How to Demonstrate Sustained Commitment in Your College Applications

August 15, 2023
College Admissions

“The level of success you achieve will be in direct proportion to the depth of your commitment.”
―Roy T. Bennett, author

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal—a commitment to excellence—that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
―Mario Andretti, race-car driver


Demonstrating sustained commitment to academics and extracurricular activities is a crucial factor in the college admissions process. It shows that you have a passion for a particular field of study or extracurricular pursuit and that you have engaged in it consistently over time, thus demonstrating your drive, determination, and dedication. In this blog post, we discuss the importance of demonstrating sustained commitment to college admissions committees and offer some tips on how to do so.

There are a number of reasons that an applicant’s demonstration of sustained commitment is important to college admissions committees. It shows, for instance, that you have a deep passion for a particular field of study or extracurricular activity and that you are dedicated to pursuing it over time. In addition, it shows that you have the drive and dedication to continue developing your skills and interests in a demanding college environment. There are a number of things to keep in mind when choosing and pursuing activities that can increase your chances of being able to exhibit sustained commitment when it comes time to fill out your college applications.

Choose activities with which you are likely to stick

When selecting the activities or fields of study to which you would like to show commitment, make sure that they align with your interests and goals. That way, you will be more likely to stick with them and show true commitment over time. Choosing an activity just because you think it will look good on your resume or application is a sure-fire way to choose an activity that you are likely to abandon before too long. But if you choose something that is truly aligned with your passions, you are much more likely to stick with it for the long haul.

Keep records

Maintain records of your involvement—including awards, certificates, or other recognition of your achievements—in the activities or fields of study to which you are committed. This documentation can serve as a convincing way to demonstrate your sustained commitment to the admissions committee.

Pursue leadership positions

Demonstrating leadership in your chosen activities or fields of study can be a strong indicator of your sustained commitment. Take on leadership roles, such as captain of a sports team or president of a club, and show how you have positively impacted the organization. Being selected or elected to hold a leadership position is often seen as evidence of commitment, as a person generally would not be chosen to hold such a position if they had not exhibited dedication to the team or organization.

Seek opportunities for growth and improvement

Seek opportunities to challenge yourself and grow in your passions. For example, if you are committed to music, seek out opportunities to perform in front of an audience, participate in music competitions, or take advanced music lessons. If you are passionate about a particular academic field, seek out contests in which you, either individually or as part of a team, can compete against others who are interested in the same subject. For instance, if you love mathematics, you can participate in Math Kangaroo, the Harvard MIT Mathematics Tournament (HMMT), or the Purple Comet Math Meet. If you are a history buff, you can participate in the International History Olympiad, the National History Bowl, or the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum Profiles in Courage Essay Contest. No matter what the field, seeking growth and improvement in your area of interest fosters sustained commitment to that interest, as it keeps you from becoming bored and constantly gives you more advanced goals for which to strive.

Demonstrating sustained commitment to a college admissions committee is important because it shows your passion, dedication, and drive. Exhibiting such commitment is one of the best ways for an applicant to stand out in the increasingly competitive college admissions process. At AtomicMind, we have extensive experience in helping students find activities about which they are passionate and guiding them in the construction of applications that demonstrate their commitment to those activities. Contact us for a free consultation.