Data from the National Association for College Admission Counseling show there is a powerful tool students can use to improve their admission chances: demonstrated interest. How can social media play a part?
When a college receives your application, admission officers look for ways to determine whether you will accept their offer of admission. Since all colleges have quotas to fill and determine their admission offers based on percentages of acceptance, showing interest lets them know you will likely accept their offer. As they see it, why offer admission to someone who isn’t interested when there is someone who is likely to accept?
How do you find the colleges that place a strong interest on this?
Which colleges want your student to show them some love? You don’t have to guess. You can use a tool like Collegedata.com to determine if a college uses demonstrated interest in its admission decision. The colleges are asked to rate 19 admission factors by using these four categories: very important, important, considered, and not considered. Each year, colleges are surveyed and this data is used to compile the information on its website.
To access the data, you simply search for the college, click on the Admissions tab, and scroll down to the Selection of Students heading. Then you can see the importance a college places on a student’s level of interest. Harvard, for example, lists this as “not considered.” In comparison, the United States Naval Academy, lists it as “very important.”
Social media makes it easier than ever to connect with colleges and admissions representatives because you don’t have to be on campus to make a connection.
College admissions officers prefer students who are partial to their particular school and many consider whether a student is “demonstrating interest” during the admissions decision process.
You can find out how much emphasis a college places on demonstrating interest by visiting CollegeData.com, typing in the college name, clicking on the admissions tab, and viewing the Selection of Students information. Bentley University, for instance, considers demonstrated interest as an “important” factor in college admission.
But using social media means that your account must be clean and viewed as serious. No one should post potentially offensive or derogatory comments. As with any tool, proper use will reap significant reward, but misusing social media may result in negative consequences.
Under the right circumstances, when college application decision time rolls around, you will have communicated strong interest in a college. College admissions officers will be able to look at their records and see that demonstrated interest. You will trump anyone who hasn’t expressed interest and was simply a casual shopper.
Here’s how you can leverage specific social media accounts and use them to communicate with colleges:
If you haven’t set up a LinkedIn account yet, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. According to a recent article on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Profile Tips for High School Students, students can showcase their talents, abilities and high school resume in a profile and make connections with college admissions. You can also include your LinkedIn URL in application materials.
Few teenagers use Facebook any longer; but students who have accounts can connect with a college using this medium. Colleges often host “live” information and Q&A sessions to connect with prospective students. You may be able to connect directly with an admissions officer during these live chats.
Most colleges now have their own Instagram accounts and post regularly. You can follow Instagram stories from the colleges and interact as live feeds are posted or comment on each of the stories. Colleges use these stories to connect with current students and also to recruit interested students. When your profile appears in the comments, it demonstrates to the college you are interested.
Responding to tweets is another way to can make a positive impression. Colleges follow their accounts, review any responses to tweets, and create hashtags to communicate with prospective students. You can use your active Twitter account to make a college connection. A word of warning, however: You should keep your account clean because colleges have been known to revoke admission offers based on negative tweets.
Odds are you already spend countless hours on YouTube. Another way to demonstrate interest is to connect via the college’s YouTube account by leaving comments on posted videos. Not only will you be able to view valuable information about the college, you will be demonstrating interest.
With its rapid growth, high engagement, and over 60 percent of TikTok’s users under the age of 30, it’s a great social media platform for institutions to leverage to engage with prospective students. Many universities are creating TikTok accounts to create their own content as well as curate content from users who are engaged with their brand. All content is aimed to showcase an authentic and genuine look at the university, student life, and campus culture.