25 Colleges That Are Great Community Citizens

Campuses That Are Making Community Service a Priority

Colleges aren't just about studying, exams, tuition and the chance to live away from home. Community service is becoming a bigger part of college life at some schools. Funding through organizations like the Corporation for National & Community Service helps to drive community service and college volunteer efforts. So too do social service majors, a student's search for the "right" career path and the opportunity for a student to distinguish herself from other advanced academic program applicants. Benefits of community volunteerism range from early work experience, eligibility for certain scholarships and grants, academic credit and life skills.

15 Colleges With Strong Community Service Programs

Rhodes College is a leading community service school. The Memphis, Tennessee based college has ties to about 100 service programs in Memphis. Bonners Scholars, summer service fellowships and student community service groups like Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics Lynx Club and Voices for Planned Parenthood offer one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities. The summer service fellowship last for nine-weeks. Academic credit is awarded for participation in the fellowship.

10 Top College Social Service Programs

Social service majors work with infants, youth and aging adults. These people may be dealing with mental health issues, poverty, illiteracy, abuse, physical disabilities or chronic health conditions. For social service majors, it can be rewarding to improve the community by doing the work that helps the head of a family learn to read, strengthen an abused child's self-esteem or teach a family how to get out of poverty. Non-profit, public and private organizations may require social service workers to possess undergraduate or graduate degrees. These 10 college social service programs are known for linking academics and community service.

7 Ways To Get The Most From Colleges That Value Community Service

According to college admissions advisors, students can never have too much volunteer work. The important factor is the area that students volunteer in. For example, a senior college student who volunteers 500 hours a year tutoring freshmen engineering majors could signal to graduate college admissions counselors that the senior has deep interest in engineering. A combination of high entrance exam scores, good essays and proven interest in a major could help a student get admitted into widely respected academic programs.

That's just one way to get the most from colleges that value community service. Here are six other ways for students to make attending colleges that value community service support them while they are in school and after they graduate.

  • Add community service work to resumes. Community service may be the only work experience that new college students have. This would could serve as the beginnings of a professional resume.

  • Network with public service leaders who work at volunteer or community organizations. These may be hospital administrators, mayors, heads of family service agencies and military leaders.

  • Tie community service efforts with personal passions. It might even be possible to complete internships through community service programs.

  • Seek programs that offer academic credit for community service. Students could check with academic advisors to get a list of credits that colleges that value community service offer for community-based work.

  • Participate in community service programs that put students in direct contact with hiring managers. Major corporations offer grants to service oriented organizations. Some of the grant funds are used to host gala fundraisers like elegant dinners and golf outings. Getting a seat at these events could put students in touch with senior leaders at major corporations.

  • Apply for scholarships and grants that require students to complete community service. Students may need to volunteer in specific fields to qualify for the funding.

Scholarship and Grants at Colleges With Strong Community Service Programs

Following are scholarships and grants that are designed for students eager to combine community service and college. As with traditional scholarships and grants, essays may be required to complete these scholarship and grant applications.

Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship

Approximately $1,000 awarded to students who work to improve their communities.

Horatio Alger Association Scholarship

Awards scholarships in the amount of $25,000 to students who are active in the community.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarship

Eligible to students with academic and community service strength.

Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation

Focuses on students who are determined to create positive change in the world.

Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

Awarded to students who demonstrate strong leadership, community service and academic excellence.

Burger King Scholars Program

Up to $50,000 is awarded through the program. A strong GPA, community service and extracurricular experience are needed.

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