Although the World Wide Web has been around now since the early 1990’s, today’s generation is growing up in a much different digital age than those who applied to colleges 8 or even 4 years ago. Social Media and Social networking platforms play an important role in not only allowing students to share information amongst their peers, it also empowers both students and universities to share information about their accomplishments, culture, extracurricular activities, interests, and persona.
It is becoming more common that universities will use social platforms as a tool for both recruiting new students and communicating with applicants, the student body, and alumni. In a Kaplan Test Prep survey of more than 350 college admissions officers in the U.S., 35 percent of the officers polled stated they had looked at applicants’ social media accounts to learn more about them.
To ensure your online presence positively contributes to your college application strategy, focus on the following 3 concepts to help you become an attractive candidate for admission.
- Support Your College Application
Social media platforms, social networks, and personal websites, portfolios, and more are great tools students can use to highlight elements within their college application. Maybe you participated in a summer internship, or you’re a robotics hobbyist who has a popular YouTube channel, or possibly you’re passionate about animation and use Instagram to showoff your skills – you can speak to the interests and accomplishments within your college application by sharing them on social media or within an online platform.
Using tools such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Behance, and other online platforms to share your experiences in a positive manner will allow you to communicate a deeper story about yourself.
- Show You Are a Good Cultural Fit
Use your social platforms as a way to speak to likeminded interests between yourself and the universities you’re applying to. If applicable, highlight your experiences traveling, volunteering, or participating in leadership roles. By doing so, this will give the admissions committee an inside look into your strengths, interests, and allow them to picture how you would positively contribute to their programs and school’s culture.
- Create a Cohesive and Positive Online Presence
There are many negative connotations luring around every corner when associated with social platforms and young adults using the Internet. When used correctly, social media and other online platforms can be empowering tools. Student’s want to make sure they are taking control over their online presence by monitoring what they are saying, posting and sharing with the world.
Admissions committees are mainly using traditional factors such as your high school GPA, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, personal essays and extracurricular activities when determining your candidacy. A good rule of thumb when using the internet as part of your college application strategy, is to remember that what you post online won’t be the determining factor to get you into a university, but it might help an admissions officer learn more about you.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you’re not taking your online presence into consideration when you’re applying to colleges, and using if you’re using social media in a negative way, then it might be the thing to cause issues with your candidacy. It’s best to use the 3 concepts we mention above as a method to create a positive persona online and as another outlet to help you become an attractive candidate for admission.