One of the most common myths that I hear is that you need to start a club to be competitive for a BS/MD program. Why isn’t this true?
Applying to college, and BS/MD programs in particular, is not about doing things just to look good on a college application. The typical student that starts a club gets a few of their friends together to start the club. The will hold the occasional meeting and when the student graduates, the club dies. Colleges see this scenario thousands of times each application season. Does this sound impressive to you?
Now, if there is something you are interested in and a club is not available at your local high school, then starting a club is fine. But what is more important than starting a club is developing the club. If you develop the club so it is growing each year, and have a significant number of members, and is an active club that continues to grow and thrive even after you graduate, that is much better. A club like this shows that you truly have an interest in the area and aren’t just doing things to look good to a college. And the club you start does not need to be focused on health care, science, research or anything of interest to a BS/MD program. BS/MD programs and highly selective colleges in general, are looking for interesting, motivated, students. Any type of club that you spend significant time developing, can meet this criteria.
Most of my students that have been successful in getting admitted to BS/MD programs did not start a club. And I see many students that have started a club, not get admitted.
If you want to start a club in your high school because you think such a club will provide an outlet for students who are interested in a particular topic, and are willing to put in the work to grow the club, go for it. But if not, focus your efforts on other parts of your background and develop your interests in other ways.