If your future depended on your social media posts, would you be concerned? With social media gaining more and more relevance and prevalence in our society, it’s time to start taking it seriously. According to a study done by Kaplan, about 31 percent of college admissions counselors will check your social media pages to get to know more about you and help make their decision. If you’re currently applying to school, whether it’s a university, online school or community college, don’t panic. Learn what admissions counselors are looking for on your pages, and how you can clean up your act.
Why Colleges Check Your Profiles
Admissions counselors know applicants aren’t going to openly expose any negative qualities about themselves in their applications, which is why they turn to social media. Academic achievement is an important factor when accepting students to a university, but counselors also want to make sure a prospective student will practice good judgment and contribute to a safe university environment. Bottom line: When counselors look at your profiles, they’re checking up on your character.
What Admissions Counselors are Looking For
By scanning through your photos, tweets, statuses and comments, counselors can learn a lot about you. They can tell how you spend your free time, and gain some insight into your thoughts, opinions and general attitude. If your Facebook page, tweets and Instagram posts give the impression you’ll be spending more time working on your BAC than your GPA, it’s time to make some changes to your social media presence.
Ways to Clean up Your Profiles:
• Change your security settings so less of your information and content is public
• Get rid of any status, post or comment with crude or profane language
• Take down pictures that could be suggestive in any way – this means provocative clothing, pictures at parties, any picture with a red cup (we know that cup gets a bad rap, but it just signals booze, even if you’re sipping water), beer can or glass bottle in it and pictures where anyone is giving the middle finger
• Delete any “friends” you don’t know well or don’t talk to often – the more people you are friends with, the more friends-of-friends can see your information.
Note: If you feel like removing this content is too much of a hassle as it’s taking over your social media account, you may want to consider deactivating your account for a while until you’re accepted into college.
When applying to colleges it’s important to put your best foot forward. In today’s world, having a pristine social media presence goes hand-in-hand with having an exceptional application. To increase your chances of getting into your top school, make sure you’re presenting yourself in the best way possible, both on paper and online.
Savannah Marie is a food and travel enthusiast and writer. When she isn’t trying out a new recipe or taking a trip outside her comfort zone, she is writing for her blog, Mixios, which features posts on everything from marketing to travel to fitness. Follow her on Twitter.