Colleges, sports recruiters evaluate students via internet presence
As students begin thinking about college opportunities, they may start to question colleges’ examination of their social media pages. According to College Raptor, they are.
Fresno Christian academic counselor Evangelina Tello believes it’s a good idea to make social media pages a portfolio as another source for an application. Tello claims the more community service students show, the more colleges take interest; she also makes additional recommendations on her College Corner column.
“It can be both good or bad, they want to see who you are as their future students,” Tello said. “So if you’re doing great things in the community that’s awesome. It’s great for the community you’re involved with, either on or off campus and making a huge impact wherever you go.”
Tello advises that it is never too early to begin the college process and start looking for a college which provides the most comfort.
“I stress that it is never too early to start the college planning,” Tello said. “Always make sure that you’re doing your homework or if you’re interested in a specific major that the school you want to get into provides that major. Also visit colleges so you kinda have an idea that you are going to leave home.”
In the following podcast, Kyler Garza interviews Evangelina Tello on social media’s affect on the college application process.
Oklahoma State football coach, Mike Gundy experienced the good and bad of social media. Gundy has seen many negative outcomes and advises his players to stay off of social media as much as possible. In an interview with USA Today, Gundy spoke on the relation between social media and sports.
“We have people on our football staff that track every one of our players,” Gundy said on USA Today. “Every one of our recruits and I remind our guys every week. I just tell our guys to stay off social media! Especially, if you can’t behave. I have three sons and I tell them the same things.”
Editor Scott Jaschik is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. He is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, among others.
In an April 23, 2019, article Social Media as ‘Fair Game’ in Admissions, Jaschik wrote that changing attitudes come at a time when social media posts have played key roles in several admissions controversies.
“The new survey of admissions officials’ opinions was conducted by Kaplan Test Prep,” Jaschik wrote. “It found that admissions officials at more than two-thirds of colleges (68 percent) say it’s “fair game” for them to review applicants’ social media profiles on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to help them decide who gets in. At the same time, less than a third of college admissions officials said they actually do what they say is fair game and check out applicants’ social media posts.”
The following Feather video by Austin Petersen shows some information about social media and tips to stay safe on platforms:
With more then 20 years of editorial and creative marketing writing experience, Common Sense Media’s parenting editor Caroline Knorr focuses on guiding parents in their child’s social networking experience. In an article on Medium, Knorr shares tips and information about how colleges judge social media accounts.
“For the most part, your social media should reflect who you really are,” Knorr said. “Maybe a slightly spiffier you. Make sure you don’t exaggerate your achievements. You probably won’t be happy at a college that chooses you based on a sanitized, highly curated version of you. But you should demonstrate that you’re aware that someone you want to impress is viewing.”
The Kaplan 2018 survey of college admissions officers found that almost 70% of admissions officers think looking at social media is “fair game” in the admissions process.
FC senior Esfan Behbehani plans on attending Sacramento State for business and management. Behbehani recommends to put social media profiles on private to hide anything out of the ordinary.
“Usually people don’t post stuff that they don’t want people to know about,” Behbehani said. “Unless you’re on their private. Same goes for getting a job they want to see you’re responsible and trustworthy.”
Judi Robinovitz, a Certified Educational Planner with 30 years of experience in education at the Score at the Top, believes that students need to use social media as a tool to leave a positive impact.
“My other advice to students is that when they’re on a college visit,” Robinovitz said, “snap pictures and post it on Twitter or Instagram and have something positive to say about the university.”
Sophomore David Tuck believes leaving a good impression on social media matters because it shows dignity. Tuck says it’s important to respect other people’s opinions, because there is always a disagreement to an opinion.
“I think in light of attending colleges,” Tuck said, “people should care what people post on social media. Social media shows a lot about the people we are on the inside and what we believe in; it shows what dignity we have, or lack thereof. It’s good to check what people see as important, and social media is the primary source for that.”
In the following tweet, Pew Research Journalism shows more than half of adults receive news from social media.
— Pew Research Journalism (@pewjournalism) October 26, 2019
Nine out of ten teens age 13-17 use social media platforms, and approximately 71% use more than one according to Act for our Youth.
Serena Selgado, a senior at Northwestern University, recalls she didn’t consider her social media presence during her application process. The anthropology and global health major claims she never really thought about it.
“In my opinion, what I put out there is what I put out there,” Selgado said; “if people don’t want to admit me because of it, then that’s their own issue. I’m very aware of what is and what isn’t problematic on social media. If something could be interpreted as problematic, then I’ll probably stay away from it.”
Named head coach of the Fresno State swim team in 2008, Jeanne Fleck uses social media as a way to see how students are doing. With social media as a major help for her coaching, she uses it to find potential recruits and sees it in both good and bad lights. Fleck shared how she uses social media to check on her players or possible recruits in an interview with Swim Swam.
“I use social media to show how our team is doing,” Fleck said. “I can see how our recruits are doing as well. We find out commitment decisions quicker than before. I think social media can be positive and negative.”
Fleck’s students hold each other accountable about the things they post or do outside of school to prevent any issues. She advises not to do anything out of the code of conduct because it could lead to explosion.
“If our kids see something that doesn’t mesh, they’ll let me know,” Fleck said. “If someone’s posting pictures of going to parties half nude, our athletes will say we don’t want them. When you’re in college, it gets really strict. If there’s a picture of you drinking, you can get called on the code of conduct right then and there.”
Tello has been quoted in recent articles dealing with college applications including Seniors: Applications, tests, deadlines. Oh my! and has published College Corner: UC & CSU application advice. Students also might read Campus discusses engagement, interaction with social media outlets for more information.
Kyler Garza can be reached via email.Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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