Will Scouting Help Me Get into Stanford?

Question: I like scouting, but it takes a good amount of time in my life. I was curious how much of it would help (which is not the reason I’m doing scouting, but might be a factor for quitting) on top of near perfect grades and other EC’s for getting into a top college such as Stanford.

Admission officials at all colleges are likely to respect applicants who are very involved in scouting, especially those who have achieved the highest ranks (Eagle Scout for boys, Girl Scout Gold Award, etc.). However, being an Eagle Scout won’t really make you stand out in a highly competitive crowd. Colleges like Stanford attract so many top students with near-perfect grades and test scores that it can sometimes be almost impossible for admission officials to distinguish among them when it comes time to make those tough, final decisions. Taking part in scouting alone probably won’t push your application straight towards the “In” pile, even with excellent tests and grades. What might make you stand out, however, is if–through scouting–you were to undertake some unusual project, perhaps drawing on one or more of your other interests in the process. Can you think of an idea that’s exciting to you and also different from the more typical Eagle Scout projects that you know about?

If you’re enjoying your scout experience, you may be able to parlay it into an eye-catching endeavor that will not only earn you Eagle status but also a spot at your first-choice college.

Good luck!