How Many Volunteer Hours Needed for University?

2022-08-31 15:46
Volunteer service is one of the most popular activities for students in high school to do in their spare time. There are so many ways that youths and high school students can get involved.  Admissions officers in universities also love to see volunteering services on college applications.  For any youth to have experience in volunteer service means they are devoted to making a difference in their environment and are ready to take action.

A lot of youths ask this question, how many volunteer service hours for college do they need to make sure their contribution is “good enough” for admissions officers? If there is a certain number of hours that they need for different schools? We are going to find out soon.

There are a few Universities that accept Volunteer hours as part of their admission process.
  • UBC( University of British Columbia): In UBC, applicants must have a minimum of 100 hours of relevant volunteer or work experience in order to be considered for admission. Most successful applicants exceed this minimum. The experience should focus on social service or health related activities and have direct and ongoing contact with vulnerable or disadvantaged members of society.
  • According to Ryan Smith with College Reality Check, “Colleges and universities with a holistic admissions process do not indicate how many hours applicants should have volunteered. However, the general consensus is that between 50 and 200 hours of volunteer work is remarkable.”   While at first glance this may seem like an overwhelming number of hours, it equates to just 13 to 50 hours per year of high school. That seems more achievable.
Youths getting between 50 and 200 hours sounds very impressive and shows that they have committed. However, once you get above 200 hours, you should start considering if your spare time could be better spent doing something else. Unfortunately, there is no number of volunteer service hours that are going to be your golden opportunity in college. Grades and test scores will always come first before volunteer hours.

Volunteer service can showcase an aspect of your personality and make admission officers see you as a good example and leader, but it isn’t going to guarantee admission on its own. Even if you have spent over 500+ hours volunteering,  the university admission officers won't hold spots open for you based just on that. So it is advisable to handle volunteer work as you would any other activity. You may be surprised to learn that the number of hours you spend doing volunteer service is not the most important focus in getting admission into the university.  Most admissions officers say that they care more about what you have done, why you are doing it, and what you got out of it. As long as you can explain these things efficiently, they don’t care as much about the number of hours you spent doing it. University admission officers say that it's possible to have too many volunteer hours,  As long as it’s not affecting your grades or other parts of your life, you can volunteer to your heart’s desire.

How can youths allot their Volunteer Hours?

It's easier to have an impact if youths keep volunteering for the same project, instead of spreading themselves across different projects. It is advisable to always look for a project that you can spend at least fifty hours on. If they have less than this, most university admission officers will not be convinced that they have dedicated enough time to make a difference.

However, once you get above 200 hours, it is only logical to start to consider if your free time could be better spent doing something else.  At the end of the day, 500 hours is not going to seem as impressive as 200 hours, and those are hours that probably could be better spent elsewhere.

There are basically three main qualities that you should be showing in your volunteer service work: commitment, passion, and leadership. The best students will also use their volunteering experience as an opportunity for reflection.

1. Commitment

As a youth, you can show commitment by being involved in your chosen project over a long period. Out of 100%, 70% of the university admissions officers said they would prefer to see a long-term dedication to an unfulfilling cause instead of a short-term commitment to something like volunteering abroad.

Also, 60% of admissions officers would prefer to see students who have made a commitment to just one cause over their high school careers. The reason why is because they're more interested in seeing what you can accomplish when you're dedicated and put your mind to it than they are in a long list of volunteer activities. Long-term commitment shows passion and dedication.

2. Passion

Displaying a high level of passion always relates to doing a volunteer activity that relates to something that you're already interested in or cares deeply about. If you have a certain interest, then volunteering can be a great way to explore it.

As it's clearly stated above, long-term involvement is important.

3. Leadership

People can show their leadership skills by managing others and being in charge during an event or activity. People can also show their leadership skills by displaying a sense of responsibility for motivating others to succeed.   As with any other activity, universities are interested in seeing how you've taken charge and made it better than you found it.

4. Reflection

Only the best students who have done any volunteer service work will also be able to reflect on how their work has made an impact, both on others and on themselves. Students should ask themselves if their volunteer programs have made a positive contribution to society. After all, that is the point of volunteer service. Students who can reflect on these aspects are more likely to impress admissions officers because they show that they are thoughtful and have devoted themselves for honest reasons.

Admission officers are looking for leadership skills and experience, as stated above. Still,  they're also interested in students who have grown more mature and developed in other ways as a result of their volunteering service. Students who have a clear reflection on these aspects are more likely to impress admissions officers because they can show that they did volunteer service for sincere reasons.


What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you are having thoughts about college admissions? you presumably think about the basics, like SAT or ACT scores, grades, GPA, essays, and letters of recommendation. As much as these things are really important for your application, it’s also vital that you start building your resume. One way to do that is through volunteer services.

Volunteering may not increase your SAT or ACT scores or boost your GPA, but it can give you the competitive edge you need in the college admissions process and help you stand out among other candidates.

Here are some ways volunteering can help you on your journey to college:

1. Experience

Volunteering can give you an amazing experience outside the classroom while also appealing to college officers if they read about your volunteer work in your application essay. Admission officers not only want to see your grades, test scores, and GPA on your transcript but also would love to see who you are outside of the classroom. Volunteering also allows you to showcase another side of yourself. It provides an opportunity for you to speak passionately about an organization that you believe in and have devoted some real-time to that organization.

2. Leadership

One major thing College admissions officers love to see are students who are passionate leaders, and volunteering is a great way to gain some leadership experience. Rather than merely completing the necessary service hours that may be needed by your high school, take the time to probe a cause that inspires you. The more motivated you are, the more likely you are to be involved and take on a leadership position. This will show admission officers that you can meaningfully contribute to the university community and be an active member of the student body.

3. Individual  Advancement

It is advisable not to do volunteer work to boost your resume, application, or chances of getting into college alone; but do your exploration and find the thing that speaks to you. Not only is this going to be of great help to you but it would help you speak naturally and passionately about it in interviews.  A lot of Canadian universities look at good grades only when making admission conclusions. So no, you shouldn’t do additional volunteer hours if you don’t want to. There are a few exceptions. UBC ( University of British Columbia) is one and the change is quite recent, within the last three or four years, due to the sheer volume of applications they received.

It is advisable to do any other thing worthwhile with your spare time. But it is over to you to make that decision. Don’t do it just to make it look good on your application to the university but do it because it is something you have a passion for and want to do.

So many organizations do volunteer training in Toronto, Canada and FUTFS  is an organization that does volunteer training for youths and adults. And after completion of the volunteer program, individuals go home with great leadership skills, certificate of completion  and also up to 300hours of volunteer time. Visit their website today and check out all the volunteer programs they offer at website!
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