</p>

<p>She also lists Carnegie Hall (which can be rented for performances.) Research publ in a national journal- very rare and if the kid's family is obviously involved (eg, Mom is the lead researcher,) well, again, you view the context. Pres of a national student org, top individual scorer in the nation in an activity like Junior Classical League or Mu Alpha Theta-- maybe these are not extreme, but they are rare. How many kids can be top scorer?</p>

<p>So, first time I saw the full list, I was concerned it sends the bulk of the bright, high-achieving kids the wrong message. Admisisons involves a holistic review, with many reviewers possible for each app- which allows for multiple perspectives.</p>

<p>Most Ivies claim interviews are "considered" but not "important" or "very important." (But, certainly, they can be read and can round out the picture of the kid.) I am employed by an Ivy, in several capacities, one of which is closer to the process.</p>

<p>I know plenty of kids who got into HYP from my school, and very few of them had any ECs as good as the ones on NSM's list.</p>

<p>thanks for all the comments! but back to my original more specific EC questions, if they can be answered,
-whether high band will be seen as better than low band (and high band requires more skill to be admitted to), but also, how adcoms are made aware of ECs.
-and the same situation as band, but with athletics(varsity running/multiple varsity letters/possibly captain senior year) how would they know i'm on varsity ect.?</p>

<p>They know what you do based on how you list them on the common app and in your resume. You tell them varsity and higher band and all that stuff in the description of the EC</p>

<p>? Why wouldn't a higher level band be more impressive than a lower one? I don't think I understand. Isn't this comparable to asking if Varsity means more than JV?</p>

<p>Or are you in low band and trying to ask if that can show your commitment?</p>

<p>As for how adcoms learn about your ECs, I earlier pointed you to the CA itself. There you will see exactly how you fill things out. Have you looked at the CA? It may be hepful to do that.</p>

<p>i have never looked at the CA, and to answer your question, i am in the higher level band. but my question is how they will know it is the high level one. but that, and saying im on varsity track/cross country can be written somewhere in the CA.. correct? (and my question about whether a high band is better or not.. i was wondering because i didnt know if they just care about particiaption, and not really the level.. i guess that is wrong?)</p>

<p>But, see, you can go look at the CA- it's online and then you'll see exactly where you put ECs, how much space and etc. And other info they need.</p>

<p>Ok, yes high is better- if it represents more skill, maybe a tougher auditon and, sometimes, more performing time. If it doesn't have some title that distinguishes it from lower, you can call it senior band or advanced band- or you can call it band and describe sr or adv in the next lines.</p>

<p>ok, thanks. at my school its called Wind Ensemble. i guess that would be a title. and so it will look better to adcoms if they see, Varsity track/Wind Ensemble, (both being the highest level), but how much of a benefit would this be? anything special? or not much help..?</p>

<p>Okay, bandie here to clear things up. I was in Wind Ensemble too and I explained what that meant in my application. I don't remember where, but it was somewhere, since I had both "Concert Band" and "Wind Ensemble" on my transcript. So yes, I would explain it. WE was the highest level at my school too, haha.</p>

<p>Ermm, I forgot to answer the rest of it. They could've taken into consideration that I was in WE, but I had to explain my situation (had to drop to concert band sophomore and junior year because of scheduling conflicts), so I don't know if really noticed my different levels in the sense that I improved over the years and rose to the occasion, or something else kinda fluffy like that. I hope that made sense somewhat. </p>

<p>Bottom line - yes, WE will look better when you explain it/if it's rigorous to get into or be a part of and you outline that for them. sorry for the circuitous answer, I just like talking about band haha.</p>

<p>ok, thanks! and in my situation, i was in band 2, then band 3, and now Wind Ensemble.. so would they also like to see that i improved over the years? could they tell? or would going up in level each year not matter that much?</p>

<p>I think they would like that, but I can't say for sure. It can't really hurt, though!</p>