Community service is an important part of your college application. A recent survey on college admissions personnel done by Interactive Educational Systems Design showed that 58% agreed that community service played a positive role in students’ acceptances. Also, 53% of admissions leaders stated that community service served as a tie-breaker of sorts when comparing students with similar academic attributes. Needless to say, community service is something that you should definitely be doing.
Why is community service important to college admissions?
There are many possible reasons. For one, it shows that you are involved. Admissions offices love to see people who are able to balance the rigor of their academic courses with involvement in different activities. It shows you are a well-rounded student and person. Community service also shows that you have empathy for others, particularly those less fortunate than you. A lot of universities have in their missions some form of service to others; an applicant who loves to serve even before they get there is exactly what they want to see.
What kind of community service should I do?
There is no specific community service that colleges look for; it is completely up to you. What will be most meaningful in your application is a community service activity that you are truly passionate about. Try to think of a specific disparity or population that you would like to help. That should be your first go-to when deciding on community service. Also, if you are planning on being a doctor, volunteering in a hospital could be a great option. You can sometimes play a meaningful role in patient care even if it just giving the patient water when they need it.
How many hours should I do?
Aim for 50-200 hours of community service. Colleges are much more impressed with 100 hours of community service at one place rather than 2 hours here, 3 hours there, 2 hours over there. They want to see students who are passionate and show that passion by having longitudinal service experiences. Do not stretch yourself too thin; if you have to cut back service hours to get your academics in order, tell the service entity. This should be completely of your own volition, not by force!
By serving others, we feel better about ourselves. Community service is a vital part of your application and a vital part to being a Greater Influence!