Five ways to clean up your social media accounts for college applications

Regardless of whether your youngster attends an online school, a typical brick-and-mortar school, or is home-schooled, the college application process involves more than just grades. You may be wondering, 'What do colleges look for in applicants?' as your student begins the college application process. There are conventional and measurable expectations for your student's grade point average, SAT/ACT scores, and application essay. However, colleges and universities also seek well-rounded, engaged, and eager students; for many institutions, character matters.

In our social media-obsessed culture, social media accounts have become an easy way for admissions committees to learn more about applicants' personalities. While admissions officers are more concerned with transcripts and standardized test scores, your student's internet presence provides further insight into who they are as a person, and certain content can be interpreted as red flags in college applications.

how to clean up your social media accounts before applying to college

1. examine and delete specific account content

In general, it is preferable to adhere to the rule 'if it's unsuitable, remove it.' Examine submitted and tagged photographs, videos, and posts for offensive language and bad humor, and consider hiding or removing them if necessary. Consider whether your child's content can be viewed or misconstrued as inappropriate, and advise that they hide or delete it so that admissions officers cannot view it.

2. recall to deactivate previous accounts

If it's possible that an old account was created without being maintained or inspected, remember to delete it. Whether the account was created for a school assignment or for fun with friends, if your child's name is associated with it, they could be held responsible for its contents.

3. evaluate how their social media profile represents them

Consider also how the content and information of your students portray them. Remember that social media only reflects a portion of your child's true identity and personality, so ensure that their social media CV accurately reflects who they are. Even jokes and images that your family and friends may think humorous may not be seen as such by an admissions committee.

4. highlight useful content

Consider working with your student to highlight beneficial content that a college admissions officer would find appealing in an applicant, despite the need for some cleanup. Social media could be an excellent platform for showcasing extracurricular activities such as athletics, community service, and more. For example, expressing an interest in specific interest groups or following their own high school and college social media profiles can demonstrate school spirit!

5. modify social networking privacy settings

The easiest option to restrict access to your student's social media accounts is to alter the account's privacy settings and/or make it private. Regardless of any privacy settings, remember that anyone who can view a student's post can take a screenshot of it, and the content can end up in other places where the public can view it. By updating the privacy settings on your student's Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram accounts, you will prevent colleges from viewing any of the content posted.

Social media accounts are merely one of the numerous elements colleges consider when evaluating the maturity and college preparation of candidates. At a virtual school like Connections Academy, kids acquire important life skills that help them prepare for college and life. Learn more about the essential skills that Connections Academy online high school students develop while they pursue their high school graduation.