Giving something back to the community

Believe it or not, college students don’t spend every waking hour engaged in hedonistic acts like going out to the bar. Sometimes, they can be quite unselfish.

Since 2002, the number of college students involved in volunteering has grown by more than 20 percent to almost 3.5 million students. This growth rate is double that of the general population. In total, about 30 percent of college students volunteer. Interestingly, students who have part-time jobs are actually more likely to volunteer than their unemployed peers.

Why Do Students Volunteer?

More college students are volunteering than ever before. Does this mean that students are more socially aware than previous generations? This spike may be due to the increased social awareness brought about by the September 11th terrorist attacks. Another contributing factor is the increased focus on volunteering in high school (one-third of secondary schools require students to fulfill a minimum number of volunteer hours), which many students carry over to college. Some colleges have even begun to follow the lead of high schools and make volunteering mandatory.

Another possible explanation for the increase may be that students are realizing the competitive edge that volunteer experience gives them when it comes to finding a career after graduation.

Regardless of why students are choosing to volunteer, it’s definitely a good thing. Volunteering benefits both sides. It not only helps those in need, but it provides students with an opportunity to meet people and learn about the world.

What Charitable Cause Do Students Favor?

Statistics show that most college students prefer to contribute their skills and labor to a number of different causes, rather than picking one charity organization and sticking with it. It’s not uncommon for students to rapidly switch volunteering placements, often devoting less than two weeks to each different project they work on.

Tutoring and mentoring are the most popular volunteering activities among college students. Religious organizations are another popular avenue.


If you’re interested in finding out more about volunteering, consult these sites:

Advertiser Links for Volunteering
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