Question: Since I am an upper classman but am not really involved in extracurricular activities at my school, but do volunteer a little outside in the community, will that have a large affect on my acceptence or rejection to college (such as Ivy League colleges)?
As far as ECs go, you need to show dedicated excellence to a few significant efforts, not a big menu of thinly spread involvements. If you’re involved in some quality volunteer endeavors, that would be good. Quite frankly, though, you need to have more than “a little” involvement. The Ivies look for longer-term activity in a few “meaty” things, as I mentioned above.
Don’t despair, though, you’ve got the rest of the year to find something as well as the whole summer and fall semester. If you want to see exactly the kinds of ECs that will get you admitted to an elite college, read a review of a book I co authored called “America’s Elite Colleges: The Smart Applicant’s Guide to The Ivy League and Other Top Schools.” It’s available through Amazon.com. My co-author is David Hawsey, also of College Confidential. See more info here.