Campus Clubs, Activities Are Key To College And Post-College Success, Expert Says

We at UT are not in the Ivy League.

But if you know anybody who has stressed or might someday stress over not getting into some uber-selective private school, consider this: life as a Longhorn offers up to 1,000 unique clubs, organizations, activities, and societies to join. That’s not even counting the hundreds upon hundreds of sports and athletic groups accessible to even former high school benchwarmers.

And all that may be the key to how happy and successful students are during and after their university years, veteran Washington Post education writer Jay Mathews says.

Mathews is the author of Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That is Best for You.

In the course of writing his book, Mathews said in a column this week, he surveyed some of his more successful Post colleagues to figure out why many who hadn’t attended Ivy League schools — as he did — wound up in more powerful and more lucrative positions.

“How could this happen?” he asks. “It occurred to me that the stuff we look for in a good college, such as a high ranking, selective admissions, a national reputation, top faculty, and a lovely campus, might not have as much influence on our future success as one factor that is often overlooked: the quality of extracurricular activities at those campuses.”

U.S. News & World Report rankings don’t figure extracurriculars into their calculations, but there seems to be a growing awareness that they matter. The Daily Beast, in ranking UT high among America’s Happiest Colleges this spring, specifically mentioned the large number of activities and clubs offered to Longhorns as a factor.

Most of Mathews’ column was written in general terms. The only school to get a direct shout-out, in fact, was UT. Mathews cited the 500 basketball teams, 400 flag football teams, 300 soccer teams, and 200 volleyball teams available as evidence of the rich opportunities on the Forty Acres.

Nice to see the rest of the country catching on to the exceptional number of things UT has to offer.


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