For many United States students, applying to college can seem like a daunting process. If you’re a high school senior there are application essays to submit, letters of recommendation to gather, forms to fill out and the application process includes deadlines to track—not to mention securing financial aid by completing your FAFSA. High school juniors are just beginning to see what it’s going to take to make their college dreams a reality. It takes work, but it’s worth it. Aside from completing and submitting the college application essentials, there’s a hidden part of the college admissions process you may not be aware of—your social media accounts!In July, The New York Times reported that “at least a dozen schools have rescinded admissions offers to incoming students,” due to inappropriate and distasteful social posts. Some of these current high school graduates were noted as star athletes and honor students. University admissions teams are considering the whole person, not just your GPA or standardized test scores. One goal of most college campuses is to fuel an inclusive and welcoming environment for all students. For many university and college admissions teams, investigating social media accounts to better understand a student is considered fair game. Inside HigherEd reports, “65 percent of the admissions officers surveyed by Kaplan in 2020 see no issue with social media being a part of the admissions equation.” Whatever your preferred social media channel—Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter or Facebook—all students should be conscious of their social media accounts no matter what your school year: junior high, high school and college.Inside HigherEd adds, more than half of the admissions officers surveyed “say what they found had a negative impact.” This proves that even if it's your senior year and you have officially been admitted to college, you must be aware of your social media platforms and the implications they can have on your future. Additionally, some colleges have later application deadlines or rolling admissions; so a future profile check for seniors is still not out of the equation for some students from the Class of 2021. Rather than photobooks, students tend to use their social accounts as a way to document their daily happenings; it’s a historical glimpse of you. Just as you can pull up memories to share, your profile viewers can also look into older Instagram Stories, Snaps or Tweets you’ve shared. Social posts of all types can go viral fast. A simple screen shot, even after you’ve deleted a post, can derail your college plans. Current college students and graduate students should also be aware of their social posts. Many employers look at job applicants’ social media accounts. You wouldn't want to miss an internship opportunity because someone from the interview team felt that your TikTok or Instagram account was concerning.
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