By Josh Radler SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The college application process has never been more competitive. Students used to be able to get into their top school with a strong SAT or ACT score and a high GPA. “There are so many smart kids. What makes me different? So you could have a perfect G.P.A and so many other kids have that so I felt like I needed to do extra things, extracurricular wise, to set me apart,” said Lindsay Grossman, a Cornell University sophomore. Grossman understands first hand how much it takes to get admitted to a top school. She had a 104 G.P.A. in high school and placed in the 99th percentile on her SAT’s. With all of that, she still felt she needed to be the president of two clubs in order to get into her dream school.
Students feel the pressure to get into top colleges from guidance counselors, parents, and peers. Syracuse University senior Joey Sisti still remembers his high school guidance counselor pushing him to be more involved: “I feel like every guidance counselor in high school tells you should be involved in two or three so I didn’t really have any choice, he said.” With all the pressure to join clubs, students are forced to partake in activities they don’t event want to be a part of.
After going through the admissions process, students generally look back and regret joining so many clubs. Devin Sullivan went through this dilemma when he was applying to colleges only a few months ago. “That club that you joined might add one more line to your resume. The club that you’re passionate about will be an entire essay that you can really show who you are to the college you’re applying to, he said.” Sullivan will be attending Harvard University in the fall. Devin and other high school graduates have the same message to college applicants: Quality is better than Quantity.