Listing multiple robotics programs in college applications

For college and scholarship applications, I’m unsure as to whether I should list VEX and FIRST Robotics as the same activity or as separate activities. It makes sense either way to me. They’re both robotics competitions in the way soccer and basketball are both sports. However, I’ve participated in both programs through the same team. What do you think I should do?

Thanks in advance,
A high school senior that might just be over-thinking about this.

As a fellow senior applying to schools (probably some of the same ones) I would list them as the same. I’m assuming this is for the commonapp “activities” section, and that you have enough activities to fill all the spots. Make sure to note in the description that you participate in both through the CAMS team.

As long as you have enough activities to fill up the remaining spots, this is the best way to go because by opening up another spot, you get another chance to show the colleges something interesting about yourself. If you do not have things to fill all the spots, spread them out (or think harder about what activities you’ve done) and try to leave no blank spaces.

That’s my opinion at least. Hope this helped.

Thanks for the advice! If you don’t mind answering, where are you applying to?

I’m not gonna list them all out here, but feel free to ask me in person if you’re at the Viewpoint tourney in October (I’m the 1437z driver, you’ll recognize me) Anyways, almost all small private schools with top notch engineering programs, as well as some UC’s.

Alright. I won’t be competing in VEX this year, but if 687 sends teams to that tournament like we did this year, I’ll definitely stop by.

As a college instructor and parent who’s sent 2 progeny through the process, it’s my belief your activities should demonstrate one or both of the following:

  1. Depth – Have you found a passion and pursued it in a way that requires commitment and takes you to the “next level”?
  2. Variety – Do your activities contribute to your development in multiple ways (mental, physical, social/teamwork, leadership, public service, character, etc.)?

As someone mentioned earlier, if you have space to list both FIRST and Vex, it doesn’t hurt to list them both, especially if you have gained different things from each experience. However, if you have limited space and have to leave off another activity that’s substantially different (say, volunteering at the local hospital), I would choose contrasting activities (one robotics, one hospital, rather than 2 robotics) to show your versatility.

BTW, being varied and balanced doesn’t mean you have to be good at everything. While being an athlete is a good thing, you can get away with no sports on your application if you can demonstrate many of the same skills (persistence, commitment, teamwork) in other ways. Robotics can be a great alternative way to develop those skills.

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