Do College Admissions Look at Social Media Accounts?

They Can, So Be Prepared.

You’re applying to college, or at least beginning to think about it. Good for you! You wonder, do those admissions counselors who are going to be reading your application really take the time to look at an applicant’s social media accounts? They may, or they may not. But the fact of the matter is, they can. What does that mean for you? If they do view our account and there is something on there that is precarious, even if it is just in their eyes, it could mean the difference between acceptance or a denial. It’s happened. Don’t kid yourself.

Social Media Posts Stick Around

For years you’ve been posting to Instagram, doing so with ease and sharing your life with anyone who will take the time to view your posts or follow you. It’s wonderful. You see your followers numbers increase and it makes you feel good, wanted, people are interested in you! You post more and the fly wheel continues. Ah, the lives we lead today. But, can it hurt you? Well, it can. Remember, everything, and I mean everything, you put out there on the internet is permanently there. It never goes away. I know you can’t imagine being 45 years old, but you will get there, and those posts you made when you were 17 will still be there for potential employers, community members, friends and acquaintances to see.

Admissions Counselors and Coaches May Poke Around Your Accounts

College admissions counselors, and collegiate coaches even more so, may very well view your posts to any social media that you participate in. And if you don’t set up your account properly, they will not only be able to see your posts, but they will also be able to see posts that your friends have tagged you in without your approval!

Since Instagram seems to be the modus operandi in today’s world for our high schoolers and young adults, that is the social media platform I’m going to address in this blog. Keep in mind that you need to address any and all of the social media platforms that you participate in, whether it be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok or any others.

Addressing Your Instagram Account So It’s Ready for Admissions’ Eyes

I always tell my students, especially my athletes since college coaches use social media as a vehicle for searching out their athletes, to update the settings on their Instagram account so that they have to approve anyone who tags them to post to their account. Keep in mind that the default for Instagram is that your account is public. Anyone and everyone can see it and anyone can tag you and post to your account. Yikes!

Instagram – Taking Control of Your Account

Instagram has an entire section devoted to how you can control your account’s visibility. It outlines for you how you can update your Instagram account to allow you to take control over your account, what people can and can’t see, as well as what can and cannot get posted to your account. It answers questions related to:

• Setting your account to private
• Who can like or comment on photos and videos
• How to filter or hide comments
• Sharing an Instagram post to another social media network
• Removing followers
• Who can see your post if you add a hashtag
• Archiving posts
• Who can see liked posts
• Turning off follow suggestions
• Who can see your photos and profile
• Hiding bio and profile image
• Removing Instagram images from Google search

I strongly suggest you read this section and make the updates to your account to make it more private.

Social Media and College Admissions Takeaway

For your future self, take control of your social media. As good as it may feel to share everything with the world it may very well come to bite you down the road at the most inopportune time. Don’t have regrets. Take action now. Put your best face forward for the college admissions counselors.

Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.

Contact us at info@signaturecollegecounseling.com or by phone, 845.551.6946. We work with students in person, through Zoom, over the phone and by email.

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