Community service is important to colleges because it proves a student will be active on campus outside of class, contribute to the university’s mission, and share the school’s values, painting a positive picture of a young adult who will be a productive member of a university community. Students who are active in the community show they care about things outside of their personal sphere.
A 2018 Businesswire survey of college admissions officers found that community service can be a deciding factor when colleges are considering applicants. This means that if two applicants each have near-perfect academic records, the one more engaged in community service will have an advantage.
“Authenticity and resilience are prized traits for applicants.” explains Dr. Aviva Legatt, author of Get Real and Get In; How To Get Into the College of Your Dreams by Being Your Authentic Self. “Colleges want to see applicants with the internal drive and resilience to lead something bigger than themselves. Stories of adaptability, ingenuity, and community-mindedness will undoubtedly impress.”
In fact, college application prompts often require students to write about their community service: