Community Service Scholarships: How to Turn Your Volunteer Work into Funding

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Volunteering has never been more popular. In fact, a recent study by VolunteerMatch found that 92 percent of millennials in the U.S. volunteer their time, while another report by the Corporation for National and Community Service reported that 78 million Americans volunteered an estimated 7 billion hours of service in 2015 alone (about 2 billion hours more than they did in 2014). So it’s no surprise that community service scholarships are becoming increasingly available to help students pay for college. Here’s everything you need to know about these types of scholarships:

Where to find community service scholarships

  • Check out the website of your school. Many schools have scholarships available for students who have completed a certain amount of community service, and these can be a great place to start.
  • Look into local community organizations. If you’re doing volunteer work through an organization in your area (such as a church or synogogue), they might also offer scholarships for students who want to participate in their activities.
  • Contact your local government office and ask them if they know of any scholarship opportunities related to community service or volunteering.

What to include in your application

In your application, you should describe the volunteer work that you did and how it has impacted you. You can also include a recommendation letter from an organization where you volunteered.

What to leave out of your application

  • Don’t include your GPA.
  • Don’t include your financial situation.
  • Don’t include personal information, such as race, religion or gender identity (unless it’s relevant to the work you’re doing).
  • Do not list awards or accolades you’ve received for community service activities–it will make you seem boastful and ungrateful for the opportunity to serve others.

Be sure to read through all of the requirements before submitting an application.

You should be sure to read through all of the requirements before submitting an application. You want to make sure that you’re submitting all of the required documents and information, so that your application is not rejected due to a simple mistake or oversight on your part.


We hope this guide has helped you to understand the process of applying for community service scholarships. The most important thing is to do your research and make sure that you’re applying for the right scholarship. Don’t forget that there are many other sources of funding out there besides just community service scholarships–and sometimes, even if you don’t win one of these awards, they can still help you pay off your student loans!

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