Q&A Awards from Elementary School?

I’m trying to put together a resume, and I was just wondering, would awards/certificates from when I was in elementary school be useful to put in?

It’s great that you’re putting together a resume. A resume can do wonders for showing colleges how you demonstrated your passions.

The Common Application asks only for student activities and awards from 9th grade on. Colleges are interested only in your performance in high school. The philosophy behind this is that students are constantly growing and changing as kids. For this reason, it would be unfair to judge applicants based on what they aren’t anymore. Some colleges like Princeton and Stanford won’t even look at the 9th grade transcript because they see it as irrelevant and not indicative of an applicant’s ability.

The only exception to this rule might be if you earned an award of really significant importance before high school. For instance, if you were given the opportunity to perform for the President of the United States, that might be something you’d want to include. That said, the Common App will not allow you to include this information in the “Honors” or “Extracurricular Activity” sections. If you chose to include the information, you would have to do so in either an essay or in the “Additional Information” section. Colleges still might not look too fondly on this practice, however. A Bucknell University admissions officer stated in an information session, “if you cured cancer in 8th grade, I’m sorry but we don’t care.”

It’s a difficult call to make given that I don’t know exactly to what awards you are referring. Most likely, it would be a bad idea to include these elementary awards on your application. But only you can make the decision for yourself.

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