University of Virginia laudably goes out of its way to point out that they are not one of those schools that admits single-digit percentages of students and that the activities they value on an application may not mirror those of their more highly selective collegiate compatriots. But I can’t think of a selective college that would not agree with UVA’s recommendations for activities as described in their recent blog post.
It’s not about the activities you choose or even the total number of hours you spend doing any or all of them. It’s about your ability to seek out and engage with things you enjoy doing. Yes, the more selective the college, the bigger the impact you’ll need to demonstrate to separate yourself from the rest of the over-achieving applicants from around the world. But even the students interested in those colleges won’t get closer to admission by choosing the activities they think the college values most.
The more you value your chosen activities, the more your chosen colleges will value your choices.