Best Extracurricular Activities For College Applications

21K School · Jul 9, 2023 · 3 min read

Learner doing some extracurricular activity online

A college application is a synopsis of a student’s life journey. A well-rounded application paves the way for an excellent future with one of the best colleges. To cut, the student must beat competitors with an application that best balances academics and extracurricular activities. Keep reading to know about the best extracurricular activities exclusively for college applications.

Are extracurricular activities more important than academics?

Academics are the first point of observation for application officers. But, once an application proves worth reading based on the scores, extracurriculars are the next point of importance. After that, thousands of students from different parts of the country could apply to colleges with excellent scores. This is when extracurriculars make a student stand out from the crowd.

The activities will prove a student’s excellence in soft skills like leadership, passion, time management, commitment, and drive. As the best colleges are always searching for well-rounded candidates who are good at many things, they also pay equal attention to non-academic activities.

Is a long list of extracurricular activities necessary?

The short answer to this question is “No.”

If a student has participated in many activities in school and led many clubs, it becomes more difficult to resist the urge to include all of them in the list. The college applications also test their ability to understand the importance and relevance of every activity. Every student must make the best activities stand out by listing only some activities that match their personality. This will portray them as wise, focused, and committed candidates.

How do colleges weigh extracurricular activities?

Once students know that the application must have as few activities as possible, it’s time to isolate the important ones from the clutter.

There are two types of activities – school-based and community-based. Admission officers are generally looking for stark contrasts in an application. For example, if a student’s GPA tells that they are a star student, the extracurriculars must show that they have given something back to the community. In some cases, expansive community involvement can add extra points to an average student’s application.

The important part here is to focus on activities that communicate the interests and reflect the student’s career plans. In addition, students must mention long-term activities that show their leadership and commitment skills.

The Best Extracurricular Activities From Top Applications

21K students who’ve made it to the Ivy League colleges have the following extracurriculars in their applications.


  • Intern for a Congresswoman
  • Intern at Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition
  • Intern & Office Manager at Amma Campa-Najjar Campaign


  • Founder & Leader, Fun Maths Problem Solving Society
  • Competitor, Various maths Competitions
  • Team B Captain, National Ocean Sciences Bowl

Community Service:

  • Vice President at Kalliope Organization Committee
  • President and Founder (Volunteer)
  • Violinist (Volunteer)

Social Justice:

  • Community Leader at Oaktree (largest youth-led organization)
  • Secretary and Spokesperson at Cancer Action Network


  • Basketball as a Power Forward
  • Second Prize at the Cross Country Squad


  • House Drama Captain
  • Member of a Musical Theatre Group

If a student wishes to learn more about the activities that helped 21K students in fetching positions at the top colleges like UChicago, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale, among many others, they can look at 21K’s eBook on 15 Successful Activities Lists. In this book, students will also find the important five tips for deciding on the list of activities that will feature in the application.

Suppose the students need extra help in crafting their college application. In that case, 21K’s extracurricular mentors can help in creating a profile that reflects their commitment, passion, and talents in a balanced manner. These mentors are graduates from the leading universities in the country. This is why they know what the admission officers look for in the applications. So, contact 21K today to get started with the process of creating a unique college application.

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