Learn Best Practices Surrounding Social Media During the College Process
Whether it’s chronicling school tours or posting admissions outcomes, many students turn to social media to share their college admissions journey with friends and family. While there is nothing wrong with updating your profile regularly, it’s important to be mindful of what kind of content you are posting – especially during college application season.
A recent survey by Kaplan found that 36% of admissions officers have looked up applicants on social media to learn more about them – up from 25% last year. If you are preparing to apply to schools and wondering what your social media presence should look like, you’re in luck. We break down some of the top of do’s and don’ts surrounding social media below, so keep reading to get up to speed.
Do: Focus on your passions
Remember that admissions officers are looking to admit students with defined interests. Take advantage of social media to broadcast and explore the passions you are involved in. Include videos of your most recent soccer game, links to articles about your favorite band, and pictures of your artwork to showcase the kinds of activities you’re involved in once school is out of session.
Don’t: Post anything you wouldn’t want your parents or teachers to see
It might sound obvious, but far too many students post content that they later regret sharing. In order to avoid a social media mishap, imagine how your parent or teacher would react to any video, picture, or update you are about to share. If you’re unsure about posting something, avoid putting it on your feed—it’s always better to err on the side of caution versus sharing something that will come back to haunt you later. Remember that social media profiles are fair play during the application review process, so it’s really best to be mindful.
Do: Incorporate bits and pieces of your college journey if it feels right
Whether you’re capturing your first school tour or sharing some exciting news, feel free to post updates on your college admissions journey if you want to. Strive to keep these positive and avoid saying anything negative about any of the schools you are considering (or any college at all for that matter.)
Don’t: Forget to be mindful of others
Many of your friends are likely navigating the same process, so keep posts positive and concise. While it’s totally ok to share good news, remember that some peers may be coping with difficult decisions and disappointing outcomes, so avoid repeated posts about the same topic or specific numbers (how much scholarship money you’re receiving, ACT scores, etc.)
Do: Use social media to get a glimpse at prospective school choices
Check out different university social media profiles when researching colleges and compiling your own best fit list. In addition to university-wide profiles, look for specific accounts for the majors, extracurricular activities, and opportunities that are of interest to you. This social media research can help give students a behind the scenes look at some of the colleges they are considering applying to.
Don’t: Make these profiles a deciding factor
While social media profiles can help prospective applicants learn more about a given college, they are no substitute for in-person visits. Even if you can’t make a campus tour, avoid using social media as your only source of information. Instead look into virtual tour options, alumni interviews, university webpages, and insight from your high school guidance counselor in order to gain a more well-rounded view of a potential school choice.
Social media can help students connect with one another and even learn more about prospective colleges, but it’s important to maintain proper etiquette. If you are in the midst of your college search and looking for additional information, our team of college admissions experts can provide nuanced guidance.