Has social media impacted the way colleges communicate with students?

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Our counselors answered:

Has social media impacted the way colleges communicate with students?

Rod Bugarin
Former Admissions Officer Columbia, Brown, and Wesleyan University

Has social media impacted the way colleges communicate with students?

Here is my video response to the question.

Scott White
Director of Guidance Montclair High School

Has social media impacted the way colleges communicate with students?

I think the question is asked wrong: social media has definitely affected how students CHOOSE colleges, but not necessarily effectively who students get their information FROM colleges. They still use traditional means for getting information from colleges (websites, printed materials), but use social media interactions with PEERS to make decisions about college.

Nina Berler
Founder unCommon Apps

Social Media

Social media has had a dramatic effect on how colleges communicate with students. Blogging is one of the first major changes. Students expect many of their target schools to have blogs, either by admissions professionals or students, so they can keep up with the latest admissions or campus happenings. In this age of new media, colleges are turning to Facebook and Twitter as well. Brown, for example, sends out tweets on classes, alumni and articles of interest to prospective applicants. All in all, social media provides a very flexible and less expensive means of communication, a dramatic shift from the days of fat envelopes and visits to the mailbox. At the same time, social media can help or hinder a candidate's chances of admission. Students at some schools are now permitted to submit videos. At the same time, colleges are sometimes checking out students' Facebook pages. In this age of social media, anything is fair game.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

College Social Network

Absolutely! Colleges seek any opportunity to make connections with students. They want students to follow them on twitter, allow them to populate a news feed, and showcase great offerings 24/7. But, just as students recycle a direct mail piece, they are in the driver's seat when it comes to social media communication campaigns. This fall at the National Association of College Admission Counselors annual conference in New Orleans, a student panel emphatically informed college representatives that they'd prefer social media be social. Colleges are all for posting on facebook and tweeting with hashtags, but it really all depends on whether or not students "like" them.

Tyler Burton
President Burton College Tours

Every aspect has been modified

Just a few years ago schools were still learning about social media. In the past, very often the first point of contact a school had with a student was by mailing pretty brochures. Now schools subscribe to social media and today's lunch menu can be found on line.

Ellen erichards@ellened.com
Owner Ellen Richards Admissions Consulting

Social networking sites and college admissions

Getting admitted to college is about portraying yourself as the best possible candidate. Students spend countless hours refining their college application materials in order to shine the most favorable light on their academic achievements. Whether it’s spending Saturday night studying for the SAT, researching schools, or meeting with teachers about recommendations, students make huge investments in their future. So what could possibly cause this carefully-honed light to dim? Between cram sessions, or during bouts of writer’s block, students sign into Facebook to update their profiles and check in on friends. Facebook and MySpace are great ways to keep in touch and have fun, what’s the harm in that? Well, it depends on who looks at your page. Students may not realize that parents, teachers, potential employers, and admissions officers could very well look at student profiles. If it’s on your site, they can see every embarrassing or inappropriate detail of your personal life that are best kept between friends. It is important to look at your page through the eyes of a stranger; see if you feel comfortable with that information being available for everyone to see. If you have any hesitations, keep your profile private. College admissions officers may be using these social networking sites as a supplementary resume.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

Social Media

Yes, I would say that it has. A prospective student may be able to follow a college's posts on Facebook and sometimes on twitter. Many colleges also connect through student blogs. Make sure you keep your own social media accounts squeaky clean. Do not post anything that you would be ashamed for your grandmother to see or read!

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery Educational Resources, LLC

Fan Page

Let's face(book) it...social media has changed the way everyone communicates with everyone! While appropriate boundaries regarding prospective student interactions is still unfolding, the access to real-time news and updates undoubtedly helps students keep a finger on the pulse of their colleges of choice. (Evidence? My boarding school mascot just "friended" me on FB. He's my new BFF.)

David Allen
Managing Director Global College Counselors Ltd


Facebook is a great way for colleges to speak at the same time to thier applicant pool and then later on to their admitted class. However as a stduent you should be very wary about joining them as everything on your page is then viewable to the admissions personnel. I have heard tell that a great Facebook page won't enhance your admissability, but a bad one, or one showing you doing things you perhaps weren't wise to do, will definitely hurt your chances. It is advisable therefore to have a separate account which only portrays you in the way that you would want the admissions team to see you!

Helen Cella

Has social media impacted the way colleges communicate with students?

Absolutely, and the way that students communicate with colleges.