How important is a resume compared to other parts of the college application?
For many public institutions that conduct admission decisions based upon a matrix of test scores and gpa, the resume is of no importance and, if submitted, will likely not even be read.
But for schools that utilize wholistic review in determining admission, the resume is a critical aspect of the application file. In partnership with the essay, letters of recommendation, test scores, and gpa, the resume shows a student's commitment to life outside of the classroom; demonstrates passions and interests. The document should reflect what is important to the applicant and thereby assists the campus in recognizing good fit...or not.
There are also colleges/universities that offer leadership and service scholarships, often in addition to academic awards. In these cases, the only opportunity for the admission office to learn if a student might be qualified to receive one of these scholarships is by reading the resume. If one is not submitted or if it does not offer a quality view of the applicant's time outside of the classroom, scholarship dollars could be in jeopardy.