How much focus is really placed on volunteer/extra curricular activities???..long post

My Son is a HS senior. He aged out of rec soccer after middle school and wasn’t competitive enough to continue into high school. Club variety was limited and he didn’t find another sport he liked. So my concern is the volunteer/extra curricular portion of the college application and again for scholarships, and how much value that carries. I understand they want a well rounded individual who has interest and passion outside of school. My Son is s good student 4.3 weighted GPA, took and continues to take several AP courses and scored a 29 on the ACT. We moved last June into a smaller retirement community which was hard on him being a new kid (junior), and now pretty much senior year due to school closing last March, and now school is online.

However last Fall he got a job as a cashier at Harris teeter, mainly weekends and occasionally school nights. Once covid hit the store was struggling to cover shifts as many staff members decided not to work. My Son stepped up and continued to work throughout phase 1 and 2 (which we are still in) and was deemed ‘an essential employee’. He continues to work 2- 4 shifts a week. He has helped neighbors with lawn and yard maintenance, and organizing garages and attics also. So that being said, would that be applicable to the section regarding extra curricular, or should he try and find some volunteers hour?s (probably not in person due to covid) He is interested in becoming a pilot and applying to Auburn, Ohio State and Florida. Any suggestions, recommendations would greatly be appreciated !!

If you google for common data set UNIVERSITYNAME, you will be able to get to information about what is important for admission at each place. The colleges and universities are well aware that student experiences are different right now because of the pandemic, so things are likely to be much more flexible on the EC/volunteer line than a year ago.

A job is a valid EC.

Volunteering is also an EC. No better and no worse than any other EC. There is no admissions requirement for volunteering or community service for any college. If he wants to do it because he likes the cause, great. But he should nit do it just to check a box.

As for how important ECs are? It varies by college. Section C7 of the Common Dara Set lists what the college thinks is important.

Everyone is in the same boat and colleges know,that students are not able to do the things they have done before, or the things they like to do now. The fact that your son has held a job during this crisis is a great EC. In short, he doesn’t have anything to worry about.

@twalker47 Adding in the help in the neighborhood too - either for pay or for no charge is also another activity in the list - it could also be 2 activities if he breaks it up by paid and non-paid.

Thanks! I never knew about about the common data. Thats very helpful. Thank you for your replies. I am going to see if he can help some more neighbors :slight_smile: Also I just remember that Sophomore year he stayed after school once a week for AP study/credit, organized by the teacher. Would that count as a “club”??

If he got AP credit then it’s a class.

What is “AP study/credit”? If is was just a supplemental study session for an AP course, run by a teacher, no, I wouldn’t consider that a club.