Be Unique! Colleges look for students that “stand out” from among other applicants. They’re interested in those they feel will enhance their school and campus. That’s not to say a “typical” student can’t get in, but it helps to show that your child is special and can offer something unique to the student body and to the school itself.
The most important way to stand out is to prove commitment through long term involvement in an extra curricular activity, passion, or interest. This means your child shows dedication that goes beyond participation. Think depth, not breadth. Colleges don’t want to see you involved in lots of things; they want to see you go deeper with a few or even a single thing—excelling beyond the norm.
Committed students are appealing because they reveal someone who will arrive on campus and make things happen.
What is your child currently doing that he loves to do? Is there a way he can take this activity/interest to the next level? Are there contests he can enter? Is there a way he can start a small business doing this activity? Is there a summer camp he can attend to hone his skill or teach others? I’ll share in a later post how my daughter used her skills and passions to do some of these things.
What interests does your child have that he can take to the next level to become a standout?
Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- Horseback riding
- Web design
- Musical instrument
- Musical theatre
- Part-time job
- Writing stories/essays/books
- Small business/online business/craft business
- Anything of special interest that takes time or study
Talk to your child about his talents and interests, brainstorming how he can develop and use these gifts in unique ways. Then ask God to open the doors of opportunity meant just for him. Be sure to keep good records of the opportunities pursued and the time invested. This will make it easier to showcase your child’s uniqueness and help him stand out when it comes time to fill out his college applications.
Read on to learn more about preparing for college.