parents will have strategized an EC path to optimize intellectual curiousity.

We really didn't have to strategize... my D's ECs were pretty much on the mark for this. She was a top quiz bowl player in our state (that was really her top EC), went to THINK for two summers, was one of only 2 girls on her FIRST Robotics team, collected insects and did some other wildlife biology activities, was in a fencing club (just practiced, no competition prior to applicatons), and won a few awards in visual arts. And had fantastic test scores and good teacher recs that I think backed up the intellectual impression. And she knew immediately what she would write on for her common app essay (thankfully she did not have to agonize over her topic for that particular essay!) -- she wrote about how she has tried to emulate Sherlock Holmes in her life since first encountering him in literature in 3rd grade. We really did not try to make her into something she wasn't... and when colleges could see clearly what she was, they seemed to want to admit her.

Also, my D is pretty introverted, and interviews would have been a nightmare for her. So she chose not to interview at all. None of her colleges required it (no Harvard application like the one in the article). College reps from a lot of the schools she applied to came to her high school, so she made sure to attend those sessions and take a couple of good questions for the reps. Usually only a few kids were there so the rep got their names -- that is as close as she came to interviewing. Although it would be a great skill for her to develop, we felt like the stakes were too high for her to struggle through interviews for college (she has been practicing on the summer job circuit this summer instead :)). Now my older D was a great interviewer, so she interviewed everyplace, and I am convinced it helped her get more merit money at the school she attended. So your milage may vary on the interviews depending on your kid and the school -- if you think this is a weakness for your student, then consider avoiding them if possible.

Last edited by intparent; 07/17/13 10:34 AM.