Preparing for College

Which "Competitions" Boost Admissions Odds?

Question: I am a high school junior who has finally realized the importance of competitions to set me apart from others. Many have told me to find a "passionate" endeavor, but I realize the importance of competitions too. Besides the usual Olympiads and lab-research competitions, what other competitions may I enter?

There are lots of ways to demonstrate your passions, and there are so many "competitions" around that taking part in them--or even winning them--doesn't necessarily make you stand out in a hyper-competitive crowd. Unlike the majority of old folks like myself who survived our wonder years with nary an award, yours is the "Everyone-Gets-a-Trophy" generation, and thus admission folks can become pretty jaded--rightfully so or not--whenever they spot "Winner" on an application. Thus, don't feel that contest success is your elite-college "hook."

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