If your kid didn't make the captain for the team or EC?

<p>I hear and read so much about kids becoming captains of their teams or EC's. Was wondering how much weight that carries with admissions. Does winning a state championship help for admissions? DD is very busy with sports and EC, but it seems unless they are a captain of the team or starting up a charity organization that impresses admissions most. thanks in advance.</p>

<p>I think much of it depends upon the competitiveness of the school's admissions, and also how they prioritize (grades, SATs, ECs, essay, recs, etc.). For example, a typical art school would most likely put the portfolio near or at the top of importance whereas a highly academic school may put GPA and SATs on top. That being said, many school like well-rounded and active students, even if they aren't team captains or presidents of clubs.</p>

<p>There's usually a section for awards on the application, so winning a state championship would probably fall under that category.</p>

<p>Very few colleges really count ECs as admissions factors. For most colleges, at most ECs count for merit aid consideration. The ones that do are colleges like Harvard with the luxury of using ECs and other factors to pick and choose from among an overabundance of high stat applicants. </p>

<p>For those colleges, simply being a team captain or school club prez wouldn't count much in admissions. Being president of something like a national organization would be what would be needed for an office to stand out in admission.</p>

<p>I agree that most schools don't really consider ECs...GPA and test scores are where it's at.</p>

<p>My kids have encountered EC questions more on things like honors college and scholarship applications. If one of these applications wants to know about "leadership", even someone who wasn't team captain could talk about mentoring younger players, providing moral support, etc. Once can certainly display leadership without having a title.</p>

<p>Don't worry about something you have no control over (or shouldn't have). Let your kids join the activities they want to and participate in them as they wish without pressure to look good on the college apps. Always put academics first. Your kids are who they are and trying to mold them into what you think colleges are looking for will not get them into the best fit situation.</p>

<p>I wonder sometimes about perceptions of ECs. Son went to a large HS where around 60 boys were in cross country and he made varsity on teams that made it to the state competition- quite different from another nearby school where 8 of 10 boys on the team could run varsity. This was a few years ago and I would have mentioned the competitiveness in some way- who knows if he or school GC did. I think he got a rec from his CC coach who was so used to the team size/excellence he didn't point this out. Would it have made any difference? I'm sure his academic EC's meant a lot more.</p>

<p>I don't know that that is true that colleges discount EC's. Certainly at selective schools, the strength of your transcript (not so much just your GPA, but in which classes that GPA is achieved) is the most important, but also at those schools most of the kids applying are the ones with top GPAs. ECs help distinguish one A+ student from the other, particularly in a day and age when many selective schools are very much downplaying the weight of test scores, if not doing away with them altogether. </p>

<p>That being said, I agree with wis75, don't put too much pressure on your kids to be the captain of the team or the president of the club. Sure, schools like to see kids that take leadership roles, but not every student at every selective college was the captain/president/head of something. If they are a natural leaders they will want to take on leadership roles, and if they aren't drawn to the leadership position or aren't able to achieve it, they'll probably distinguish themselves in other ways and they'll get into hte college that is looking for someone with theirh set of acheivements, even if it is not identical to those of other kids.</p>

<p>Smithieandproud, I said that "most" schools don't consider ECs and I think that's true - most as in a "majority." The majority of schools in the US are not very selective. Yes, if your child wants to attend a top school, they need to pay attention to their resume. But the majority of students should just do what they want and it will turn out fine. (I do know a kid who got into a top school with no ECs...literally the kind of kid who came home after school every day and played video games...but he was also unbelievably brilliant.)</p>

<p>I was concerned about this at one time. D was not the kid in HS who ever ran for class offices and the team captains/activities officers at her school seemed to usually be chosen by the adults involved. However, she did what she loved (dance/drama/writing) and had her own accomplishments in those areas. Didn't hurt her in admissions.</p>

<p>ECs are not heavily considered by most colleges unless it is something on the college's wish list. NCAA recruited athletes, for example, do get special treatment. No denying that. If a student is a celebrity in his/her own right that also would perk up interest. Certain international and national achievements also would count heavily. </p>

<p>Otherwise, the ECs are examined more to see if they are not so seriously lacking. There are no discussion on whether yearbook editor counts more than newspaper editor, and how many leadership positions a kid has. There should be some indication of leadership, not necessarily in captainships or presidencies in the app. I've seen a number of kids get accepted to HPY without any leadership positions at all. S's close friend just graduated from Princeton. He was in a number of activities in highschool, but never a lead. Another Harvard kid the same way. </p>

<p>I've only heard of one kid who got feedback from a selective college that his ECs were inadequate. He was an alum who was rejected ED even with very high grades and test scores. He really had a dearth of activities and it did hurt him.</p>

<p>In general, I think HS activities should be done for love of the activity....not college apps. </p>

<p>Having said that, I did see that some applications (especially for scholarships) had a category for Leadership. When prioritizing which EC to keep or drop, you should keep that in mind. There could be a nontraditional leadership role such as Sunday School teacher or first chair musician that could be listed under Leadership.</p>

<p>I think that it matters only in that it shows the applicant has taken a leadership role in something they are passionate about. ECs which the applicant is passionate about and has taken a leadership role in seem to count for the most in admissions, imo.</p>

<p>The captain of the teams at our school is something voted on BY the team members. It is essentially a "popularity" contest, and has little or nothing to do with the skills the team members have. Neither of my kids was a captain of a sports team. They both got accepted to the colleges of their choice.</p>

<p>A local high school football team has three different "captains" for every game...so pretty much every senior boy can say he was captain. I guess that after a while the local colleges might notice, but I bet it works pretty well for those applying OOS.</p>

<p>D also said that at drill team officers camp, one team had this huge officer line and the lowest ranked officer was captain...they had major, colonel, general, etc.</p>

<p>For a very very few, very select schools (make that about four schools...), team captaincy is considered quite important:
Noted this on the website for the US Military Academy (USMA or West Point)
Out of an incoming class of 1,299, here's part of the profile for the Class of 2013
Varsity Athletics .........................................1,172
Letter Winner ......................................... 1,117
Team Captain ...........................................749</p>

<p>In a tipytop private school, an unique EC could tip the boarder line candidates into admission. Or help them to get off the waitlist. It is not weighted highly in a public school as favortism or subjectiveness do not play well in that environment.</p>

<p>Thank you all for helpfulness. I enjoy your brains:)</p>

<p>The sports teams at my S's high school do not name captains or award letters, which I think is great. Didn't hurt my son's admissions one bit.</p>