It’s hard to understand the exact nature of your question because a “project” isn’t an “invention”. Also, you don’t have to disclose the “novelty” of an idea or project to express your interests or abilities.
Let’s say that your invention is a folding paper mutilating spindle, which allows paper to be folded, spindled and mutilated all in a single step. You ...
To respond to you specific questions:
Do I risk my chances of ever patenting these products by disclosing
them in my college application? Would this qualify as prior art? I'm
not worried about an admissions officer taking the ideas, I just fear
the risks I am not aware of.
You must avoid public disclosure. I'm assuming that a college application is ...