College Trends 2014: Social Media…They’re Watching!

College admissions might not be trending on Twitter, but Twitter and other social media are part of the admissions trend for 2014. A student’s application in 2014 may have a supplement the common app doesn’t mention: a social media profile. Kaplan performed a study in 2013 in which 31% of colleges surveyed said they look at Facebook pages and 29% of colleges reported googling the names of applicants during the admission process. Of those colleges, 30% said they found something online or on an applicant’s social media page that negatively impacted admissions. Of course, not all is lost; 70% of colleges found nothing incriminating or found positive things about a student through online searching. Ensuring your application is part of that greater percent is relatively simple, and this trend can help in admissions more than harm. Applicants can increase the privacy on their social media if they do have material that may be incriminating, but the wiser route is to use social media as a way to display current accomplishments. A clever way to do both is to have a professional and casual account, one that is more along the lines of a public-eye LinkedIn and another that is meant for friends and private, like Facebook. Social media as a part of the admissions process should only help you in the year of 2014, and taking responsibility for what is made public is how to make sure no harm is done.

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