Getting into your No. 1 college is a competition, and a solid, goal-oriented record of community service is an essential part of your college portfolio.
Your record of civic participation gives admissions officers a glimpse into your character, your motivations, and your potential for success. Along with your academic achievements, test scores, and recommendations, those qualities can help your application stand out by showing the college you are:
- Active. Going above and beyond the classroom and school extracurriculars shows you are committed to having a positive impact on the real world.
- Passionate. Focusing your service in an area you care about—volunteering at a hospital if you are interested in pre-med, for instance—conveys your passion and reflects your commitment to it.
- Organized. Your ability to juggle your service and keep your grades up demonstrates that you are a productive and efficient time manager.
The bottom line on volunteering—whether through student-led clubs, days of service, or fundraising for causes you believe in—shows that you are willing to “walk the walk,” not just “talk the talk,” when it comes to making your community a better place.
Colleges value that principle. And admissions officers give added weight to long-term service with measured impact, as in how much money did you raise? How many homes did you help build? How many hungry people did you help feed?