Questions about the Common App


I have a few dumb questions about the Common App.

  1. I have been using the "&" symbol when describing my activities to save characters. Is this acceptable?
  2. I do track in the spring. Since I know I'm going to be on the team this next year, can I mark that I participated in 12th grade?
  3. I have a number of small yet prestigious leadership programs/ECs that only lasted a week. I feel like they would flesh out my application. If I should include them, where do I put them?
  4. New activities. I started a political debate club at my school last year and began writing for a blog on politics this summer. I fear that colleges will view them as fluff and think I'm just doing a few low-commitment things last minute to make my application look better, which isn't the case. I'm especially enthusiastic about the politics blog. How should I handle this?

Thanks for the feedback!

  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. Definitely include them. They could go in your activities section. You can organize your activities section by order of importance, so if these programs aren't as important to you, you could place them toward the end. Another place is the "Additional Information" section if you don't want them in your activities section. You could also include them in the "Honors" section, but you probably have other things that would take up space in there.
  4. Include it and express your passion in the best way possible. Many colleges allow you to elaborate on an EC in a supplement, so if it means that much to you, you could always talk about it there.

Thanks for the quick and straightforward response. It’s very much appreciated!

I don’t really have anything else to add; neoking said it all perfectly, I think.