College Admissions: Your Activities Resume

Believe it or not, an Activities Resume can play a key role in your admissions portfolio.  If it is well written and has meaningful content, your resume will enable admissions officers to determine who you really are, and will help distinguish you from other applicants with similar academic accomplishments.  An Activities Resume can highlight your sense of responsibility and leadership skills.  Ideally, it will let an admissions officer know just what you can contribute to the institution as a whole.  Admissions officers are not just looking for undergraduates who can fare well in coursework.  They’re on the look out for their next distinguished alumnae!

Start Early

Creating a draft resume will help you to think about your strengths and your interests.  This is a good way to focus your direction when you’re a young high schooler.  It’s also an excellent way to reflect on your achievements and identify some topics for your admissions essays.

The Best Resumes Will

Convey constancy and (ideally) increasing involvement.

Be short (one page), succinct and clear.  Use common terms to refer to clubs.  ‘Literacy magazine’ is easier than ‘Pegasus’ for an admissions officer to quickly recognize.

List your most important activities first.  List according to activity, not grade, or year of participation.  This format is easier for admissions officers to follow.

Include your name and relevant identifying information at the top of the page.

Do NOT Include

  • Your GPA – it will be on your transcript.
  • Your standardized test scores – these will be reported separately.
  • Any courses that will appear on your transcript (even if you did ace AP Physics)

DO Include

  • Any honors or awards you have received since the 9th grade.
  • Participation in any competition at the state, national or international level.
  • Summer activities: camps, jobs, courses, travel, community service, volunteer work
  • Extra classes you have taken that do not appear on your transcript (arts coursework, local college courses, weekend or after school language programs, music lessons)
  • If you have done well in these classes and you have a transcript or report, definitely include it.  If you do not have the transcript, at least include the course names and associated grade.

For Best Results – Share

Plan to give a copy of your activities resume to anyone you have asked to write a letter of recommendation.  Your resume will give them a better understanding of who you are.  It will enable anyone who writes about you to write a more personal letter and it may even make it easier for them to write it.

Get Started Now

So, take some time now and start your own Activities Resume.  It’s just one piece of the admissions puzzle but it’s an important one and it should be an easy one for you to own.

Amateur Night at The Apollo!

This week we took a trip to the Apollo Theater for Amateur Night! Aspiring musicians, singers, rappers and spoken word artists tried their best to please the crowd with their talent. Summerfuelers cheered and jeered as they decided who stayed and who got booted off stage. Students had a blast watching performers show off their talent and compete for a chance to move on to semi-finals!

Yale University Campus Tour!

Next Stop:New Haven, Connecticut! Yesterday our students had the great opportunity of visiting the gorgeous campus of Yale University! Our campus tours were filled with learning about all of the great programs this Ivy League school has to offer along with much information on the admissions process and how to get into such a prestigious institution! Summerfuel was sure not to miss the official bookstore so that all of our students had the chance to grab some Yale gear before enjoying some free time exploring the very picturesque town of New Haven. We ended our excursion by laying out on the campus lawns while enjoying the oh-so declicious pizza from the the oldest pizzeria in all of the U.S., Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana!  Check out the photos below: IMG_1321 IMG_1322 IMG_1325 IMG_1328 IMG_1330 IMG_1336 IMG_1340 IMG_1346 IMG_1347 IMG_1350 IMG_1353 IMG_1370 IMG_1371

Central Park/ The Met Outing

Today 3 Summerfuelers decided to go to Museum Mile while the rest of the group went out to SoHo. Museum Mile is home to the Metropolitan Museum, and the girls had a blast viewing the many different exhibits. After the museum they had a chance to visit Central Park before hopping on the bus to head back to campus.

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Outing at Chelsea Pier!

Yesterday we took a short trip to the West Side of Manhattan to see what Chelsea Pier has to offer. On the way, students spotted their favorite gelato spot, Amorimo! After enjoying their authentic, flavorful, flower-shaped gelato cones, Summerfuelers made their way to Bowlmor Bowling Alley for a quick game before heading back to campus for afternoon classes.IMG_4114 IMG_4129 IMG_4131 IMG_4138 IMG_4141

Independence Day in New York City!

Students spent their first day of Summerfuel celebrating the Fourth of July at Brooklyn Bridge Park! Summerfuelers explored the park, played games, and danced the day away with their new friends.  The night ended with fireworks lighting up the night sky!





Goodbye Columbia! We’re heading Home!

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College Admission Workshop!

Through a series of interactive workshops, the students learned that preparing for the college application process is complex but approachable.

Students learned how to examine their activities and interests to produce detailed resumes. They learned how admission committees evaluate essays and letters of recommendation. Armed with information about how to access a college, the group made several campus visits. The workshops culminated with students divided into three “admissions committees” and made admission decisions on hypothetical applicants. They saw that the task is not easy!