While students should be aware of how they present themselves online, they also should look for schools with an effective web presence. Though you should not entirely base your college decision on a school’s Facebook page or tweets, you do need to consider the social media aspect in your college search.
After all, if a school constantly updates its profiles online, it is obvious that it is committed to making itself marketable to prospective students. If schools do not update their profiles — or do not have social media presence at all — they are sending a message, too. And that might as well be: “we don’t care whether you know about us or not.” We all live in a digital world now. And admissions officers need to use this knowledge to appeal to and reach prospective freshmen.
You need to look for a few clues when you are researching a school through social media. Are there photographs of the campus? Does the school have a lot of likes, retweets or followers? Does it share links to other outlets and other pages? Does the school describe what it is looking for in a student? If the college is not dedicated to informing you about itself, then you might want to think twice before applying.
A college with a strong web presence can help prepare you for your freshman year. The school’s map will show you where to go, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost your first day. Other students who are following the school online might be in the same classes as you. There might be a convenient link to the bookstore, so finding your textbook list will not be a wild goose chase. It might come as a surprise, but the way a college handles the digital community is a way to know whether you will like being one of its students.
In short, save yourself some trouble when you are researching schools. Go straight to your favorite social media outlet and see whether the school of your dreams is actually worth it.