Applying to College? Check your social media

Written by James on October 8, 2021

Image of students studying and applying for college

Whether you are actively applying for university or college, currently enrolled and looking at further education, or considering any form of tertiary education, the reality is that your social media may affect you more than you realise.

For more than a decade, college admissions officers have been being surveyed by Kaplan to identify trends and important factors when it comes to applying to college. The role of an applicant’s social media has been tracked, and just as the use of social media has become more widespread, so too has it’s impact on the college admissions process.

Do admissions officers check social media?

Kaplan’s 2020 survey identified that 65% of admissions officers consider it “fair game” to consider the social media profiles of applicants when making admissions decisions, up from 59% in 2019 and 57% in 2018.

From this, it is clear that it is only becoming more popular for admissions officers to look up an applicant's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or any other form of social media. And it is clear why: as the world (especially during a pandemic) has turned more and more towards the internet, these online profiles are the new way to gauge a broader picture of someone’s interests, image and community.

While it may feel daunting to think of someone in the admissions office of your dream college typing your name into the search bar, there are ways to prepare you for this likelihood.

How to prepare for college admissions

You don’t have to be an online ghost

While it may be tempting to make all of your accounts private (or even delete them!), it's important to remember that admissions officers are people who understand nuance. They realise that most young people have an online life, and this can actually be something that works in your favour. Of the surveyed admissions officers who say they do check social media, 42% say that what they have found has had a positive impact on prospective students.

So, instead of deleting everything, consider your social media accounts as an extension of your application. It is a great place to share hobbies, interests and social causes, and may help present you as a well-rounded person and applicant.

Consider what you post, before you post it

The easiest way to combat the anxiety that comes with knowing that your social media is being examined, is to make sure there is nothing problematic linked to any of your accounts. Before you publish anything across your social media accounts, take a moment to consider it from the eyes of a prospective college or internship.

This does not necessarily mean that you have to be a prude, but there is a responsibility that comes with online sharing. Now is the time to consider your personal values and how they coincide with your dream college and career path.

Use an automated service

The likelihood is that you’ve been using social media for years at this point. Although you may have a more sensible approach to online sharing these days, your younger self may not have been so wise.

Rather than having to go through years of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or more recently TikTok posts, there are online tools available that do the checks for you.

Services such as yourself.online use advanced algorithms to check your accounts for anything that could affect your college application, such as nudity, swearing, drinking, illegal activity, or any other photos or statements that could reflect negatively upon you. If anything is flagged, you are then able to seamlessly approve or delete it from one intuitive dashboard, saving hours of time and the possibility of missing something crucial.

Not just for pre-college

As Angel Pérez, CEO of The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), points out, it is not just the college admissions process that can be affected by your social media posting history. “I know employers who look at the social media feeds of potential interns and employees. There are scholarship providers who look at them too,” making it clear that the importance of self-monitoring social media is important in every stage of a career.

As the world has adopted social media, so too have our professional lives. When considering the path ahead for college, further education, or work experience, understanding that your social media will likely affect you is a crucial step towards taking control of your career.

yourself.online is here to help

yourself.online analyzes your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok to find any posts, photos or videos that may be harmful to your online persona. The search results are easily presented in a personalised dashboard, with simple, actionable steps to either approve or delete any flagged content.

So what are you waiting for? Scan your social media for free and get started cleaning up your social media today so you can be confident you’re putting your best foot forward online, regardless of the situation!