Is Club Participation Essential to Getting into a Good College?

Emilly Goncalves Costa, Veritas Staff

December 19, 2019

In our school system we were brought up thinking that we need to be involved in clubs and extracurricular activities in order to get into a good college. Now some may ask if this is a true statement.

Douglas Christiansen, the Dean of Admissions at Vanderbilt University, stated in an interview with College Express that colleges are looking for well-rounded students. ”What is more critical to the application is not how many activities and clubs a student is in, but, rather, what the student does as a member of the clubs and activities….What we like to see is how a student has changed his or her corner of the world through their actions, and how a student has grown personally through his or her participation.”

Colleges understand that some students have to work and go to school. Christianen added, “Just remember, there are still ways to volunteer in the community and be active in school activities that occur during the day. Being well-rounded is the key. Telling the story of how this extra responsibility has changed or shaped the student’s life is what we need to hear.”

Hannah Wyllie is a senior at RHS who participates in six clubs: the environmental club, Bulldog Buddies, HYPE mentoring, Travel Club, National Honor Society, and Rubik’s Cube Club. She believes that clubs are important to get into a good college.

She said, “I think colleges see someone who is curious, passionate, and well-rounded. I also think being involved in various clubs shows someone’s ability to communicate, manage time, and work collectively with others in a group environment.”

Wyllie is an exceptional student and handles her involvement very well. Some believe, however, there is no need to participate in more than two or three clubs. One of our guidance counselors, Mr. Devine stated that it is better to be involved in two to three clubs and be devoted to them, rather than be a part of 10 and not be fully invested.

Some of the advantages of being in a club is you meet new people, learn new talents, show dedication to your school and community, and express yourself outside of the classroom.

Another perspective about clubs comes from one student who doesn’t take part in any clubs. Hellen Souza, a freshman, says she is not in any clubs because she feels they are not right for her.

She believes that you can still get into a good college if you get good grades and find something to take the place of a club. Even though she isn’t part of a club she does believe it could possibly in the future make her seem “un-unique” in the eyes of colleges.

Going back to the original question, is joining a club essential to getting into a good college? The answer in the end is yes.

Joining a club only has positive outcomes. It shows you are an intellectually curious person like Wyllie. It also gives you a “well-rounded portfolio and can improve your competitiveness as a future college applicant” (

Colleges understand that some students need to work and have other priorities, but there is still a way to be involved in your community. Making some time for clubs helps your chances at getting into a good college along with the many other advantages.

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