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"Those ECs are weak...."- So what's good?

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Replies to: "Those ECs are weak...."- So what's good?

  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom 24049 replies804 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "I don't have community service where I ran it or funded it. I helped at the doggone nursing home for Christ's sake."

    There's nothing wrong with helping at a nursing home. That could stand out in admissions if one implemented some programs or did something that went beyond simply putting in hours and doing what you were told.

    When one volunteers, there are always opportunities to do extra and one can find or make those opportunities if you care about what you're doing, look for ways to make an additional difference, and take the time to establish relationships with your supervisors so that they are willing to let you try out your own ideas. Doing this is difficult and requires vision, creativity and hard work, but those are the kind of leaders that places like HPYS want on their campus even though HPYS don't have room for everyone who does things like that.
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  • ag54ag54 2865 replies44 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Northstarmom, where do you put the information about the level of your involvement in the application? Is it something that should somehow be put into an essay (even if it doesn't really seem to fit)? or should the applicant put it in the resume (which would lead to a wordy, probably 2 pager)? My S has some pretty good ec's, but doesn't really know where to describe them beyond a seemingly non-descript volunteer position.
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  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom 24049 replies804 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Remember, the list represents my thoughts, and I'm not an adcom, just an alum interviewer.

    There actually is a list on the web somewhere that shows how a Calif. college weighed various ECs. This includes the standard ECs as well as "ECs" such as having to take care of siblings or having work to help one's family.

    If anyone finds it, please post a link because I'm sure it would help many people.
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  • goodcollegesgoodcolleges 481 replies117 threadsRegistered User Member
    I have a job as an Intern at the US Dept of Education this summer....is that a good EC
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  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom 24049 replies804 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Here's a link to teens who won the 2006 Huggable Heroes contests for teens who do service projects. Most of the teens started projects themselves. All are nice ideas of how young people can make a difference and can also have some extraordinary ECs. http://www.buildabear.com/aboutUs/community/HuggableHeroes/2006HH.aspx

    Some examples:
    Matthew - New York

    Matt volunteers for Puppies Behind Bars, an organization that trains inmates to raise guide dogs for the blind and explosive detection canines for Law Enforcement. He takes their pups into his home and exposes them to situations they cannot encounter in prison. Through a youth service-based organization, Matt also spearheaded a fundraising raffle for the benefit of Puppies Behind Bars. It raised over $1,000 for the cause.

    Brittany - British Columbia
    For the last 8 years, Britney has played an active role in her community by helping feed the less fortunate, volunteering at the police department and raising money for the Easter Seals Organization. Brittany recently created a Scholarship Seminar where she visits local secondary schools to help educate students about the many facets of scholarship applications and how the students can apply for such assistance
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  • ag54ag54 2865 replies44 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Where would you put that information in the app?
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  • Badkarma89Badkarma89 335 replies88 threadsRegistered User Member
    When I read the Chances threads and see the EC's, I think the biggest weakness is the lack of focus. I see kids that say they are interested in pre-med, but all thier EC's are in the field of math because there are a lot of math competitions. While this is still outstanding, I think a focused list of EC's that complement an applicants strength is important. EC's are what you do in your "free time" so getting involved in EC's that interest you would look good.

    A trend that I see is that debate and writing competitions are looked highly upon as far as EC's go.
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  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom 24049 replies804 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Under "community service" in the essay, or in the activities area. It also could go under leadership or even in 2 or 3 sections, with different aspects highlighted in different areas.

    For example under leadership: "Organized a campaign to raise $1,000 for...."
    And also under "community service," the same person could write: "Spent 6 months housing and training dogs for ....."
    That combined with a nice essay describing how one got interested in it or a challenge that one overcame in doing the project would be a nice way to show one's character and passion.

    Where you put the activities isn't as important as how you describe what you did. The adcoms aren't grading you on filling the right slot. They just want to know what you've done and what you have to offer.
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  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom 24049 replies804 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Good info in this thread about describing ECs: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=82799
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  • ag54ag54 2865 replies44 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Thank you, thank you Northstarmom!
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  • Ferny ReyesFerny Reyes 184 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My point still stands, however, Northstarmon. In that because of these superstudents, we have thousands of kids who are perhaps just as qualified never even consider applying because they feel they can't get in.

    Like I said, it's great, really, sometimes you make it seem like it's easy as hell just to be in an EC.

    Just remember, for some of us, working 45 hours a week (I don't give a dam about your child labor laws, you tell that to the light company) and going to school, EC's kind are something that you wish you could do more of, but you just can't.

    I'm not saying my scenario is what happens to everybody, but I mean, how the hell is a kid from my area suppose to feel competing against thousands of kids who look like they should be on the cover of some super kid magazine?
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  • RPDadRPDad 47 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Is a black belt in karate a good or great EC?
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  • ClendenenatorClendenenator 1597 replies74 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    For wtidad: What if we are involved in most activities at our school, but because we like them and want to help rather than "making a list." Is that really going to hurt me??
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  • Ferny ReyesFerny Reyes 184 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    No, I mean, I got into Yale. That wasn't the issue at hand.

    The thing I'm fighting against and you still don't get is that we espouse the greatness of these superstudents so much that regular, high-achieving students who will never have the same opportunities are intimidated to apply because they say they face instant rejection.
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  • CollegeBound2007CollegeBound2007 668 replies28 threadsRegistered User Member
    Good grades definitely increase your chances. But to show that grades alone don't guarantee acceptance, I give the following example.
    In 2004, Rice Univeristy stats were as follows.

    Students with 1st or 2nd Rank in class: Applied 922, Accepted 411, Enrolled 122
    Student ranked 3rd or worse, but within top 5%: Applied 1572, Accepted 485, Enrolled 217

    Test scores and ECs may be additional important factors. But I feel part of the reason univs (even top ranked ones) go sometimes for lower ranked students is to improve the yield.
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