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Posted on Jan 04, 2012 - 06:00 AM | Applying to College | Comments (1)

Sometime in the next few weeks, a college admissions officer will visit a prospective student’s Facebook page or Twitter feed and say, “No way! They’re not coming here!”
And then it will happen again and again, and those students may never find out why they were rejected.
Roughly 1/3 of college admissions deans say they check applicant profiles, particularly if they’re on the fence about admitting them. Officials are looking for something to make up their mind either way.
Use Social Media to Improve Your College Application
A lot’s been made out of students who ruin their admissions chances with bad pictures and questionable posts, but you can also use your online profile to improve your chances.
  1. Pictures. Replace any pictures that might call into question your character or judgment with photos of you doing volunteer work or classroom activities. And smile. Look like you’re enjoying it. Just make sure those activities are on your college application, too.
  2. Posts. Remove or hide posts in bad taste. Opinions are fine, but avoid racist, sexist, or flat-out ignorant posts. And not just yours – your friends, too. Hide or delete them. They can reflect badly on you.
  3. Negativity. Curb the negativity. Don’t be overly harsh or blame others for your problems. Not everything sucks. College admissions officers generally don’t like it. Instead, congratulate your friends on their achievements and compliment them when they deserve it. Be positive!
  4. Awards. If you’ve won an award, tweet about it, or show it on Facebook. It confirms what your college application says about you.
  5. Grammar. Watch the bad grammar. Everyone knows the character restrictions on Twitter require some ingenuity, but if it’s a short post, write it out correctly. Instead of “Ur rite @ dat” say “You’re right about that.” Make admissions officers think you know how to spell and speak properly. The same goes for cursing. Like negativity, curb it. It doesn’t need to be everywhere. It might be the way you and your friends speak to each other, but a browsing college dean doesn’t want to see it everywhere.
Prepare a Good College Application First
Nothing you can do after you submit your application can entirely make up for not having a good college resume in the first place, but it can be a bit of a salve on an open wound. Clean up your social media and online presence and make sure it matches your application. See that your accomplishments are highlighted, your activities recorded and the colleges you’ve applied to complimented. Talk about why you’re interested in a particular major or career. Show that you’re making future plans.
Remember, only 1/3 or so of college admissions officers will look you up online, but if you applied to six colleges, that’s two right there. And they just could be your top two choices!
So take a little time cleaning up your sites before the dean of admissions gets to your site. And if you’re still an underclassmen, use these tips to build a positive profile so you don’t have to go back and clean it up.


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Comments (1)

1. As a private college counselor, I think this is a great article with lots of helpful advice for high school seniors. I will post it on my website.

    Comment By Susie Watts - Jan 10, 2012 10:03 PM

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