Oak Maedow Phuket BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Do universities seek well-rounded students?

In my 30 years as a university counsellor, students and parents have often talked to me about a perception that colleges and universities are looking for applicants who have a bit of everything.

Education
By BISP

Monday 18 February 2019, 11:00AM


As a parent, help your children explore different activities and then let them settle on those they truly enjoy. Photo: BISP

As a parent, help your children explore different activities and then let them settle on those they truly enjoy. Photo: BISP

They are under the assumption that to maximise the chances of admission, students should have a balance of excellent grades and test scores, along with a perfect spread of activities and involvement in a wide range of areas.

While it’s certainly true that academics and test scores are the first hurdle students must jump over to become viable university candidates, the issue of extracurricular involvement is more complicated.

In the US, universities are happy to admit academically able students who excel in a smaller number of areas. Well-rounded people and a well-round­ed class are two very different things. A university is interested in building a class of students with varied perspec­tives and passions. They need student journalists, leaders, athletes and musicians – but they don’t expect one individual student to be all of those things.

As a parent, help your children ex­plore different activities and then let them settle on those they truly enjoy. Once they find their areas of inter­est, encourage them to join clubs and activities that relate to these areas. There is no need to overschedule and attempt to build a résumé in the name of well-roundedness or as a strategy for enhancing university admission.

Students who follow their passions can become a “big deal” in a couple of different areas. It doesn’t really matter whether that interest is in master­ing the oboe, becoming a talented swimmer or providing service to the community. A side benefit to this ap­proach is that your child (and your home) will be happier. A child forced to spend years practising an activity for which they have little interest is going to result in a home filled with adoles­cent angst.

Dan About Thailand

Of course, if a student has multiple interests, it’s absolutely fine for all of them to be pursued. There is nothing wrong with being well-rounded instead of “angular”. But the reality is that it’s difficult to become a leader if stu­dents spread their time among a dozen different activities. Most successful university applicants have a relatively few number of extracurriculars that are somewhat related.

For the UK, if they are related in some way to the course to which the student is applying, even better.

Universities in most countries ask students to list their extracurricular involvement during the final four years of high school. Because of that, it is important that students find activities that interest them well before the end of high school. Doing that, while also having a good academic record and working with your school’s experienced university counsellor, can make the ap­plication process a smooth one.

Are there any activities students should avoid? Yes, there are a few. No university admission officer would be impressed with “Facebooking” as an extracurricular activity.

– Dale Ford


Dale Ford is one of two University Counsellors at British International School, Phuket. For more information, visit them at www.bisphuket.ac.th

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket restaurant in hot water over charging tourists high prices

Thinking about it, next time we go Kamala, will order meals+ drinks in that restaurant. When they w...(Read More)


One dead, one injured as motorbike crashes into parked truck in Thalang

Yes-yes, parked trucks on main road not give way to motorbikes who ignore them. But, just a simple q...(Read More)


Phuket Immigration clarifies minimum income requirement for permit to stay for foreigners with multiple employers

Hm, Phuket Immigration clarifies nothing, just provide a sliding income scale. Why such a scale? Don...(Read More)


No US base in Thailand: Apirat

DeK, suggest you read this mornings news in PN: "Thailand-US plot post-outbreak future". H...(Read More)


Bangla workers plea to health ministry for help

Dr Phisit + Officials held 'inspection' Bangla Rd conveniently at 8 PM. A very safe time to ...(Read More)


Bangla workers plea to health ministry for help

Red years ago that many bars, 'clubs', souvenir shacks on Bangla Rd are illegal built. To ke...(Read More)


Phuket restaurant in hot water over charging tourists high prices

@Lalala, never comment to this DKK, This it’s are a very very si.k person. ...(Read More)


MP Sira cleared of allegations of interfering in Phuket officials’ ‘handling’ of condo project probe

Mr Sira should be applauded for his deed by the other MP's. Unfortunately many people are makin...(Read More)