Categories: Culture & Travel

Could Your Behavior on Social Media Be Affecting Your College Application

The role of your social media presence during university applications.

Once upon a time, interviews, grades and personal essays mattered most in terms of college admissions.

Now, there is another factor that could be affecting your application. That is, your social media profile.

Social media can easily affect your application in both positive and negative ways.

Students often post things that they don’t think are controversial but are. There is the smallest chance that your admissions counsellor will check out your social media page and see posts like this.

For this reason, you need to be careful about what you post online while taking the right steps to ensure your privacy.

If you aren’t sure how your social media profile could be affecting your college admission, then look below to find out more.

Kaplan Test Results

The results from Kaplan’s 2019 survey found that 36% of admissions officers looked through the social media profiles of their applicants. Some of the leading platforms that they targeted included Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. This targeting rate is up by 25% when compared to the year before.

One out of every five admissions officers say that they look through social media profiles often, and when you compare this to the 2015 survey, you’ll see that this is a significant increase from the 11% that got documented then.

38% of admissions officers stated that the information they found gave them a positive impression of the applicant and 32% said that they found information that they deemed to be negative.

59% of admissions officers consider searching through a social media profile to be fair game, and only 41% think that it is an invasion of privacy.

What Can You Do to Benefit Your Social Media Profile?

If you want to know how to benefit your social media profile so that you can substantially increase your chances of being accepted, then try and post things that show your commitment to the community.

You also need to try and create a great impression where possible.

Admission counsellors want to know that you are going to be a meaningful part of their campus community and the more you can showcase this, the better.

If you aren’t sure how to do this, then simply try and post photos on Instagram that show you working to create a program or even a club that allows for artistic expression.

You might also want to describe the awards you have received if you were not able to mention them in your applications. Such recognitions can make a difference to the overall impact that you have on your admission counsellor.

Either way, posting your accomplishments will work in your favor as it gives you the chance to showcase who you are while also proving your dedication to your education.

One of the main reasons why colleges are not using social media to try and find out who their students are is because students are now making it more difficult for them to do so.

Students are making their social media profiles more private, and they are also opting for more closed platforms, which include WhatsApp.

What Could Hurt Your Admission Chances?

If you want to ensure that you are not harming your chances of being able to gain admission, then there are a few things that you can do, and it all starts with being careful about what you post.

Things like sexism and other forms of discrimination can do a lot of harm to your admission chances

They might find that you are capable of being intolerant and this is obviously unwelcome in a lot of universities. Hence, it is super important that you remember this and that you do everything you can to avoid it.

Another thing that you need to try and avoid is an illegal activity.

A lot of college applications will have a section which asks you about your previous arrests or even any criminal activity that you might have been part of.

If you lie about your history on an application and a counsellor finds out, then this will work against you. You may even find that your application gets rescinded as well.

In more recent years, it has become far more common for those who have a criminal history to share their stories on social media so that they can dissuade other people from partaking in such activity.

This process can be healing, but you must remember that admissions counsellors can still look upon you as being unfavorable.

Posting any kind of image with alcohol, drugs or anything of the sort can also reflect poorly upon you.

Sure, you might have only been attending your partner’s birthday party or even a New Year’s bash, but at the end of the day, it is vital that you try and limit posts like this if possible.

Lastly, posting pictures or even videos with weapons, threats or violent language can pose as a red flag.

College campuses are a place of both inclusion and peace, and if you cannot reflect this in your social media profile, then a college counsellor might not think that you can do it in real life.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that not every admissions counsellor out there is going to look through your social media profile, but at the end of the day there is still a chance, so you need to ensure that you do everything you can to try and comb through your profile as much as possible.

This thoroughness will help you to remove anything that might work against you, while also giving you the chance to benefit your profile and your application in general.

It’s almost impossible to know which admissions officers are going to look through your profile, but, if you take the right precautions and if you make sure that your profile positively reflects your personality then you should have nothing to worry about.

In fact, you might even be bettering your chances of being accepted into college.

Matt Sweetwood

CEO of LUXnow, Speaker, Business Consultant, Photography Expert, and Author of 'Leader of the Pack' (Book).

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Matt Sweetwood

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