Social media can help your college prospects - KCTV5

Social media can help your college prospects

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So what do you need to impress that dream school? Believe it or not, a good grade point average, ACT or SAT score and numerous awards may not be enough.  Now, prospective colleges and universities could be looking at your social media accounts. (KCTV5) So what do you need to impress that dream school? Believe it or not, a good grade point average, ACT or SAT score and numerous awards may not be enough. Now, prospective colleges and universities could be looking at your social media accounts. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

It's that time of year when high school students start to really focus on their college plans.

So what do you need to impress that dream school? Believe it or not, a good grade point average, ACT or SAT score and numerous awards may not be enough.

Now, prospective colleges and universities could be looking at your social media accounts. That is why it's imperative people think twice before they post on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Vine.

Kyle Johnson, director of freshman admissions at Rockhurst University, says his team takes a holistic approach to admission, looking outside of the application at social media.

kyle says 00;07;30;23   we take the holistic approach for admission -- we look at things outside of the application.. 

It's near impossible to find a teen who isn't active on numerous social media platforms. While advisers are not recommending students not use them, they do want students to be sure that what they put on these platforms sends the "right" message.

A new survey by Kaplan Test Prep found that of the 350 college admissions officers from across the United States, 35-percent admit to checking an applicant's social media profiles before making their decision.  

Of course, time doesn't allow for all applicant footprints to be explored, but it could be used when an admission committee needs something to tip the scales.

And 42-percent of those surveyed say they found posts that made a negative impact, like questionable language, racist remarks, illegal activity, an undisclosed felony or brandishing weapons.

David Burke is the Director of College Counseling at Pembroke High School and points to the flip-side of this type of search. 

david says 00;03;58;22      a lot of teenagers are loathe to brag about themselves.... even on a college application 

But, more times than not, posts can tip the scales the other way.

Of the admission professionals surveyed, 47-percent say what they found had a positive impact on prospective students, like signs of community building, entrepreneurship or winning awards that weren't conveyed in the application.

And some college students agree and say they are happy with what their social media profiles allow admissions officers to see.

"It's a great way to show your personality. So in a lot of ways, it can make you instead of just break you," Rockhurst University Sophomore Claire Webster said.

For students applying for college in the near future, now may be a good time to follow the golden rule. Don't post anything mom and dad wouldn't want to see, and maybe even go back in time on some posts and hit the delete button.

Like it or not, social media has become an established factor in college admissions. So it's simply good practice, as it very well could be used down the road for grad school admissions, internships and ultimately the job search.

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