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Your Social Media Profile: How Can It Impact Your College Applications?

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does my facebook profile affect college admissionsIt’s essential to acknowledge that simply by being on social media sites, you’re conveying an image of yourself. Is this who you really are? Is this who you want to present to college admissions committees?

According to Kaplan Test Prep’s 2012 College Admissions Officers Survey, 27% of admissions officers Googled an applicant to learn more about them, and 26% visited an applicant’s social networking page (such as Facebook). Of those admissions officers, 35% discovered something about the applicant that negatively impacted their application.

Much has been said about social media (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Vine) and how it impacts college applications. Your social media presence is a very important consideration now. As you approach the college admissions process, think of who else could be looking at your online profile or Googling you. Teachers writing your letters of recommendation, guidance counselors, coaches, potential college roommates, and future employers may be looking at you online.

Make sure you aren’t represented in a way you would be uncomfortable sharing with your admissions rep or an alum interviewer. Before you begin the college process, consider doing the following:

1. Check your online profile photo.

Make sure your profile photo conveys the image you want to project. Your photo should be flattering and present you positively.

2. Delete and untag inappropriate photos and videos.

By no means should you have pictures or videos from parties and other events that you wouldn’t share with your grandmother. Get into the habit of regularly checking photos of yourself and untag any pictures that could give a bad impression to admissions reps.

3. Remove yourself from controversial groups.

Unsubscribe from any groups that you don’t want to be defined by. If you would not feel comfortable listing your membership in a group on your applications and resume then consider removing yourself from that group.

4. Be careful about what you tweet and write online.

Don’t write anything that you wouldn’t want an admissions officer to read. Avoid inappropriate language and references and be aware that people outside your circle of friends may also be reading what you write.

5. Highlight favorable things about yourself.

You can use your social media websites to your advantage! Your profiles provide a great opportunity to draw attention to your positive attributes and activities.

Think about who you are and the person you’d like admissions officers to get to know. Project an image you are proud of. Don’t let social media negatively impact your admissions process—use social media to get yourself one step closer to an acceptance letter from the college of your choice.


Make sure you don’t miss a single step of the application process.

Check out The College Bound Organizer in the College Countdown Bookstore today!


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Anna Costaras and Gail Liss are coauthors of The College Bound Organizer, the step-by-step guide to getting into the college of your choice. As cofounders of Bound to Organize LLC, the authors are dedicated to empowering students to successfully navigate the complicated college application process by providing a logical, easy-to-use organization system.

Anna Costaras holds a BS and MBA from New York University Stern School of Business. She is the founder of a college-bound mentoring program for disadvantaged students from her community. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Adventures in Learning, an educational enrichment program for children in need of after-school support.

Gail Liss earned an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business, studied at The London School of Economics, and holds a BA from the University of Rochester. Gail serves on the Advisory Board of Young Women’s Leadership Network, which supports The Young Women’s Leadership Schools and College Bound Initiative.

See The College Bound Organizer in the College Countdown Bookstore.