Check Your Self: Social Media and Data Mining
Wondering if admissions officers will research your online presence? Assume they will.
While not all admissions offices report to check applicants’ social media accounts, it is best to be safe and review your activity. Admissions may also track your presence on their website (or more generally online). They do this to understand your preferences and gauge the seriousness of your interest in their college.
Here are a few tips for managing these two realities.
Your Social Media Activity
Take a critical look at your social media websites. If admissions were to look at your Facebook account, would they learn something useful about you? Or would they discover that you had posted a comment or photo of yourself that might negatively shape their evaluation of you? Here is a list of things that might negatively affect an admissions officer's view of you:
By the same token, posts that show your engagement in a community, your contributions to positive outcomes are likely to help, not hurt your application.
If you would like to provide admissions with materials that provide a more realistic portrayal of your person, consider using ZeeMe, a personal “locker” that allows you to collect and share videos, photographs, documents, or any other materials that can showcase your activities, interests and person.
Your Online Searches
Also keep in mind that data mining is evermore relevant to all marketing practices, including that of college admissions. Companies such as Capture Higher Education are working with colleges to track the activity of students and help them ascertain whether the student is a good fit and likely to accept admission.
With this in mind, spending time browsing college websites can help improve your chances of being admitted. You should be doing this anyway. Knowing about the colleges you want to attend will improve your interactions with college admissions representatives and your essays, so it is one of the best ways you can use your time.
Felicia Fahey PhD
Felicia is a comprehensive educational consultant. She works with college bound students of all ages close to home, across the country and around the globe.