Do College Admissions Officers Look At Social Media?

Does social media matter in the college admission process? 

Certainly! With about 58.4% of the world’s population on social media, Admission officers are increasingly becoming critical of social media presence. Most applicants have some form of social media like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and others. On these platforms, users can present their distinct personalities and interests, hence, social media shows more than your application would, little wonder Admission officers are critical of social media today. Do college admissions officers look at social media?

This growing influence of social media on the admission process can either hamper or boost your chances of getting in.

Why do colleges look at social media?

According to a Kaplan Prep survey in 2016, out of 350 universities in the United States, 35% of admission officers reported having looked at applicants’ social media accounts.

Colleges often look up prospective students on social media to mostly gather information on your person outside of the classroom. Some other Admission officers go through your social media personal pages for content that caused a stir. This is because your digital presence would give admission officers a better window into your personality as colleges are also interested in life outside of the classroom.

What colleges do not want to see on your social media?

It is not so difficult to spot the kind of digital behavior that can hamper your chances of getting into college. 

However, here are some actions you should avoid.

  • Underage drinking
  • Offensive language and content

Underage drinking

While colleges may be interested in all-round students; students with a good social life, some pictures on social media may not work in your favor in your admission process. A student with the tendency to be an alcoholic or drug addict. Such pictures or pictures hinting at such activity is a ‘turn-off’ for college admission officers.

Offensive Language

College admission officers understand the diversity of the college population hence possible debates amongst students. For this reason, opinionated students are very much welcomed; however, admission officers are wary of applicants who are insensitive in expressing their views. Words and pictures that are offensive or insensitive to people or someone else are usually off-limits.

It is advised that whatever experience or opinion you would shy away from sharing with an Admission officer should be avoided on social media as well.

What do colleges want to see on your social media?

Despite all the negative effect social media may have on the application process, admission officers argue that oftentimes social media plays a major role in boosting candidates’ chances.

Below are some social media actions that can boost your chances with admission officers.

  • Digital positivity
  • Social media should align with your application interests
  • Your social media should show your interest in schools
  • Evidence of ideal social life
  • Share stories about your passions
  • Digital Positivity

There are very few things enticing to admission officers as being a positive and inspiring applicant. Admission officers jump on such applicants for all the positive prospects and potential. Just refraining from posting questionable content oftentimes does not beat the mark, you should be intentional about making your social media a positive influence.

Posting about positive and inspiring moments like winning an award, and volunteering in the community has proven to have a positive influence on the admission processes of applicants.

And one last tip, you should ensure proper editing and proofreading to avoid grammatical errors as this also may have a negative effect.

  • Social Media should align with application interest

Well-written application essays present you in a commendable light to admission officers. Social media posts should not do anything different. It is necessary that after going through your social media pages, admission officers are further convinced of your prowess rather than being in doubt if you were the same person who nailed your application essay.

  • Your social media should show your interest in schools

As with most things, admission officers expect that your interest in school is evident on social media. If truly you have great interest in business as you ‘raved’ about on your application, then you should be following financial experts and engaging in their posts as well. Similarly, admission officers find it extra commendable when you follow and engage with your desired school’s page online.

This simple act has the potential of boosting your chances of being admitted.

  • Evidence of ideal social life

No admission officer wants to pick nerds with little or no social life, despite being academically sound, admission officers also want evidence of a sound social life. Photos on your social media do not necessarily have to show you at parties. However, photos of you comfortable interacting with different peers can boost your chances. This contributes to ‘evidence of ideal social life.

Similarly, for social media platforms that allow users to tag you in their posts, you should be careful how you appear in friends’ photos as this could also cause a stir with admission officers.

  • Share stories about your passions

Like in the first point about aligning your application with your social media presence, your social media should be a window of confirmation for all the passions you listed in your application. Whatever interests you should be visible on social media, either in likes, comments, or even your posts.

You cannot brag about being interested in basketball and your social media doesn’t show any photos of you at a game or the least engaging on a popular basketball player’s content.


Q1. How else can I impress admission officers with my social media page?

Answer- Below are some quick but effective ways to maintain an impressive digital presence?

  • Your Username and your profile picture make the first impression and you would want to make the first impression a good one. Choose a Username that represents you accurately. Secondly, make use of a picture that is professional but at the same time doesn’t lose the touch of your being a young and social person.
  • Cross-check all that you follow, like, share, and comment on. These things say so much about your interest and passions.
  • Make sure your privacy setting is open to allow colleges to view your social media account.

Q2. Do colleges look at your Facebook account?

Answer-Yes, colleges check applicants’ Facebook posts. According to the Kaplan survey, 47% of them believe that checking these posts often has a positive impact on how they view applicants.