Imagine this: You open Instagram to a notification that a friend has tagged you in a picture from last week’s party. It’s a little embarrassing, but no big deal, right? Happens to everyone.
But this is the Instagram account you have ideally been using to follow--and comment on--posts from all of the colleges on your list, in a signal of demonstrated interest. Not only is there the potential for an admissions officer to see your post, but now there is a direct line between your prospective college and your account.
Would what they saw on your account hurt your chances of being placed in the admit pile?
It seems every year there is a story about social media coming into play with admissions. In order to be sure your admissions counselor focuses only on your excellent accomplishments, we encourage all of our students to always do a social media audit before pressing submit. Some excellent ways to do so are:
- Checking the privacy settings on all of your social media accounts and making sure all profiles are set to private.
- With an appropriate photo, handle, and bio, you’ll be able to follow and comment on colleges to let them know you’re interested, but they won’t see any of your photos!
- Google your name to make sure a search doesn't bring up anything you wouldn't want a college to find.
- If it does, see what steps you can take to get anything unflattering removed!
- Take a look back at past status updates, tweets, etc. and think about archiving old posts.
- Think before you post! In the year between preparing your applications and enrolling, know that you are under a microscope, and colleges may be checking in to see what their applicants or new students are posting on social media. Think about if you’d like them to see what you’re posting and if you don’t, hold off.
Here's an article where admissions officers discuss how they use social media to research prospective students.