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How Important is Community Service in Your College Application?

community service with paper people, community service in college application
community service with paper people, community service in college application

Recently, I have had a couple of my clients ask me about how important community service is on their college application. They wondered whether it was too late to try and add some hours this fall, as seniors, to make up for what they were lacking throughout high school. This sparked some interesting discussion with some of my colleagues who work in college admissions.

First, yes, community service is wonderful and anything you can do to make an impact on your community is worthwhile. Second, of course colleges want to see that you are an active member of your community, that you take the time to give back, and that you look to be part of something bigger than yourself. In addition, many colleges offer community service clubs and organizations and want to make sure they will have students in the incoming class to fill that role.

However, it is not enough to have random community service hours to put on your application. Therefore, the question you should be asking is not how important is community service on my application but instead what kind of community service is important?

So, here a few tips when thinking about community service as related to college applications:

  • Look for community service opportunities that connect to your sincere interests.
  • While random hours here and there at the local humane society or soup kitchen are wonderful ways to give back to your community they will not necessarily sway the admissions office one way or another.
  • Consistency and longevity are important when it comes to showcasing community service to the college of your choice.
  • Find a project you can stick with for a few years to show commitment and dedication.

Good luck in your application process!
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