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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Monday, October 9, 2017
Perfecting Your Brand for College Admissions
In recent admissions cycles, discussion has swirled about the most effective ways for young students to curate their online presence. Privilege always carries with it the burden of responsibility, and this is a difficult lesson to master. As more and more college admissions officers admit to poking around students' social media profiles, counselors and teachers are getting the message out: keep your digital footprint clean.

Harvard's recent rescission of admissions to several students involved in a racist Facebook group made big news, and not only because of the offensive nature of the posts. It highlighted the issue of digital recklessness. That students should strip out pictures of under-aged drinking seems obvious, until one considers the even more profane conversations that often happen in "secret" online forums; except that in the day and age of screenshots, "secret" has become a relative term.

Savvy students should understand that while social media has the power to ruin admission chances, it is also ripe with opportunities at self-marketing. In a sense, all of us have unwittingly become skilled at shaping our online presence. In the virtual world, we can be whoever we want to be.

Think about how many seconds it takes for you to scan a new Instagram account before forming an opinion about the user? Five seconds? Less than that? For college admissions committees who take the time to vet social media accounts, this instant impression could be invaluable.

Many students struggle to express themselves in their admissions essays, but whether they realize it or not, they've already mastered the art of self-expression through their digital presence. It's become almost second nature. Which is why social media is such a powerful tool of persuasion. Used well, it could prove to be the new "it" factor in college admissions.


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