By: Pamela Paul
EVEN the most altruistic applicant wants to know how community service looks to colleges: would admissions officers prefer a summer of health care work in Africa, or three years of Sundays spent at the local senior citizen center? Would creating a charitable Web site impress more than campaigning for a local politician?
According to a new study, volunteering doesn’t necessarily add do-gooder gloss to an applicant’s file.
Do Something, a nonprofit organization that promotes youth volunteerism, surveyed 33 colleges and universities among U.S. News & World Report’s top 50. The admissions teams distinguished among the type and duration of service seen on college applications. Seventy percent of them, it turns out, were more impressed by long-term local grunt work than a summer of volunteer work abroad.