New Subject in School: Social Media

After reading Lesson 3 in this course, we now know how important it is to be conscious of your personal brand and the image you portray over social media. We know that potential employers are now taking to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to sniff out potential job candidates. We are aware that what we put on social media is not always private, even if we use our best efforts to ensure our accounts are protected. This is now reality in the social media age.

But what we don’t always hear about is how social media can play a role in Colleges selecting students for their programs, and viewing applicants’ social media accounts.

This video discusses how high school students need to be cautious and mindful of their social media presence. According to Kaplan Test Prep’s most recent survey, 35% of Admissions Officers now check in on applicants’ social media accounts. Perhaps a new subject should be added to the high school curriculum: Social Media, and how to use it appropriately.

Students may be harming their educational future by posting certain things on social media. However, it is not all bad. Social Media has now provided students with an interactive and direct way to communicate with prospective Colleges and Universities. If students have questions or concerns, they can communicate and interact with the schools over social media. If they visit the school, they can post a picture and tag the school they visited.

“A chance to start a dialogue with a College and make a good first impression.” – Marina Hutchinson, The Associate Press.

Do you think that social media could alter a students chance of getting accepted into a certain school? What are your thoughts on the benefits of students interacting with potential colleges over social media?

Feel free to share your thoughts below.

10 thoughts on “New Subject in School: Social Media

  1. I have no doubt that colleges and universities will begin using social media searches as part of their screening processes. The fact that so much information is voluntarily posted online by our student generation is just too tempting for screeners. I note now that a great deal of student gleaned information about the institutions comes from Facebook pages, institutional blogs and other forms of social media, it’s only logical that while they are checking out potential schools those same schools can check out students. In a sense, that’s pretty much what businesses do with their marketing efforts as well as recruiting. We need to ensure that what we put out there on a public profile is privacy protected as well as being carefully considered before pressing that post button. My sons are currently going through the post secondary application process and I’ve been amazed at how much is done through social media, even their highschool guidance information is hosted through a Facebook page. We are truly digital information based society. It’s just scary to think about who we are sharing with sometimes.

    • I think colleges and universities are already using social media searches and will continue to do so. Social media has definitely helped start the conversation online between applicants and schools. I used to work as a Student Recruiter a couple years back when social media was just developing. After I did a presentation at a school, I would often tweet things like “Thanks School ABC for having me today!” so it is definitely great for marketing and networking purposes. I have to agree – definitely scary to think about who we are sharing with! Nice to see that high schools are getting more involved in social media as well. When I was in high school, Facebook had just came out and it was so new to everyone. Cell phones were not allowed in the classrooms and all email and messaging sites were blocked. It’s crazy how things change in this new digital age!

  2. I honestly think sometimes social media can alter a students chances of getting into a school because depending on what they are applying for might be put through a search and if the student isn’t using social media properly, it could ruin their chances.

  3. I was reading lesson 3 and some of the same stuff came up for me… It’s interesting the way human beings react to possible risk factors. The age of social media is upon us and it’s not going anywhere any time soon. One thing I even considered was this: If you look at how you occur on the social media marketplace, it’s easy to feel self-conscious and retreat into a deep dark cave where you’re more concerned with how what you share might impact your future. The other side of that equation, or another interpretation on that idea, is that we have a constructive opportunity to expand our awareness of how we occur on the web. The super cool thing about surveying your personal brand is that you totally have the power to influence and tweak your profile in new and interesting ways… the turn around time is reasonable: giving you a clearer picture of how these ‘formulas’ that all these social media experts keep pushing work.

  4. I was thinking about this post over the last week when I was reading about the University of Connecticut student who caused a drunken stir over mac n cheese. Although he was being inexcusably obnoxious (and has apparently been expelled from the school), I couldn’t help but remember times I acted in ways similar to him when I was 19 and there weren’t many differences – the distinction came that, when I was 19 in 2002, we didn’t have to worry about the impact of our behavior on social media because it didn’t exist. So the idea of the personal brand has had a wide-ranging effect on the generation that came after me, as we’re now seeing how quickly bad behavior can be exposed and impact both your education and your future employment opportunities. I’m a big champion of social media but I have to say I’m not a big fan of colleges (and prospective employers) going through my social media presence, not so much because I have anything to hide but because my Facebook page is for me and my friends – LinkedIn is for prospective employers. I understand that institutions want to have a better understanding of the people they will be dealing with and catering to, but at the same time I don’t believe that how I come across on Facebook should affect my chances at getting into a college / university, or access to different jobs. I believe there should be a fine line drawn between personal and professional social media channels, we already have enough pressure when trying to change jobs or seek higher education, I don’t like the idea of additionally having to worry that something I wrote in jest or in passing anger on my personal Facebook page 8 months ago should factor in the equation. Just the same as there’s a right way to act at work and a right way to act at home, I think social media etiquette should only extend to professional networks I’ve chosen to promote myself through. But that’s just my opinion 🙂

    • I have to agree with you that I would not want Colleges or Prospective employers going through my social media accounts, however, this is reality today in this social media culture that has developed. We may not like it and agree with it, but in today’s day and age schools and potential employers are going to access our personal or professional social media accounts. I totally agree that how we come across on Facebook should not affect our changes at getting into schools or access to jobs, but unfortunately it does. There definitely is a fine line drawn between personal and professional social media channels – and now we have to be even more conscious of what we put on social media. It is scary but this is what the internet has come to!

  5. Interesting topic. I am not sure if being active on social media would increase the student chance of getting accepted in a college, but it should be a new approach. If student does not use social media, it means that the student is not following recent media trends. One of the indicators in the student application could be the attention she/he devotes to follow issues on social media (Number of tweets, and organizations that she/he follows). I, however, do think that if the college is successful in using social media platform, it would motivate the student to choose a certain college.
    Benefits of interacting over social media platforms are amble. They include: motivating students to participate in events, announcing new courses, registration dates, listening to admission issues, and weather warning :).

    • Definitely a new approach for schools looking at potential applicants and it still is not very common, but I would not be surprised to see this practice becoming more and more common in today’s digital age. Ultimately, I do not agree with the schools creeping the students’ profiles, but you are right when you say the benefits of interacting over social media are amble. The benefits are endless and basically the school is marketing themselves over social media, all the while interacting with the students. It is a direct platform for communication and I think can have more benefits than not.

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