For many, looking back as a Senior in high school can serve as an opportune time to reflect on what mattered most. High school Seniors may ask themselves: What will College Admissions Advisers think of my high school resume? Did I work hard enough? Are my grades high enough? Did I squeeze in too little or too much? While these are all valid points to consider when applying to college, there are a few key factors that many students never even think of.
Students today tend to consume information instantly through news feeds and photo updates. Consider this…
if your College Admissions Adviser were to scroll through your life with the same laid-back, passive attitude that many of us exhibit when flipping through our Instagram or Facebook feeds, what would your life say about you?
You laugh, I’m sure. However, researching prospective students online has become part of a normal admissions routine that many advisers go through when deciding between top students or considering admitting a student underdog to the university. Think about it again, what does your social media life say about you?
Many students and their parents have not yet caught on to how social media may help make your dream come true, or break your dream entirely. Removing potentially negative social media posts, comments, and photos is a must for many students who spends less time thinking about what they say than posting about what they think (ironic, I know). Still, removing negative posts is only half the battle. Think about the big picture and take this opportunity to make a name for yourself.
Rather than considering what an admissions adviser might think of you, get ahead of the game and consider what you WANT others to think of you.
Whether you’re ahead of the game and looking forward to college, or on the cusp of applying to the school of your dreams and going back to tweak a few things, here are a few guidelines for keeping your college admissions safe.
7 Steps to Clean Up Your Act Online
- Remember ever social profile you have opened throughout your high school career. While the big name social media sites may be obvious, don’t forget about an old LiveJournal or Friendster account you might have created years ago.
- Just to be safe, use Google, Bing, or Yahoo to search yourself. Google your full name, nickname, screennames, and anything that can be used to identify you. See what photos pop up in searched images. Browse through the first several pages of your search engine to see what results come up and what public information exists about you online.
- Now, login to all of your accounts. Delete anything you have found that doesn’t represent you in the way you want the professional world to see you.
- Make sure what you have posted (photos, comments, and posts) aren’t negative in any way (i.e. self-deprecating comments or posts, photos at parties or with friends that may be considered wild or inappropriate, politically charged posts, etc.)
- Regardless of what you hear back from colleges or how long it may take to get a response to a college application, never say anything negative about any school you are applying to. Likewise, never say anything negative about any other school, even in jest.
- Remove your contact information (address, phone numbers, email, etc.) from your profiles, public or not. This is for your own safety and will help you to manage your digital footprint.
- Set your privacy filters as strong as possible, but don’t lock everything down. Show what you know. Show what you do. Show how you care. Just don’t show that one time last year that you went on a digital rant about your ex-best friend. Nobody likes drama!
More and more admissions officers are looking at social-networking sites to evaluate applicants. Make sure what your student has posted won’t negatively affect any views. Some college admissions officers said they had rejected students because of what they had seen and/or read on Internet sites like Facebook or personal blog pages.
The Internet doesn’t have to be a scary place. A college admissions adviser set out to judge a student by their social cover isn’t always on the hunt for incriminating information. In fact, their task is innocent! Admissions advisers who search specific students usually want to get a quick peek into the student’s life and get to know the student through that open window we all view as the Internet.
What you post online is like a billboard about yourself.
Maybe you’ve removed all the digital drama, but have you considered taking the time to create an online persona you will be proud of. It is never too late to start promoting your capabilities online. Students can use the Internet to show admissions counselors what it is they have a passion for or are most proud of! For example, if you volunteered or had an internship over the summer, post a blog or snap some inspiring photos. Discuss how the experience changed you or simply write a few words about what you like most. If you play a sport or study music, display your hard work and your greatest achievements. There are a variety of ways you can take advantage of the Internet as part of your college admissions process.
5 Ways to Use the Internet to Your College Admissions Advantage
- Post photos of your work. Artists, fashion designer, photographers, sculptures, and all manner of visually creative students should post photos of their work online.
- Create a webpage. Athletes can post photos, video clips, and stats. Musicians can post videos from a performance or share a recording of their latest composition.
- Start a blog. Students interested in debate, humanities, liberal arts, and otherwise find themselves to be naturally talented at writing can start a blog.
- Post your progress. From successful scientific experiments to being the winner of the history bee, students should share as many positive achievements as they can!
- Be friends. Add your favorite colleges to your Likes, your Follows, and otherwise your Favorites. Attend online hangouts and info sessions. Show that you can be an active advocate to the school of your dreams!
Whether you are a blogger, a photographer, or just a daily news feed browser, students and their parents should take note of awards, victories, positive mentions, volunteer work, and internships. Be proud of these accomplishments!
Here at SAT Preparation Group we believe that students have what it takes and should show off their talents through more than just test scores. We are here to help students with their high school resumes, college admissions packets, and college essays. We can help with scholarship applications as well. We are here for those years before a student even reaches these exciting milestones. We want students to succeed overall – whether it be in taking the SAT, ACT, or succeeding in conquering just one, important class.
To find out more about SAT Preparation Group, click the link below and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
SAT Preparation Group advises in test prep, college planning, and success strategies for teens. Call Us Today at 877-672-8773 or click here for a free consultation.