How many hours of ECs per week do T10-admitted students have on average?

Title. Also, how many hours of ECs per week will T10s expect of us with COVID-19?


Seriously though, there is no published data to answer your question Regardless, concentrate on your own ECs. Instead of trying to compare.

As for Covid, again focus on what you can do and use the Covid section on the common app ID needed (but not to whine). If your question is if AOs will accept covid as a valid excuse for having no ECs, then no. Not when others have found ways to overcome adversity. That may result in a change un ECs, but accepting defeat is not an option.

I would urge you not to use the Covid question in the app to make excuses for anything, unless your life has been negatively affected by it on a personal level. Illness of a close family member, or yourself, or job loss of a parent and issues such as those are legitimate reasons to use that space on the common app. Getting a B in a class because you don’t do well with online learning is perhaps not.

Every person on the planet, quite literally, has been affected by Covid. Admissions officers will want to see legitimate issues being addressed by the Covid question.

Become creative in lue of covid. I know students applying that became very creative over the summer to bolster their applications instead of doing nothing for their ecs. Taking the situation at hand and making the most of it might stand out this college cycle more then others.

There’s no set amount of time, but your ECs should show in-depth involvement over a long period of time (months to years, not just for 8 hours one day.) More importantly, they should speak to the “story” your application is trying to tell: do your activities show that you’re interested in physics, cs, bio etc? Or are they just a random mix of activities w/o any direction?

Can’t answer to the second question b/c I applied during a more “traditional” application cycle. If you worked somewhere last summer and there is the opportunity to work remotely, that is an option, or conducting a high school club online etc.

Also, I heard that T20s want well-balanced students with a spike. What is one example of such a student? Is this even true?

You do not “need” a spike. Admission officers look to create a well balanced class…and that class will include some students who have a number of varied interests and others who have a more specific areas of focus.

How many of your ECs should be related to your major? Someone from Duke told me that 5-6/10 is optimal…

You are really over-thinking this. There is no formula…if there was someone would bottle and sell it. Do the ECs you enjoy and work towards making meaningful contributions.

But colleges want to see that you are talented in your major while also having other ECs that show how you can uniquely contribute to their campus… Thoughts?

Quality over quantity.

You heard wrong. Colleges want to build a well rounded class. Some of the kids may be well rounded thsmselvez6; others may be spikey.

This is just wrong. The most interesting people are the ones that have different interests. One trick ponies are boring and don’t add to the greater community. The extra is for outside of not more of.

Your overthinking as stated above. Just do what you enjoy. Very interesting people have a way to combine their major with their passion /interests. Some come up with new ideas. Don’t try to do what you “think” they are looking for. Just be yourself and you will do fine.

Also, how do colleges view academic vs. non-academic ECs? Is it good to have a balance? Can you use academic ECs to show multidisciplinary interests (and be interesting), with a spike, and some non-academic ECs on the side?

I’ll disagree that they are looking for well rounded students in a traditional sense. It seems people think that a spike is important and it is. If you focus on a particular area that you are interested in, it shows something. It shows you can learn in depth on something. How many Nobel laureates, Turing medal winners, etc. are not spikey? . They are ALL spikey because they have a singular focus on one area. School like to admit future award winners. Just cruising through HS with a well rounded but superficial interest in several areas isn’t going to cut it, and what really helps is when an area of interest marries up well with your school of interest.

Again…there is NO magic formula to what ECs colleges look for. One EC is not better than another. Academic ECs don’t have more or less value than community service, music etc.

Again…what is important is that you find activities YOU enjoy and YOU care about and that you work to make meaningful contributions to those ECs.


Also, do you have to do music ECs if you’re not interested in them

Why? Admission officers want to see applicant’s who are interested and involved. It doesn’t matter what the activities are. (No, you don’t need to do music ECs).

The college wants people who will get involved in one or more of the many different activities on campus…some will do theater, others debate, others sports, others community service and others will choose from a host of other options.

One more time…(and I don’t know how to make this more clear) find activities you are interested in and enjoy and work towards making meaningful contributions.

You have asked an almost identical question on a different thread and got the same answer.

Why what?

And no, you don’t have to do music ECs