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Common Application -- School Profile -- Do you require volunteer hours?

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O.k., I did search and found some posts that sort of address my question. But I'd like to know what the pros and cons might be of stating that my homeschool requires students to volunteer or not on the CommonApp. As it happens, my kids are active in the youth group at church and in Scouts and American Heritage Girls so our family is pretty active in all manner of volunteer endeavors. I am currently tracking my daughter's volunteer hours for AHG so it's not a problem to produce a number if asked. But I don't require volunteering (that's not volunteering) and I'm not sure how I would describe what is required if I did. The local schools do require a certain amount of community service, so I could just borrow whatever their requirements are. What have others done?

*Edited to add that I think it's funny this shows up as my first post since I have been on the WTM boards since 2000 and posted regularly in the early years. 

Edited by Suzannah in NoVA
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I don't think it makes a huge difference. On the one hand, if your student is volunteering anyway, then it is another place to highlight that. Plus, it can show off an aspect of your homeschool if you think it's important. On the other hand, it could undermine it a bit by implying that these weren't genuine interests of hers, just requirements that she met. So my hunch is that it's a bit of a wash.

It's a public school requirement here, so I will likely include it on mine. If it's required by schools in your state or area, then that might be  a strong reason to include it - to show that your program was equal to or exceeding your local schools.

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I agree I don't think it matters except insofar as your policy is consistent with your core values about education.  I personally object to how the scope of school has expanded to include all manner of non-educational pursuits.  (I'm looking at you, football.)  So I personally find it difficult to require volunteering hours to graduate.  I also agree it undermines the agency of my dd's accomplishments when I say her time spent volunteering was required by me.   It also contradicted the values we were communicating in our own School Profile.  We emphasized our student's ability to hand select all aspects of her education and really, her life.  Why would I insist on some quantity of hours directed at some specific pursuit?  

You could argue this is hypocritical in light of the fact that my younger dd is enrolled in a regular BM school that does require volunteer hours to graduate.  Whatever.  And if you disagree, I wholeheartedly endorse your right to require volunteer hours.  I can see the benefits of this policy as well.  

I only ask that you write your School Profile with sincerity.  🙂

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Thank you for your replies! 

I'm new to the CommonApp and still learning my way around (my older son applied to his college choices directly). Is there another place where volunteering would be highlighted? I suppose she could include it in her essay, and scouting activities and awards would be listed. But is there another specific place for this to be highlighted elsewhere or is this the one place a school would go to see whether the applicant was involved in volunteer efforts?

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