Social Media and College Applications
Would your Facebook profile make it through a review by college
admissions officers? How about your Instagram account or Twitter feed? With
more colleges checking applicants' social media content as part of the admissions
process, students need to tread carefully online.
"A good rule of thumb
is just keep your social media footprint clean," advises education consultant
Brittany Maschal. "Do not post anything you would not want your grandmother
to read or view online."
But hiding from the world may not be the best
way to go, either. You can actually use social media to enhance your standing
in the eyes of a college admissions officer.
"Liking a school's Facebook
page is a way to show your love; same with their Instagram account or other
social media accounts," says Maschal. "Some schools do track 'likes,' so as
long as you are keeping the material you post clean -- because when you like
a page on Facebook they are notified, so they MAY click on your profile --
then it can only show your interest and not harm your candidacy.
students may occasionally tweet a school or reply to a tweet posted by schools,
which again is a good way to demonstrate interest."
It might be worth
developing a presence on some of the social media sites more commonly used
by adults, too, like LinkedIn and Google+.
"Using Facebook to establish
character;Â using Twitter to demonstrate interest in a school or a topic;Â getting
your LinkedIn profile up and running to generate engagement; and using Google+
to establish your online identity within Google are all great steps towards
turning your digital footprint into a working asset," wrote Alan Katzman in
an article on the Social Assurity website.
You should really be thinking
long term anyway, says Maschal. A significant number of employers research
applicants' social media posts as part of a hiring review.
you should want to have a clean social media footprint not just
for the sake of your college applications; you should want one for life,"
says Maschal. "Things you post are more likely to come back to haunt you when
applying for a job than when applying to college, so use good judgment ALL
of the time."