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community service hours for UC's??

karybluekaryblue Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
edited July 2005 in Parents Forum
How many community service hours are recommended for UC's? My son ,a rising junior prefers to do science research at UCLA this summer, and doesn't have much time for community/volunteer service. Thanks.
Post edited by karyblue on

Replies to: community service hours for UC's??

  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    No such thing as recommended service hours for UCs.

    After grades and test scores (both of which count a lot), other considerations are given for ECs and special talents, family situations, overcoming hardship, leadership positions, community service,etc. But there is no floor amount of community service required and I haven't been able to see a pattern in admissions (that is, 200+ hours of community service= admission).

    My D was heavily involved in music and didn't have a lot of community service hours. Got into all UCs she applied to without trouble. With the exception of Berkeley and UCLA, I think a kid with stellar grades and great test scores will be admitted--even with paltry ECs, etc.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    For example, see the UC San Diego admissions info site. . .


    300 points for community service can be given. What that really means is that if you are super-heavily involved in a community service group or project, you'll probably get 300 points. If you are moderately involved in community service , you'll probably get 150 points. If you do a little community service here and there, you won't get any points for it.

    Not that a kid shouldn't be involved with his or her community, but in terms of college applications to the UCs, I can't believe that your son (with his schedule) will spend enough time with community service to make a difference in his UC applications.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 18,677 Senior Member
    Keep in mind that each campus has its own standards as to how they apply "comprehensive review" -- UCSD and a few others have a strict point system, but UCLA is a more generalized approach:
    The assessment of personal achievements includes: extracurricular activities, honors and awards, volunteer work, community service, participation in academic development programs, employment, and other special accomplishments. The emphasis in this part of the review is on the quality and level of commitment (including leadership positions, if appropriate) and not on any particular activity. The result of the personal achievement assessment is the assignment of a Personal Achievement Rank (PAR) to each applicant.
    From http://www.admissions.ucla.edu/Prospect/Adm_fr/FrSel.htm

    I think the point is that if the kid is already involved heavily in community service, then it certainly can help with admissions. But otherwise, it is not a major factor.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    Agree with calmom--without heavy involvement, not much of a factor. So don't try to force your S to do it for admission purposes.
  • tealteal Registered User Posts: 875 Member
    On the application, UC's don't even ask for how many hours you have done. Rather, they ask for how many hours per week and then weeks per year. That's what I remember.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,428 Senior Member
    of the UC's only San Diego has made community servie a point in the admissions process. Before its quantitative comp rev, hours were de facto required for admission to SD, particularly of suburban kids (excluding those who had to work). Now, under their point system, the 300 points can be earned in different ways, such as more a-g classes, leadership positions in school, test scores, etc.
  • karybluekaryblue Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Thanks! I guess he'll get zero points for community service...
  • karybluekaryblue Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Son may be interested in UCSD. Went to college fair, and UCSD rep recommended stellar grades and test scores, plus community service/volunteer work. Son is much more interested in science research and says he is "volunteering " his hours doing research work. Thanks.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    UCSD is a great school for kids interested in science, especially biological science. Only complaint that I've heard from kids is that it is not a happening place, socially. If you want Rah-Rah school spirit/sports teams, UCLA USC and Berkeley are more the ticket.
  • karybluekaryblue Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    Thanks ellemenope. Son doesn't go to hs football games, so maybe UCSD would be a good fit. All great schools.
  • sluggbuggsluggbugg Registered User Posts: 1,101 Senior Member
    I think it depends on the UC. UC's have something called the Comprehensive Review in their admissions process. Besides academic performance, they take a look at the whole applicant and his/her potential for leadership and personal contribution. Comprehensive review factors for freshmen include...

    11. Special talents, achievements and awards in a particular field, such as visual and performing arts, communication or athletic endeavors;

    ~Special skills, such as demonstrated written and oral proficiency in other languages;
    ~Special interests, such as intensive study and exploration of other cultures;
    ~Experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership, such as significant community service or significant participation in student government;
    ~Or, other significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate the student's promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of a campus.

    They look at ec's and community service, but it's just one of the 14 factors they take under consideration. Each campus designs its own method for evaluating the comp review factors, so it's useful to look at who gets admitted. Here's the url for the comprehensive review section of the UC website:


    Things tend to pick up Junior Year, so be patient with the community service issue. Opportunities sometimes float their way as upper classmen just because they're older and more experienced. My ds has always been a non-joiner, but his school actually did a pretty good job of providing leadership opportunties for bright, but non-joiner students like him. Didn't happen until last year, though (his junior year). There's hope! :o
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