Did you know that college admissions officers look at your social media? It is a part of who you are. Your Instagrams, Finstas, Snapchats, TikToks and other social media is fair game for college admissions officers and coaches. This makes it really important to know a few things like tips suggested by IECAs 10 Tips to Help College Applicants Establish Their Social Media Presence: 

You are never anonymous. Your posts will never disappear. It does not matter if you are private or using an alias-your posts can be found.  You may want to develop a social media presence specifically for college, but remember what we just said above. And make sure you use the same email address for your social media as you use in your college applications. 

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. And it is not just about what you post, it is about what you “like,” where you “comment,” and what you share.

There are many reasons to have appropriate user names and to know what is in your profile(s). Especially now while the world is working in an online environment and everyone, even the not-so-tech-savvy people are learning to go virtual and viral. Take control of your social presence. 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.

~Google your own name. ~Look up any profile you may have used in the past.  ~Do not accept tags in posts that are not in line with your values. ~Clean up all of your sites. ~Start a new social media account to use specifically with colleges. ~Post things you want colleges and admissions folks to see.

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 that 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, 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. This is especially helpful when when you have a unique talent that simply must be seen and heard.

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. Register on website of interest. Follow Coaches on Twitter. Follow different Instagram sites and hashtags that are in alignment with your interest. This is also a great way to understand what is brewing on campuses and may help you with the “WHY US” college essay.

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. They want to see how you communicate with others, who you follow, how you contribute; they want to get an overall sense of you. Give them the good stuff!