Are College Admissions Counselors Looking At Social Media?

It is an exciting time for juniors and seniors in high school to start thinking about college and finding the perfect college for them. Most teens hear from parents, “be careful what you post online because colleges look at this when you send in your application.” Some teens might shrug it off, but others listen. And those parents are correct!

Kaplan Test Prep conducted a study with 365 different colleges and found that 35 percent of admission counselors have viewed an applicant’s social media sites such as: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. While Kaplan Test Prep found out only 25 percent use social media often to make their decisions; it is still important to monitor what you’re doing online.

For example, let’s look at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. This is a large Big Ten school with about 26,000 students. The acceptance rate is at 75%; however, this does not mean they do not look at an applicant’s social media. The university may not be able to review every applicant’s social media, but this does not mean you’re in the clear.

Kaplan Test Prep found that admission counselors are using social media because it is ambiguous. Social media can have positive and negatives effects against your admission into your dream college. However, there is a way to highlight yourself in a professional and positive manner on social media sites.

This is how you can highlight yourself in a positive manner on social media websites:

  • Clubs & Organizations: When you become the president of a club, or join a club let people know. This shows you can multi-task with extracurricular activities and school work.
  • Awards & Recognitions:  If you have received an award for honor roll, attendance, an athletic award, or anything else that highlights accomplishments post it. You can write a caption about how much it means and how hard you worked for it.
    • An example of this, “I am so honored to receive the ___ award. I have worked so hard this semester to continue to better myself as a person and my academic career. Thank you to everyone who supports me everyday!”
  • Entrepreneurship: Some high schoolers find themselves helping their parents run their businesses or some even start their own. This shows admission counselors that you are determined, passionate, and a well-rounded student.

Furthermore, it is important to know what you’re posting online.

  • Always check your privacy settings.
  • Make usernames professional and appropriate.
  • Google yourself.
  • Approve all tagged photos.

Admission counselors still look at the main requirements of GPA, SAT and ACT scores, extracurricular activities, class ranking, and other factors. You may be the perfect student, but do not let your social media post destroy your chance of going to your dream university. Once you get accepted, keep this up on social media. This is because you’ll be representing the university. If you start posting certain images you can be kicked out and lose scholarships. This includes inappropriate images of yourself and others, racist images, underage drinking and more. All universities small and large take great pride in their outward image to the rest of the world.

Parents, this is where you can come into play. It is important to make sure you educate your children on internet safety and about sharing pictures and information on social media sites. At Smart Girl Society, we offer a large array of different workshops that cover a number of different topics and age groups. It can be difficult to inform your teenagers about internet safety, but it is an important topic to discuss. If you find yourself struggling on what to say contact us today! We can guide you along the process and how to address the issue.  


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