There’s an article up on the very pink “Impact” section of “The Huffington Post” about Ivy League admission and volunteering. The article correctly discusses how college admissions counselors aren’t impressed by students who volunteer an hour here and an hour there in a ton of volunteer activities. An hour serving food to the homeless, while nice and good for humanity, won’t get you into college. As we are quoted in this month’s issue of “Worth” magazine, flying to Guatemala in first class to build houses for the impoverished only to then fly back a week later in that same first class seat not only won’t help you in the Ivy League admissions process, it could even hurt. It makes you appear not to be genuine.
In fact, it makes you appear like a wealthy kid who knows community service helps you get into an Ivy League or highly selective college so you’re doing as mommy and daddy says. But in this case mommy and daddy are wrong. We hear it every day when parents call to tell us how their child just got back from a soup kitchen where they served soup for a half hour this year. In addition to picking up garbage on the beach for twenty minutes one Tuesday every other month and painting over graffiti one weekend every third of a decade. This type of volunteering is nothing more than adding up community service hours and Ivy League admissions counselors see right through it.
So don’t fall into the trap of being that parent…or that student. Ivy League admissions counselors know that students think volunteering in a plethora of activities without getting really involved in those activities is the key to admission to the Ivy League. And Ivy League admissions counselors know – as you should – that such thinking is 100% incorrect.
Check out this post on Volunteering and College Admissions.