Every Two-Year and Four-Year Renewable Scholarship student is required to complete at least 20 hours of volunteer service over the course of each academic year.
Why do we require this of our students? Through the service program, the LSA Scholarship Office hopes to help foster within its scholarship recipients a lasting dedication to social responsibility and citizenship. Students will not only have the opportunity to give back to others, but also have the chance to learn new skills that can aid them beyond the classroom. Through volunteering, students will be exposed to new perspectives and different ways of thinking about issues within their community.
The 20-hour service requirement can be met through any means the student chooses, but it must be through an official student or community organization. Some examples of appropriate organizations are detailed in the FAQ below.
Service hours that do not count toward the requirement are those associated with:
- course credit
- monetary compensation
- research assistantships
- lab work
- work for a specific political candidate, official, or party
- professional development experiences (whether paid or unpaid)
The LSA Scholarship Office reserves the right to evaluate the legitimacy of service work on a case-by-case basis. Students will be notified if their service hours do not meet the necessary requirements.
To help us collect and approve service hours, the LSA Scholarship office utilizes a platform called Track It Forward. This service simplifies the reporting process for students and provides a dashboard to track progress towards the 20 hour service requirement. Track It Forward can be used from any web browser or via mobile app.
At the start of each year, students with a service hour requirement will receive an email from the LSA Scholarships team with instructions about how to set up their account in Track It Forward.
All 20 service hours for the 2019-2020 academic year must be completed and submitted through Track It Forward by May 3, 2020. If you have any questions about logging your service hours, please contact us.
What is considered community service?
For your service hours to be eligible, they must be earned from an official student or community organization, and the work completed must fall into one of the three categories below.
Direct Service: working directly with community members or those being served.
- Mentoring children within the community
- Assisting the elderly
- Volunteering at shelters for the homeless
- Visiting hospitals
- Helping out at community centers
Indirect Service: working on a project that impacts the community in an ancillary way.
- Volunteering for disaster relief or clean-up
- Assisting with environmentally-focused projects
- Participating in urban renewal projects (community painting, building, etc.)
- Helping with UM student organization fundraising
- Organizing a community food drive
Advocacy Service: working for the alleviation of a community issue (homelessness, nonviolence, etc.)
- Conducting information campaigns
- Helping with voter registration drives (non-partisan)
- Lobbying or speaking on behalf of a community issue
Please note that activities like pet sitting or babysitting for friends and family are not considered community service. As stated above, service work must be done as part of an official student or community organization.
Do you know of any organizations where I can volunteer?
If you're looking for volunteer opportunities and not sure where to start, our team has put together this guide to help you find an organization. You are not limited to these options by any means, but they are a great place to begin your search. We even update the guide periodically as we learn of new opportunities.
We also recommend checking out the Ginsberg Center's Connect to Community and researching organizations in your hometown.
Can I complete my service hours during the summer?
Unfortunately, no. We do not track service hours over the summer months, and we ask that students complete their service requirement during the school year. Volunteer hours earned during the summer cannot be applied to your service hours for the following academic year.
Are there other ways to get involved in service on campus?
Yes! If you're looking for more opportunities to spread goodwill while at UM, Appreciate + Reciprocate is a volunteer organization created by students who are recipients of LSA scholarships. They work to bring together students from all parts of campus in ways that benefit the university community by organizing fundraisers, volunteer work, and social events.
If you are interested in volunteering for A+R events or would like to learn more about joining the society, please contact email@example.com.
Time spent volunteering through A+R events and activities can be applied to your service hours. However, please note that time spent in meetings for any student organization, including A+R, do not count towards our service requirement.