Can Facebook Help You Get Into College?

Barry Lenson

Can Facebook Help You Get Into College?

FacebookIt’s common knowledge now that college admissions offices look at students’ Facebook pages before sending them acceptance letters. If you put up pictures of yourself partying hard or if you join the group of a weird fringe organization, the college will probably toss your application on the “reject” pile. Heck, wouldn’t you? That’s why it’s only common sense to take an objective look at your page when you’re applying to schools.

But the bigger question is, can Facebook really tip the scales and help you get into the college of your choice? Since you can be pretty sure that interested colleges will be looking at your page, it’s a good idea to apply some of these strategies:

  • Join groups that reflect well on you and your academic future. If you want to study political science or physics or physical therapy, join appropriate groups and get active in them. Their presence on your page reinforces the idea that you are serious about learning.
  • Post pictures that show you doing things that the school will like. You don’t want to overdo it, but consider putting up shots of yourself doing good things like community service projects, athletics, dramatics or musical performances.
  • Pay a little attention to your writing. Sure, your Facebook page is not a term paper. But sloppy writing or punctuation could make admission officers think that you always write badly. Fair or unfair, that’s not an impression you want to leave in their minds.
  • Join groups that are tied to a few of the colleges that you like the most. Doing that shows you are serious about really going if you are admitted. But join just a few – if you join groups for 10 or 11 colleges, admissions officers are going to think that you are shopping around too much and not really likely to attend their school if you get in.
  • Take a look at what your friends have posted too. Colleges could click around and see what kind of people you’ve connected to. This gets a bit touchy because you can’t really tell your friends to change their pictures or resign from groups that you don’t want colleges to see. But if a friend has posted stuff that could raise an eyebrow in an admissions office, consider removing him or her from your friend list during the months when colleges are reviewing your app. (You might want to tell that friend before hitting the “remove” button, just to prevent misunderstandings.)

So, can Facebook really help you get into college? It’s hard to be absolutely sure. But the fact remains that doing a little “impression management” on your profile can’t hurt your chances of getting in.


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