Admissions Trends & Tech: 3 New Ways Students & Colleges Share Information in 2018

Technology has been transforming the admissions landscape long before 2018, and the trend continues with only greater prominence as technology tools become more advanced and achieve wider adoption. While technologies vary in maturity and adoption across education institutions, there are 3 major trends concerning tech and admissions across the board: 1. Student recruitment efforts have been enabled by technology through social media outreach and screening, 2. Greater amounts of information is being made available online for prospective applicants, 3. Online tools for test prep, scholarships, and college-specific research are becoming increasingly popular and critical for applicants. Concerning student recruitment over social media, colleges can reach out to students and share material relevant to applicants on their social platforms to engage prospective applicants, as well as review and consider students’ social media profiles in the admissions process. For students, this means following your top choice schools as well as adjusting the privacy settings of your social profiles when applying (as well as cleaning them up for content!). In the same vein, colleges expect that applicants are more informed about why their school than ever before. With more information available than ever about potential programs, student experiences, and campus cultures, students have less of an excuse for not being able to articulate why they want to attend one school over others. As colleges put more effort into getting to know and reviewing students using technology tools, there is an increasing expectation of reciprocation of effort from students to know relevant details and selling points for their top choice schools. Finally, with a plethora of online tools for strengthening and informing students application components, tech-savvy students have a distinct edge. With technology, the most competitive students and parents are taking responsibility for self-education in terms of navigating (or hacking) the admissions system and standardized testing.

These trends speak to the major overarching technology trend in 2018: Applicants who are more involved in the process become more educated and refine their applications accordingly, while disengaged applicants are left unprepared and unaware of how their application is being reviewed (and therefore how it could be improved). As an educational consultant, I use the latest technology tools and resources to ensure that all my students are well-positioned to shine their brightest and make informed decisions about college application choices.

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