The Purpose of Blue Cards In Doubt

Nearly all students receive Blue Cards for the extracurriculars they do on campus, and yet, many don’t actually know what they are. Blue Cards are reports of a Choate student’s activities and awards. Ms. Vicki LiPuma, the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Students, explained, “On the Choate SIS Portal, students will be able to find their Blue Cards, on which their activities and awards will be updated each term by the deans’ assistants. Once a student graduates, these Blue Cards will go up into records.”

Before the Choate School and Rosemary Hall merged to become Choate Rosemary Hall, deans’ assistants at the Choate School would handwrite students’ activities on paper. “Now that these cards are digitized, any faculty person has convenient access to any student’s Blue Card,” said Ms. LiPuma.

Seniors tend to wonder if Blue Cards are significant in the college application process. While these Blue Cards are the official report of a student’s activities and awards, they actually are not sent in with a student’s transcript when students are applying for college. Ms. LiPuma said, “Blue Cards do not show up on a student’s transcript — strictly grades are sent to colleges.”

Adding to Ms. LiPuma’s explanation, Ms. Marcia Landesman, the Director of College Counseling, explained, “In terms of the college process, Blue Cards are not critical. They are neither sent to colleges along with transcripts, nor are useful for college counselors writing college recommendation letters.” She continued, “While it may be useful for the school to keep track of activities that students are involved in, college counselors write letters of recommendations based on information they learn directly from the students rather than through Blue Cards.”

Because these Blue Cards are not an integral part of the college process, many question the necessity of these Blue Cards. Katherine Burgstahler ’18 commented, “I don’t really see the purpose in Blue Cards. I haven’t even had to think about them while writing my college applications.”

Other students felt differently about Blue Cards. Taylor John-Lewis ’19 said, “I think Blue Cards are quite useful because you can refer to them while writing applications. They provide a written record for activities you may or may not remember doing.” Nico Decker ’20 added, “I think Blue Cards are quite useful as well. Sometimes I check to see which clubs I am part of because I tend to forget. They’re not entirely necessary, but it’s just like having your past schedule — they remind you of the activities that you were involved in.”


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