How to write the community service essay with Robert

Recorded Wednesday, October 27 at 12:00 AM

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About this livestream


Join Robert for a breakdown of essay prompts about community service, including: what admissions officers are looking for, how to research school-specific info, and general tips for writing. He'll also go through an example of an essay or two on-air so you can see how admissions officers would critique this kind of essay.

Robert will also open up the floor for a Q&A session to answer any questions you may have about community service essays.

Your host

Undergrad College: Yale University '21

Major: Ethics, Politics & Economics; Classics (Intensive)

Work Experience: As a recent graduate of Yale University, I am excited to begin my first year with CollegeVine! In many ways, CV was a natural fit for me -- at Yale, I worked for over two years in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, beginning as a Senior Interviewer in the summer of 2019, during which I interviewed over 200 first-year applicants for the 2019-2020 college admissions cycle. After the summer ended, I became Lead Recruitment Coordinator, a full-time position responsible for executing and overseeing Yale’s numerous post-admissions decision yield initiatives, as well as serving as a spokesman for the university both in person and online. Over the past two years, I have had the privilege of interacting with hundreds of students and their families at all stages of the college application process.

My Admissions Story: Having always been interested in studying a variety of subjects within the Humanities and Social Sciences, I applied to a smattering of liberal arts colleges and universities (mostly on the East Coast) with strong departments in these areas, large and diverse student bodies, and varied extracurricular opportunities. When my college admissions decisions rolled in, I immediately accepted an offer from my dream school, Yale University, which I had always felt best embodied the opportunities and goals that I desired from my college experience -- and since that day, I’ve never looked back.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Robert and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
1:04@hihowareya:I can see and hear
20:22@gcherch:I can see/hear
20:24@lccs:What would you recommend to international students that want to stand out?
21:29@lccs:more generally :)
25:40@Graciel:As my community services cover different events/efforts, should the essay only cover one of them or all of them?
27:55@hihowareya:I was originally planning to talk about a book drive that I organized in my common app, but would it be better to talk about in a community service essay?
32:04@Lillian:What are your thoughts on using dialogue to start an anecdote at the beginning of the community service essays?
33:43@dev8:What types of anecdotes would be best to include in a community service essay?
34:58@mgcampbell:Often, this type of supplemental essay is short (150). How do you include an anecdote and still have room to explain the activity?
37:05@Lulu1900:How do I show my personality
40:27@Devonnja:Is this a typical essay question on the application. Are there other essay questions asked on application?
42:21@Benjamin:How did you involve yourself in community service during your time in high school?
44:53@Sonny1:I don't have a lot of community service experience what are some creative ways I could find a topic for a 120 word community service essay.
46:08@Lillian:When trying to think of who is reading our essay, should we try to find out if it's admissions or a department head? Does specific audience matter?
65:17@Kaelyn:Any community service from home ideas? My parents won't let me go in person anywhere
67:06@pptl:is there a difference between community service and volunteering? Thanks
68:31@Hi0067nh:When you review admission essay, do you see applicants’ names? Or Any other personal information?
69:55@tolu:Can admissions officers fish out student run non-profits that don't have much true impact?
72:15@dev8:What are some tips for if I can't really connect my personal identity with my community service commitments?
73:31@dev8:Connects with my interests rather than my identity
74:30@Hatty:With COVID really limiting service opportunities, how would admission officers view this aspect of the student’s application?
76:04@tolu:thanks for your response! I was wondering about this because I've heard a lot about student run non-profits that are shams
76:41@Benjamin:Is there a better way to go about explaining how something has shaped you while keeping the response short? ex. Tell us about something that has influenced you and articulate how it has shaped you. (200 words)
83:11@Benjamin:Thanks Robert for everything!! I'm currently a junior in high school and the information you shared will definitely help me next year.


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