Preparing for College

Does Hiking Count as an Extracurricular Activity?

Question: I love hiking and I go several times a month. Is this something I might put under Extracurricular Activities on a college application such as the Common App? Occasionally I go with trail clean-up crews and sometimes with local organizations for hiking. I'm asking because I spend a good portion of my time sailing, rafting, hiking etc. but it isn't with a team/competition - would colleges care to know?

Yep, this is a classic case of the sort of thing that college admission folks do want to know about but which many students assume may not be application fodder. Whether you're doing something "official," like working on a trail crew or simply hiking (or sailing or rafting) alone or with friends, you should certainly include this interest on your activities list or on any supplemental resume you submit. And when the Common App asks you to elaborate about an extracurricular or work experience in a 150-word mini-essay, your outdoors undertakings would be a suitable topic for this as well.

Admission officials see many of the same school clubs on application after application, so spotting interests that aren't pursued as part of a formal organization can be a breath of fresh air.