In today's interconnected world, high school students are leveraging the power of social media not just for casual scrolling but as an essential tool for their college search. This digital landscape is rapidly evolving, and understanding how to harness its potential can significantly impact your college journey. Social media can be a powerful way to learn more about a school, but don't forget - a school may also be looking at your social media for clues about you as well. Be sure to follow our tips for
to ensure that college admissions officers are seeing the right kind of things when they search for you.
The College Search
Traditionally, the college search consisted of website searches, reviewing college brochures to get information about a school, and then a campus visit to get a feel for the campus environment. With the increasing use of social media by high school students, colleges have new ways of reaching students to promote their schools, and high school students can get a feel for a school's environment, even if they aren't able to physically visit campus. Here are some ways that you can use social media in your college search.
Follow College Accounts: Many colleges and universities maintain official Instagram accounts that offer glimpses of campus life, events, and student activities.
Explore Hashtags: Search for college-specific hashtags (e.g., #YourCollegeName) to see posts by current students and applicants sharing their experiences.
Virtual Tours: Some colleges conduct virtual campus tours on Instagram Live, allowing prospective students to explore campus virtually.
Connect with Admissions: Follow college admissions offices for updates on application deadlines, webinars, and Q&A sessions.
Join College Groups: Facebook Groups for specific colleges or university classes can provide insight into student life, admissions advice, and housing information.
Admissions Pages: Many colleges have dedicated Facebook pages for prospective students where they share application tips and information about campus visits.
School Posts: Dig into articles, awards, and announcements about the school.
Networking: Connect with alumni or current students on Facebook to gain insights into campus culture and ask questions.
Follow Admissions Accounts: Many colleges have dedicated admissions Twitter accounts that provide application tips, deadlines, and updates.
Use Hashtags: Search for college-related hashtags (e.g., #CollegeNameAdmissions) to find tweets from the admissions office or current students.
Engage in Discussions: Participate in Twitter discussions about college applications, financial aid, and academic majors to gather information and advice.
Follow College News: Stay informed about campus news, events, and academic opportunities.
Campus Tours: Many colleges and universities post virtual campus tours and student vlogs on YouTube, allowing you to explore campus life.
Admissions Videos: Watch admissions-related videos that provide insights into the application process, essay tips, and interviews with current students.
Student Interviews: Seek out YouTube channels where current students share their experiences, dorm tours, and daily life at college.
Faculty Lectures: Some colleges upload sample lectures or faculty interviews, which can help you gauge academic offerings.
Discover College Stories: Snapchat's "Our Campus Story" feature often showcases snaps from students at different colleges. Explore these to get a sense of campus culture.
Direct Messages: Reach out to current students or admissions representatives with questions using Snapchat's messaging feature.
Live Events: Some colleges share live events, such as campus tours or sporting events, on Snapchat's "Live Stories."
Educational Content: TikTok has a growing community of educators, students, and college applicants who share informative content about the application process.
College Tours: Some colleges create TikTok accounts to showcase campus life, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and student takeovers. Following these accounts can provide a more dynamic view of a college's atmosphere.
Scholarship Opportunities: Keep an eye out for TikTok creators who share information about scholarship opportunities and financial aid. They may offer advice on how to find and apply for scholarships.
Ask Questions: TikTok's comments section is a great place to ask questions and get answers from college students, applicants, and even admissions officers.
Stay Updated: Search for trending college-related hashtags on TikTok to discover the latest trends, challenges, and discussions within the college application community.
Build a Profile: High school students can start their LinkedIn profiles to showcase academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and interests.
Follow College Pages: Follow the LinkedIn pages of colleges and universities to stay updated on news, alumni stories, and academic programs.
Graduate Insights: Scroll down the page to the People Highlights section. Get a high-level look into where alumni are living, what they studied, what industries they are working in, and what their skills are.
Connect with Alumni: Connect with alumni from colleges of interest to gain insights into potential career paths and campus experiences.
Research Professors: Check profiles of professors at colleges you're interested in to learn more about their research and courses.
Responsible Social Media Use for High School Students
In today's digital age, it's crucial for high school students to recognize that college admissions officers might review their social media profiles as part of the application process. Here are some dos and don'ts to maintain a positive online presence:
Review Your Profiles: Regularly review your social media profiles on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.
Adjust Privacy Settings: Use privacy settings to control who can view your posts and information. Limit access to personal details.
Showcase Your Achievements: Share your accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and volunteer work to highlight your positive qualities.
Be Thoughtful in Posts: Think before you post. Avoid sharing content that is controversial, offensive, or could be misinterpreted.
Engage Positively: Participate in meaningful conversations, share educational content, and engage with others respectfully.
Manage Who You Follow: If you follow accounts that you would not want a college or university to associate you with, then you may want to consider unfollowing those accounts.
Use LinkedIn Professionally: LinkedIn is an excellent platform to build a professional network. Create a professional LinkedIn profile with your academic achievements, skills, and goals.
Monitor Tags and Mentions: Regularly check your tagged photos and mentions to ensure that nothing unprofessional is associated with your name.
Follow The Accounts of the Schools You Are Applying To: Show your interest and love by following schools' accounts and liking posts.
Avoid Controversial Topics: Steer clear of divisive topics like politics and religion, as well as content that promotes discrimination or hatred.
Inappropriate Content: Refrain from sharing or being tagged in photos or posts involving illegal activities, excessive partying, or explicit content.
Cyberbullying: Do not engage in cyberbullying or negative online behavior, as this can have severe consequences.
Overexposure: Avoid oversharing personal information, such as your home address, phone number, or financial details.
Spelling and Grammar: Maintain professional communication by using correct spelling and grammar, especially on professional platforms like LinkedIn.
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