How to Start Your Own Extracurricular Club

If you find yourself craving more involvement in your high school community, you might have explored existing clubs and organizations, only to realize that none quite align with your interests or passions. If this resonates with you, you might be the perfect candidate to launch your own extracurricular club.

But before we delve into the practicalities of starting a club, let’s address the looming question that often weighs on the minds of college-bound students…

Is Launching a Club Essential for College Admission?

Some students may feel the pressure to amass a dazzling array of extracurricular activities to secure admission to their dream college. However, in reality, this notion often doesn’t align with the admissions process.

For applicants to larger universities or colleges with higher acceptance rates, extracurricular involvement typically carries less weight in admissions decisions. According to a 2017 survey by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), 19% of colleges rated extracurricular activities as having “No Importance,” while 37% considered them to have “Limited Importance.”

On the other hand, at selective or highly selective institutions, engaging in extracurriculars can make a difference. As admissions committees sift through countless applications featuring stellar SAT scores and academic records, demonstrating leadership by founding a club can undoubtedly set applicants apart.

In light of this information, here’s our take: While impressing admissions officers may be a positive outcome of starting a club, it shouldn’t be the sole motivation. Instead, focus on pursuing something you’re genuinely passionate about—it’ll shine through and leave a lasting impression regardless of the admissions process.

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When’s the Right Time to Launch a Club?

For most freshmen, strolling into high school and immediately spearheading a club isn’t the most practical approach. Typically, we suggest that 9th and 10th grades serve as a period of exploration. Underclassmen can dip their toes into various clubs and activities without feeling obligated to commit long-term. The aim is to use this time to discover a few passions they’re truly enthusiastic about and wish to invest their time and effort in.

However, this isn’t to say that a determined underclassman couldn’t find themselves in a position to establish a club. Perhaps you’re a 14-year-old language prodigy fluent in French, dismayed by the absence of The National French Contest at your new high school. In such cases, diving right into action could be the perfect move.

Overall, for the average teenager, it’s more advantageous to take the time to survey the extracurricular landscape, connect with like-minded peers, build rapport with potential faculty sponsors, and familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of initiating an official club at their school.

What Can a Club Achieve?

Starting a club in high school can serve multiple purposes, such as:

  1. Advocating for a charitable cause or fundraising for a social issue.
  2. Participating in academic competitions at local, state, or national levels.
  3. Enjoying favorite activities alongside like-minded peers.
  4. Challenging oneself by initiating a project or endeavor from scratch.

Which Club Should You Launch?

As you delve into this endeavor, the initial decision often revolves around whether to establish a local chapter of an existing club or to create an entirely new organization.

If your creative juices are flowing and you’re itching to pioneer something unique, by all means, forge ahead! Perhaps a recent volunteer trip inspired a targeted charitable initiative, or maybe you’ve developed a passion for an unconventional sport and want to kick off an intramural club (Jai alai, anyone?).

Yet, there’s also merit in founding a local branch of a nationally recognized club. Such affiliations offer distinct advantages. They provide access to established networks and resources, paving the way for accolades and distinctions that can distinguish applicants.

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The Club Starting Checklist

  1. Gauge Interest: Begin by surveying your peers to determine the level of interest in joining your club. After all, it’s not ideal to be the sole member of a club.
  2. Secure Faculty Support: Find a committed faculty advisor who will support and guide your club’s activities.
  3. Understand Logistics: Starting a club is not an instantaneous process. Familiarize yourself with the administrative procedures required by your school, such as obtaining approval and potential funding. Additionally, ensure that your faculty advisor is compensated for their time.
  4. Manage Finances: Consider the financial aspects of your club. Determine the startup costs and ongoing expenses, and establish a system for managing the organization’s finances.
  5. Plan Meetings: Decide on the frequency of club meetings and identify the facilities required to accommodate them.
  6. Publicize Your Club: Develop a strategy to promote your club and attract members. Utilize various channels, such as social media, flyers, and announcements, to spread the word about your organization.


Starting a club can be an enriching and rewarding experience for high school students, offering opportunities for personal growth, leadership development, and community engagement. By following the steps outlined in this checklist and staying committed to your vision, you can create a vibrant and impactful organization that leaves a lasting legacy at your school. So go ahead, take the initiative, and embark on the exciting journey of starting your own club!