Updated: Dec 14, 2021
When applying to colleges, your social media presence is likely to be considered by the admissions committee right alongside your essays and activities list.
Social media presence is such a big topic right now that thought leaders and businesses are popping up to help students create social profiles that will help them excel. According to SocialAssurity founder Alan Katzman, “When used properly, social media can positively impact college, graduate school, scholarship, internship, and employment opportunities.”
If you’re a student, here are some things to keep in mind about how your social media presence could impact your future success:
1. Think About What You’re Posting. This seems quite obvious, but many students post impulsively. Think about what/who is in the photo, what your caption says, and where it's being posted. Ask yourself if the post you're about to make gives you a responsible or irresponsible appearance. Be prepared for admissions staff to find your Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok accounts. Take the time now to clean up any messaging or photos that don't support the image you’re trying to convey in your college application.
2. Think Beyond High School. Many students post things to impress their friends, but would these same posts be impressive to college admissions staff? To a future employer? Be mindful when posting photos or making comments "in the moment."
3. Be Intentional. The fact that your social media presence is an extremely important factor when applying to college can be a great thing – when used well, it’s another opportunity for you to convey what you’re about. Be thoughtful about what you choose to post to include photos of you at practice, with friends and family, or volunteering in the community. Include creative stories about what you’ve learned on the field, a challenge you overcame in class, or dreams you have for the future. Your profile is still your own; just make sure it's reflecting the same principles you're conveying through your college application.
Being mindful of your social media presence is another way to set yourself up for success in the college application process. While many students believe their social media profiles are "just for fun" and that only their friends can see their content, this simply isn’t true. Your social media presence says a lot about you – make sure it's what you want to send out into the world.