Did you know that about 80% of college admissions offices use social media to investigate prospective students? A Kaplan Test Prep survey of college admissions officers discovered this to be true after some investigation. This does not necessarily say that admissions officers use information found on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to decide whether or not to admit a student, but it does not necessarily say that they don’t either. The truth is, we don’t know what they are doing with this information, and it’s probably best not to risk it.
Students put a lot of work into their college applications, cultivating an image that will project themselves as an ideal candidate. So, to leave potentially incriminating public information abounding on the internet via social media websites for all to see would seem to undermine all that effort. Obviously, the weight of a Facebook profile in the overall admissions decision is not going to be much, but if it comes down to a tiebreaker between two more-than-worthy candidates, that Facebook profile might factor in.
The easy solution is to set all social media to private. However, a more attractive option might be to leave it public. After all, what better way to stand out from the crowd of tens of thousands of college applicants than to show your bright and reputable self to all the world without a shred of fear?
You want to impress admissions officers from UCLA to Harvard? Here’s what I think you should do:
SIX TIPS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE FOR COLLEGE ADMISSIONS
- SHOW YOUR LOYALTY. Is NYU your Dream School? What better way to impress an NYU admissions officer than to adorn your profile with a pic of you, smiling, happy, and decked out in an NYU sweatshirt? Nothing shows dedication more than making it loud and clear where your loyalties lie!
- BE CLASSY. Admissions officers probably don’t want to see 25 useless cat memes on your wall or twitter feed any more than they want to see the people you associate with dropping F-bombs left and right on your pictures and posts. Adjust your settings so that nothing can be posted without your approval. And while you’re at it, think about the value of each and every post you make yourself.
- HIDE THE MAJORITY OF YOUR PHOTOS. Aside from only hiding the pics that might present you in a less-than-stellar light (you know which ones I’m referring to…), hide 80% of the rest of them, too. If an admissions officer is perusing your page and sees you have 2,486 photos, even if they are all squeaky clean, that is still 2,486 public photos. What message are you sending? To put it bluntly, no one likes a narcissist.
- BECOME A FOLLOWER. Keep yourself informed about the happenings at your top schools by following their pages and feeds. After all, if you are truly interested in attending a school, you probably want to be an active part of their community. There’s no better way to participate before you actually become part of the student body than joining their social media community. An added bonus: admissions officers might notice your dedication for some additional brownie points.
- START A BLOG. Write about the things that interest you. Do you love classical music and regularly attend symphony concerts? Blog about it. Do you love classical music and see its influence directly on some of your favorite indie bands? Blog about it. Show off your uniqueness, your creativity, your writing skills, and your ability and willingness to think deeply and critically beyond the world of academia. And don’t forget to post your blogs to your Facebook wall and your Twitter feed!
- LEAVE IT PUBLIC. Now that you’ve reigned in your social media presence, why hide? Generally speaking, the rest of the college applicants you are competing with will either have public profiles that should not be public in their current state, or they are private. Stand out from your competition with your confidence and sophistication. If what you have to share is valuable, the worst that can happen is that it isn’t noticed or used by the Decision-Makers in their decision making. However, if they do see it, it could be the very thing that tips the scales in your favor.
Hopefully you found this tidbit of advice useful! At BeatAdmissions, we will not only help to make your college application stand out from the thousands of others in the pile, we can help ensure you have the best chance possible to get into your Dream School. Let us make the difference for you at BeatAdmissions!