I recently talked about the importance of the right kind of volunteer effort to the college admissions process. But, does every student need to volunteer to be a strong candidate for a selective college? The answer is no.
A student that needs to work to help support their family will not be expected to have volunteer activities because they are doing something more important. Colleges understand that there are sometimes higher priorities than volunteering.
There may be other instances when the student needs to be involved in activities other than volunteering. If this is your situation, don’t worry about your lack of volunteer activities. Colleges will understand and will not penalize you under these circumstances.