How Do I Tell Colleges About My Volunteer Work & Leadership Roles?

Question: I have done some volunteering, how do I submit my records to colleges when applying? Also, if I am a club officer, how can I show that or tell that to the colleges?

College applications provide a place for you to list your most significant activities along with the opportunity to include the leadership roles you have held. This list will suffice for typical undertakings (including community service) and club-officer positions. But if any of your activities, positions, or duties are unique, you can use the “Additional Information” section of your application to elaborate, or you can submit a separate “Annotated Activities” list, which is a résumé that offers brief explanations of your various ventures, when these are not self-explanatory.

Colleges expect you to accurately self-report your activities and the time you’ve spent on them, but they definitely do not want you to send them certificates or other proof of your volunteer endeavors. Occasionally, college officials will “spot check” the veracity of applications by contacting a guidance counselor or even the specific organizations that a candidate has mentioned in order to confirm that the student truly did participate in these activities and for the stated amount of time. This sort of fact-checking is rare, but the bad karma that comes from fabricating activities or inflating leadership roles may not be. 😉

(posted 9/17/2017)