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.”

In a new Kaplan poll, 29% of them looked at prospective student’s social media posts. Even though your application is the main decider for admission, your presence on Snap Chat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other platforms can reflect on what others know about you.

This is not a new practice, but with social media becoming more and more “social” and accounts becoming less “private” there is sufficient cause to do your own Social Media Audit.

Social Media Article 5-2019

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 are 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.

These days many colleges assess your interest in them before deciding whether to admit you. See my article Demonstrate Interest for details.


Athletes are checked most often to discern their character and lifestyle.

Most coaches are already online looking at profiles and accounts that you’ve sent to them.

Coaches want to know about your personality and if you will be a good addition to their team socially, as well as athletically.

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