If you think about it, the fact that offensive, irresponsible, or negative social media posts and pictures might hurt your chances of getting into your dream school probably makes a lot of sense. And while it’s better to err on the side of caution when deciding what to leave public and what to make private, there are some pretty compelling reasons not to hide your social media accounts entirely during your college application process.
Most notably, leaving your social media visible gives you the opportunity to work toward accomplishing two main goals: demonstrating interest in colleges and confirming that you really are the person you presented in your application. Read on to learn more about how wise use of social media can help with each of these goals!
By now, you’re well aware that demonstrated interest is a factor in college admissions. While you’ve probably done quite a bit of it in your applications themselves (as well as any follow-up contact you’ve made with each school), social media is a great chance to do so again.
For each of the colleges you most want to attend, do a social media search. Like or follow any pages or accounts you find. Don’t force it, but if the opportunity comes up, feel free to interact or engage with these schools. You can get involved with their online communities, if those exist, or simply comment thoughtfully on posts by the school.
With that said, don’t turn your own social media profiles into personal fan pages for a particular school. If admissions officers from other schools see your pages and profiles full of your enthusiasm for one particular school, it will make it very clear to them that your real interest lies with that other school — not with theirs. This sort of overboard demonstrated interest in one particular school will, therefore, only hurt your chances at others.
Showing Who You Are
When you apply to college, you’re not just offering up your grades and test scores — you’re also giving each school a snapshot of who you are. Your social media profiles are the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that this snapshot is an accurate one and really represents you.
If your applications emphasized your love for music, your social media presence can reflect this in a variety of ways; pictures of you performing or playing music, a list of “likes” that includes music-related figures and subjects, and so on. If you’re passionate about photography, include lots of your shots to show off your skills. In short, make sure your social media accounts support and back up what you included in your college application.
Including pictures or information about your accomplishments doesn’t hurt, either. If you have a picture of you receiving an award or trophy, for example, include it to help demonstrate to the college that you’ve actually done the impressive things you mentioned in your application.