As a former Admissions Officer from Northwestern, I have read thousands and thousands of applications, and I’ve also helped hundreds of students with their applications through AdmissionsCheckup.com. Most students don’t realize just how important the Activities section of the application is. While they go through several rounds of edits to ensure a near-perfect essay, students are doing themselves a disservice by not spending a fair amount of time also fleshing out their activities.
Here are my top tips for completing the Activities section of your application:
Tip #1: Think back to any meaningful activities you have done since the start of high school, and flesh them out completely.
Tip #2: Treat each activity like a tweet. First, write out everything you did in the activity and then compress it. Try to fit in as much as you can, and use abbreviations that the Admissions Committee will actually understand.
Tip #3: Describe what you did. Don’t describe the activity, but instead describe what you did in the activity. So, don’t tell me what the debate team is, for example, but instead tell me about your impact on the debate team. Did you bring in new debaters? Did you win debates? What did you do to make the debate team successful?
Tip #4: Use resume power words. Look up and actually use resume power words in phrases like “led” the debate team, “organized” this session, or “initiated” such and such. Those are the kinds of words you want to use in your Activities section.
Before you hit submit, seek objective feedback on your application from someone you don’t know. At Admissions Checkup, former admissions officers from over 60 schools will read your application and give you brutally honest feedback you can use to improve your application. Now through January 1, we are offering a $30 discount on an Admissions Checkup review.
For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-762-6500.