social networking and college admissions
Posted : November 6, 2008
Last Updated : July 22, 2014
Do your social networking profiles represent the kind of person that you would like to portray to college admissions officers? If not, you may want to make some changes. Recent studies show that more and more college admissions officers are turning to social networking sites to get information about prospective students. Check out these ways to let your social networking profiles work for (rather than against) you in the college admissions process.
Use the about section to your advantage. Use the about section on your accounts to showcase your individualism and appeal to college admissions officers. Include activities in which you are involved such as volunteering, fundraising for charities, playing sports, playing instruments, etc. Add your favorite books and movies. Keep the fun stuff but also add titles that will display your intellectual side. Hint: Consider books/movies that you have enjoyed from your high school English classes.
Display appropriate photos. Be smart with your posted and tagged photos. To really impress admissions officers, post photos that demonstrate your scholastic and extracurricular activities (i.e. don't be embarrassed to post pictures of yourself at a recent awards ceremony or band recital). You can also post pictures of yourself hanging out with friends but be sure to choose ones that don't incriminate you in any inappropriate or illegal activities. Ask your friends not to tag you in these kinds of pictures either. If you choose to display questionable photos (not recommended), change your privacy settings to where people whom you don't want viewing your pictures can't see them.
Censor your applications. If you use a site, such as Facebook, that features applications, be sure to censor your apps. There are many applications that are fun to use, but they sometimes display inappropriate content. Popular applications can occasionally have profanity-laden or offensive content. You want admissions counselors to view you in a positive light, so ditch any apps that are in poor taste.
Post content carefully. Be cautious about posting negative content on your social networking profiles, especially about the admissions process. Many admissions counselors look at your postings and may place more emphasis on what you write than even the pictures you display. Don't bash the admissions process on your status updates and don't have discussions with your friends via wall postings about which schools are better than others, etc. Doing so will only make you look pessimistic in the eyes of the admissions counselors.
Choose your "likes" and "follows" wisely. Obviously, you should like or follow the pages of the colleges that you are interested in attending. This will show that you are interested in the schools and their campus activities. In order to illustrate your diversity to college admissions officers, be sure to like or follow a variety of pages of your favorite activities, authors, music, etc. Avoid liking pages and posts that are offensive in any way.
Because most high school students have at least one (if not multiple) social networking account, it's no wonder that college admissions officers use these sites to gather more information about applicants. College admissions is a very competitive process, so you should use every avenue to your advantage, including your social networking profiles. For more information about social networking etiquette, check out Social Networking Sites: Etiquette and Safety.