Originally Posted by master of none
The talk of 4-H as an extra curricular reminded me of a post I saw a while back but cant find now with a search. This is the best I can do.
http://isteve.blogspot.com/2010/07/how-to-get-into-college.html

But what Espenshade and Radford found in regard to what they call "career-oriented activities" was truly shocking even to this hardened veteran of the campus ideological and cultural wars. Participation in such Red State activities as high school ROTC, 4-H clubs, or the Future Farmers of America was found to reduce very substantially a student's chances of gaining admission to the competitive private colleges in the NSCE database on an all-other-things-considered basis. The admissions disadvantage was greatest for those in leadership positions in these activities or those winning honors and awards. "Being an officer or winning awards" for such career-oriented activities as junior ROTC, 4-H, or Future Farmers of America, say Espenshade and Radford, "has a significantly negative association with admission outcomes at highly selective institutions." Excelling in these activities "is associated with 60 or 65 percent lower odds of admission."

Worth noting that in the original text (as opposed to Sailer's blog post) the authors only state specifically having analyzed the impact of "ROTC and co-op work programs" and follow that "60 to 65% reduction" with a speculation that a similar finding MIGHT also apply to FFA and 4-H, though they fail to defend why those should be included as "career-oriented" or activities which support a thesis that a participant is "undecided" about his/her academic future.

Also worth noting that this study was based on admissions in 1995-96. It's so old (in terms of the changes in higher ed) that I'm not sure it has much validity at this point. Also the case that 4-H and ROTC programs are profoundly different than they would have been for students in the early 90's.



Schrdinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.