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Articles / Applying to College / Is Eagle-Scout Status an Admission Plus?

Is Eagle-Scout Status an Admission Plus?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | June 22, 2003

Question: I am an Eagle Scout. Will this help me gain admission to a highly selective school like Berkeley?

Being an Eagle Scout will definitely impress admission officers at top colleges. However, as you probably realize, it won’t replace outstanding grades and test scores. In fact, large state universities like Berkeley rely on a student’s “numbers” more than on other data and certainly more than smaller, private colleges do.

Nonetheless, your status as an Eagle Scout will indeed show admission officials that you have a level of commitment and knowledge that many other candidates do not. Moreover, some admission officers have a soft spot for the adherence to old-fashioned values that scouting represents.

Make sure that, when you submit your applications, you not only clearly indicate that you are an Eagle Scout but also offer a brief explanation of what you had to accomplish to earn the title. If you have expertise in an usual area as a result of your Eagle Scout projects, then this will also be a plus in the admission process.

By the way, your message suggests that your name is Melissa. An Eagle Scout called “Melissa” would really turn admission folks’ heads! :-) (Bet that’s not you, though.)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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