studentsAdmissions Survival Toolkit: Defining Your Interests for College Admissions Success
two women having a discussionAdmissions Survival Toolkit: Five Steps to a Head-Turning Resume

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Sorry, wrong question!

But we knew it would get your attention because that’s the question everyone always asks. They also ask, “How many extracurricular activities should I have?” This also is the wrong question.

Admissions committees don’t think like that. What they want to see displayed throughout your activities are unique examples of what we call the 7 Core Attributes — “The 7 C’s”:

  1. Challenge — growth as a result of challenge or hardship
  2. Creativity — initiative
  3. Curiosity — a seeking nature, contributing to intellectual development
  4. Character — generous and ethical
  5. Commitment — demonstrated interest in and dedication to what you find important
  6. Collaboration — ability to work with and lead others
  7. Cultural Intelligence — ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds

Your college application has to tell a coherent story about who you are — one that makes sense to an admissions committee.

You need to think about what your activities demonstrate — what “story” they tell about you. How do you do this? Here are the steps — we’ll give you the tools. Use our Current Activities Assessment Tool below to help you do this exploration.

Suggested Steps for Success

  • Do the step-by-step analysis of where you stand, using our Current Activities Assessment Tool below
  • Figure out where you want to be — what story do you want to be able to tell? What additional experiences do you need to make your story compelling and impressive?
  • Fill in the gaps!

If you decide you might like the support of an expert college counselor, Blue Stars will be happy to give you a free in-depth assessment.

Free Workbook for Students

Blue Stars College Planning Foundations Workbook

Start today! Go through these strategic exercises to help you sketch out your plans for all four years of high school.

  • Learn key traits important to top colleges.
  • Write your first personal narrative
  • Branch out, exploring interests and defining activities.
  • Set goals and create your 4-year college planning timeline.

Fill out the form to get the workbook.

About the Author: Amy Morgenstern

Dr. Amy Morgenstern, affectionately known as Dr. M, is the founder and CEO of Blue Stars Admissions Consulting. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and an MFA in contemporary art. A former professor of philosophy, honors program associate director, and assistant to the director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, Dr. M brings a wealth of academic and multicultural experience to her practice.

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