Social Media & The College Application

Did you know that college admissions officers look at your social media? According to Inside Higher Ed, April 2018, a student’s social media is “fair game.”  Snapchat and Instagram are “in” and Facebook is “out” for teens these days, but there are many other platforms like Reddit, Pinterest, Tumbler etc. and each is a window wide open to the student. In a recent Kaplan poll, 29% of admissions officers looked at prospective students’ social media posts.

There are many reasons to have appropriate user names and to know what is in your profile(s). Take control of your social presence. Applerouth, in an article on social media literacy discusses how important this topic is in the college admissions process. Social media continues to grow, change, and become more “social” and accounts are becoming less “private”– so there is sufficient cause to do your own Social Media Audit.

Carolynn Crabtree, President of Cornerstone Reputation shares these statistics:

  • 67% of admissions officers surveyed searched for applicants on Facebook during the 2014­ – 2015 admissions season
  • 40% found content about the applicant that left a negative impression
  • 53% found content about the applicant left a positive impression
  • 81% of schools surveyed have no formal policy on searching for applicants on social media
  • 22% of admissions officers believe that an applicant could gain an advantage in the admissions process by building a positive online presence

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Admission officers may be impressed when they see your talents on social media. You could showcase an article, performance, or award, or show your involvement through community service or as part of a team.  Some colleges allow you to send links with your work directly to them. Whether you blog, are a photographer, play an instrument or sing, make sure the content is high quality. See the article on Music and Art Supplements for more information.

How interested are you in a particular college? Some colleges assess your interest in them before deciding whether or not to admit you. Using Social Media may be a way to demonstrate this interest. See our article on how to Demonstrate Interest for details.

Athletes are Checked Most Often to Discern their Character and Lifestyle

Coaches are already online looking at profiles and accounts that you’ve sent to them. They want to know about your personality and if you will be a good addition to their team, socially and athletically.

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