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volunteer work

Ryker556Ryker556 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
edited May 2005 in College Admissions
Last summer I visited Costa Rica to volunteer and help the community(it was my church group), and I was wondering about putting this on my application when I'm applying to colleges this fall. Should I put this on my list of EC's or write the essay about it? And how much do colleges really look at things like this?
Post edited by Ryker556 on

Replies to: volunteer work

  • MacTruckMacTruck Registered User Posts: 86 Junior Member
    Check collegeboard.com and see how much your aims consider volunteer work in the admissions process... a lot of schools weigh it significantly in their decisions.
  • kates1422kates1422 Registered User Posts: 194 Junior Member
    Colleges love things like that that stand out. Definitely include it, especially if it was important to you.
  • IvyLeagueORbust...IvyLeagueORbust... Registered User Posts: 1,387 Senior Member
    I know this is extremely tangential, but would this look bad if I decided to not take choir senior year, after doing festivals and what not three years counting?
  • nycnyc Registered User Posts: 1,355 Senior Member
    Colleges look favorably upon volunteer work - - but not those w/ the $4k+ price tag, many of which are in Central or South America. Make sure the colleges don't mistake your church program for one of those high-fee programs.
  • Ryker556Ryker556 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    What's the difference between my church and I going and someone who choses to pay? I would think colleges would still look upon that as a good deed, worthy of some recognition.
  • dufus3709dufus3709 Registered User Posts: 3,052 Senior Member
    The first thing that adcoms care about is the difficulty of the curriculum chosen, then gpa/rank, and then standardized tests. After you qualify in these areas, they look at EC's, essays and recommendations and they try to get a feel for the total person. At the extremely/very selective colleges, they have way more qualified applicants than they can ever accept. For every applicant accepted, there are four or five who are almost identical, but are waitlisted or denied just because they don't have room. In order to be accepted, you have to stand out from the crowd in the EC's and essays. Use the essay to explain why you are special, and make sure that the EC's support what you have said in the essay.

    The Costa Rica trip sounds like a great essay. If that isn't the main thing that you want to say about yourself, then include it as an additional essay. I agree with nyc that you should make it clear that this was not something that you paid to do. Adcoms are sick of the essays about all the great things in Europe that you saw over the summer on the vacation trip with Mommy and Daddy.
This discussion has been closed.