Colleges commended for community service

Many young people who fill out college applications also want to change the world for the better. To recognize the ways that schools around the country are making a difference in their communities, the Department of Education has presented five schools with a Presidential Award for their efforts.

The Presidential Award of the 2012 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is the highest honor a college can be given for community outreach efforts. The recipients of this year's awards were Carson-Newman College, Miami University, North Carolina State University, Seattle University and the University of Pennsylvania. The schools were chosen for the efforts of their students and faculty in helping communities in need, such as following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"We applaud the honor roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom," Robert Velasco, acting chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), said in a statement. "Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities."

When you're doing a college search, talk to your admissions adviser about volunteer opportunities on campus. Many schools are actively involved in improving the lives of people in their communities.

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