Social Media and How to Utilize It in College Admissions

Ashley Thommana
May 20, 2024

Instagram. Twitter. LinkedIn. A few of the many social platforms available.

In the past twenty years, the landscape of technology has changed dramatically—promoting global interconnectedness. This change has affected the education systems in every regard, including in college admissions. Social media, now, is a powerful tool for both colleges and students.

There are many forms of social media that students can have access to. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. allow students to connect with their peers often through personal accounts. Additionally, organizations like clubs and universities can also have social media accounts on such platforms. Furthermore, there are social media platforms like LinkedIn that have a specific focus on crafting profiles that highlight achievements. 

1. Researching opportunities and information 

Students can take advantage of accounts from universities and other organizations to learn more about and evaluate the opportunities available to them. During college applications, the information schools post to their social media can be very helpful in finding ideas for what makes the school a good option. Many universities include a “why us?” essay component to their application. Having specific details can be very useful in these essay types as they indicate to the school that you have taken the time to research them and are interested in attending. Using their social media platforms provides a gold mine of detailed information to pull from in these essays.

Additionally, even prior to application season, when designing your college application list, if you are interested in evaluating a school to see if it is the right fit for you, checking out their social media pages is a great way to learn more.

Finally, social media platforms from schools and other organizations can be helpful even in the first few years of high school. Many groups post about competitions, summer programs, etc. These opportunities can be great to delve into deeper when finding new activities to be involved in. 

2. Profile Building

In the context of college applications, social media is a way for students to share achievements. Colleges may look into the social media profiles of students, especially if they are public. This may sound daunting, but don't fret. It can be an opportunity for you to share what you have worked on and provide more details into who you are. One way students may opt to do this is through LinkedIn. They can highlight activities and achievements in a more “professional” social media application.

Since jobs and colleges alike may happen upon your profiles on social media (including but beyond LinkedIn), make sure they reflect the qualities you would want to have public. It is important to note that whatever you do or say on the internet can be found. Being responsible about social media use and your digital footprint is very important. 

Beyond personal accounts, you can also use social media for organization and club accounts. If you are involved in, lead, or found a club or group, social media can be a great place to track impact. You can share successful events and updates that your organization members, as well as the general public, can see. Down the line, during college applications, you can highlight the social media page in your application as additional information colleges can look at.

3. Networking

Finally, connecting with professionals and peers through social media applications like LinkedIn is another way to leverage social media and its benefits. These networks allow you to find like-minded peers and mentors. Regardless of what exactly you may be pursuing, forming a community can be very helpful. You may find new ideas, insightful advice, and more. 

Additionally, many opportunities are posted through LinkedIn and other social media platforms, especially in regards to internships and job openings. Keeping an eye out for open positions that you network shares in the areas that interest you can help connect you to new experiences that you can reflect on in the future. 

In summary, social media can be a great tool. Using carefully and safely is always a number one priority. Beyond that, however, it can supplement your college application process greatly, serving as online portfolios of the work you have done and your achievements throughout high school. 

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