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3 Ways Social Media Plays a Role in College Admissions

Your online activity can play an important role in college admissions

3 Ways Social Media Plays a Role in College Admissions

When gearing up for the college admissions journey, it’s important to start off on the right foot. One big way to do this is to make smart decisions regarding your social media presence. Your online activity can play a bigger role in college admissions than you might realize—many universities will turn to your social media accounts to gain insights into what you can offer their school.

It’s important to put your best self forward when embarking on your college search. Keep reading to learn three ways social media plays a role in college admissions.

1. Your social media presence can showcase your successes
Social media provides you with a plethora of opportunities to present your academic, extracurricular, and personal achievements. If you’ve won an award, presented an assignment for school that you’re proud of, or participated in a volunteer project, don’t be afraid to post about it on your social channels. Admissions officers may feel refreshed to see a high school student who is willing to share more than simply their social life online and who wants to highlight their accomplishments as well.

In addition, use your social channels as a chance to follow and interact with accounts who align with your academic goals. If there’s a specific area of study that intrigues you, seek out professionals in the field on Twitter, for example, who can offer you insights into their area of expertise. Not only will this show admissions officers that you’re using your social channels to engage with influential professionals, it will also give you an opportunity to learn more about your prospective career field.

2. On social media, perception is reality
Aside from the beneficial boost your social presence can give your college admissions chances, your online portfolio can also do harm. Past posts concerning controversial topics, age-inappropriate behavior, or the use of unprofessional language can significantly hurt your college application profile if seen by admissions officers. When reviewing your social pages, note not only questionable posts you’ve shared, but also anything you’ve been tagged in by others.

Before posting on your online accounts, ask yourself a few questions to deduce if it will reflect positively on you later in the game:

  - Is this post a positive reflection of my beliefs and values?
  - Would I say this in front of a group of people?
  - Will I have to explain or defend this post?

Be honest with yourself when posting on your social channels and avoid sharing anything that may be perceived as controversial or negative. This way, you can increase your chances of impressing college admissions officers and earning a spot at your top-choice schools.

3. Admissions officers can note your social media engagement with their school
Social media is a great place to showcase your interest in potential schools. If you’re particularly excited about a specific aspect of a prospective school—such as a campus organization or major department—don’t hesitate to repost things the school has shared on the topic. Use your online platforms to engage with the college’s posts, whether it be through the school’s main account or supporting pages—such as athletics, student government, or arts and issues.

Additionally, be aware of any posts you like or share that reflect negatively on the school. If you attend a campus visit and choose to post your experience online, for example, avoid using any negative language. Regardless of if you don’t plan on attending said school, another college may see your choice of words when discussing an institution of higher education and take it into consideration when evaluating your application.

At the end of the day, what you post online matters. Use your social media as a platform to showcase your successes and present the most authentic version of yourself. Ask yourself questions before posting anything online that may be controversial down the road, and be mindful of how you interact with perspective colleges online. Social media can be a powerful tool in the college admissions race—so long as you use it wisely.

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