Social media has become a focal point in college admissions with nearly 60% of admissions officers viewing it as “fair game” to view students’ feeds.
Tiffany Sorensen, of Varsity Tutors, recently offered a few tips for how applicants can improve their social media presence for college and what they can do to bolster their application.
“Many high school students believe that the best thing they can do is scrub their online accounts of the bad stuff,” Sorensen writes. “They may spend hours combing through and deleting all potentially questionable comments, images, posts, tags and so on. While this purging step is important, it is equally critical to construct a positive online persona.”
POST RELEVANT CONTENT
What does it mean to construct a positive online persona? Sorensen says it starts with posting relevant content on social media that aligns with your application.
“Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other outlets can provide the compelling visual support that mere words in a resume or essay cannot,” Sorensen writes. “Whenever possible, add relevant and concise hashtags to your posts so that they turn up more in search results. If you are a musician or an actor, for instance, consider posting pictures of your performances. If you are an athlete, upload a video of yourself performing well during a game. If you do volunteer work, share something that shows you working in that capacity. Doing so lends credence and weight to your application.”
SHOW YOUR INTEREST IN A PROGRAM
Social media can also be an opportunity to connect with colleges and show your interest in their programs.
“For instance, it can be wise to ‘friend’ or follow professors who teach in the department you wish to be affiliated with,” Sorensen writes. “You can interact with schools in multiple ways, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These represent direct and convenient portals for showing interest before ever visiting the campus or completing an interview.”
Additionally, applicants can go one step further and even try connecting with admissions staff at colleges. The key, Sorensen says, is to reach out to admissions offices and ask if you can connect with a recruiter.
“A question that requires a response will help get you noticed, even if just for the simple fact that you took the initiative to reach out,” Sorensen writes. “If you are lucky, the recruiter will offer you tips on how to engage with that school specifically. Follow that advice as closely and as diligently as you can.”
Sources: US News, Inside Higher Ed
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