Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for High School

Updated April 21, 2022

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Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for High School essay

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Bucknavage and Worrell studied the participation rates of students across nine areas, dance, choral music, band, solo instrument, athletics, student government, academic clubs, ethics/cultural clubs, and “other activities” category. Stating in this study, school-sanctioned extracurricular activities play an important role in students’ lives, parents, and school personal a lot of time and money is devoted to these activities. Over the years due to tightening budgets, the importance and benefits of extracurricular activities have been the cause of many studies and numerous debates. In addition to looking at students’ rates of participation, several studies have examined the relationship of extracurricular activities to student outcomes such as personal and social development, academic achievement, delinquency, and problem behaviors. However, the majority of published studies on extracurricular activities have focused on athletes and sporting activities in high school populations. (Bucknavage and Worrell, 2005)

According to the National Center for Education Statistics states that the indicators of successful participation in school includes consistent attendance, academic achievement, and aspirations for continuing education beyond high school. Extracurricular participation was positively associated with each of these success indicators among public high school seniors in 1992 (table 1). During the first semester of their senior year, participants reported better attendance than their non-participating classmates–half of them had no unexcused absences from school and half had never skipped a class, compared with one-third and two-fifths of nonparticipants, respectively. Students who participated were three times as likely to perform in the top quartile on a composite math and reading assessment compared with nonparticipants. Participants were also more likely than nonparticipants to aspire to higher education: two-thirds of participants expected to complete at least a bachelor’s degree while about half of nonparticipants expected to do so. It cannot be known from these data, however, whether participation leads to success, successful students are more inclined to participate, or both occur. (NCES, 1995)

Some students worry that participating in extracurriculars may take away time from their schoolwork, thus hurting their grades; however, extracurricular activities can improve your grades and your outlook on school in general! Participating in activities you are passionate about can increase both your physical and mental functions, help you concentrate and manage your time better, as well as incentives you to keep higher grades. High endurance sports, for example, will train you to focus and build stamina in the face of intense difficulty. With this it will help you in your studies, applying similar hard training/studying regiment which will also help in improve GPA and keep higher grades. Many studies have shown a connection between extracurricular activities and academic performance. All of them show that students that participate in them have higher grades, improve outlook at school, and higher college aspirations and future goals.

Professor William Hurst states the negative effects of extracurricular activities on students academic performance. Sports, clubs, band, student government and other activities can all be good things and have positive impacts on students and the community. But a great number of some of the country’s most talented and diligent students often sell themselves short, turning away from their academic work in favor extracurricular activities. Many are intensely stressed and consumed by those pursuits, such that they appear to have less time for leisure time with others, even as they spend much less time in the library or laboratory. (Hurst 2016)


  1. Bucknavage, Leah B; Worrell, Frank C.The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education: JSGE; Waco Vol. 16, Iss. 2/3, (Winter 2005): 74-86,134-135. A Study of Academically Talented Students’ Participation in Extracurricular Activities. Retrieved from: https://search-proquest-com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/education/docview/222748613/BE1131DB78C64AD6PQ/10?accountid=34544
  2. Extracurricular Participation and Student Engagement. June 1995 (NCES 95-741) Retrieved from: https://nces.ed.gov/pubs95/web/95741.asp
  3. Blog from Crimson Education titled, Top 8 Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for High School Students. March 14, 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.crimsoneducation.org/us/blog/extracurriculars/benefits-of-extracurricular-activities/
  4. Hurst, William April 11, 2016. End the Extracurricular Arms Race. Retrieved from: https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2016/04/opinion-insidehighered-extracurriculars/
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Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for High School. (2022, Apr 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/benefits-of-extracurricular-activities-for-high-school/


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