Leadership and Its Effect on the College Admissions Process

As the college landscape evolves with the ever-changing priorities of our nation, various factors rise up and down on the list of priorities for the college admissions representatives.

The ebb and flow of the "it" factor in the college admission environment is just like the ocean: what was once high on the crest of the wave of priorities can drop low at any point. The most important factor in college admissions is, and most likely always will be, a student's high school transcript and GPA, but as the college admissions game has come to focus on various other factors, certain characteristics of a student tend to shine more than others.

While stalwarts of the admissions process such as community service or involvement in extracurricular activities will always remain important, the all-encompassing, yet occasionally vague, term of leadership is quite popular right now. Leadership can present itself in numerous ways for a high school student. If you are the captain of a sports team, you are certainly a leader. If you are the president of your student government association, you are without a doubt a leader. But those positions can be few and far between at schools. Only a limited number of students rise up the ranks of school organizations to attain positions of leadership, so what happens to the well-meaning, determined young man or woman who is involved and focused, but doesn't have one of those traditional leadership roles? The answer, quite simply, is create your own.
1. Do you wish your school had a club or organization that it currently doesn't have? Find a few friends and a faculty advisor and create your own club. Not only does that show incredible initiative, chances are that you will be some sort of leader within the club you started.
2. Initiating and implementing a small-scale community service project also demonstrates incredible leadership. If you are passionate about a cause that your local community currently does not support, take it upon yourself to start your own event that could support this cause. Whether it be a car wash, bake sale, or toy drive, if you create and implement an event like that, you will show leadership and entrepreneurship well beyond that of an average high school student.
3. Attending a leadership-driven event is also a solid way to show a college you possess leadership skills. Various colleges and community organizations across the nation tend to hold leadership conferences and events in the summer for high school students where they engage in workshops and activities designed to illicit teamwork and community-minded solutions to help young leaders find their voice and drive.
Leadership presents itself in a variety of mediums. Although being the captain of the tennis team and president of the government association can jump out on a college resume, leadership can occur each and every day in the smallest of ways. Do not be hesitant to create your own opportunity and become a leader for something you feel passionate about!
Woodlynde School is a private, co-ed college prep day school located in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that serves intelligent, talented students with learning differences in grades K - 12. Woodlynde provides a comprehensive, evidence-based Kindergartenelementarymiddle and high school program in a challenging yet nurturing environment for students with average to above average cognitive abilities (IQ) who have language- or math-based learning differences (such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia or Dyscalculia), Executive Function Challenges, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Auditory Processing Disorder. Even for those students without a diagnosed learning disability (LD), Woodlynde offers expert and caring teachers in small classroom settings that support academic success. Woodlynde School also offers a post-graduate (PG) program in partnership with Rosemont College as well as a regional Summer Camp for students who learn differently.