Admissions Counselors and Social Media: Are They Checking You Out?

There’s nothing like a well-curated ‘Gram, right? Gen Z is top dog in content creation. What those content monsters may not be as aware of though is, just like the parents and guidance counselors said, if those accounts are public, admissions officers are probably checking them out.

In a new survey conducted by Kaplan, more than a third of admissions counselors admitted to visiting applicants’ social media profiles (36%), like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. This figure is up from 2018 (25%) but again approaching the all-time high of 2015, when 40% of counselors said they check out profiles.

Out of the counselors who say they’ve visited profiles, 19% – one in five- say they do it “often.”

But it may not be all bad, and here’s why

Out of those counselors, 38% of them said their social media visits actually had a positive impact on their mindset and decisions. That number just squeaked past the 32% who said what they found made a negative impression.

It’s not a cut-and-dry game

Social media investigation or snooping (depending on your point-of-view) is controversial even among the counselors. 59% of them said visiting applicant profiles was “fair game” vs. 41% who said it was an invasion of student privacy.

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Are students actually OK?

Want the good news? Most of the “kids” are actually OK with it. In a separate Kaplan survey, 70% of students think their social media is “fair game” to anyone and everyone, including college officials.

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About ZeeMee

College admissions counselors will continue to wrestle with how and when social media figures into decisions. Our best advice?

If you have a public social media account, be honest. Don’t be fake. Just as you are honest in your essays and personal statements, let your social posts and stories reflect who you are. If you’re edgy, be edgy in your social media too. Any savvy admissions counselor is going to know a “scrubbed up” version of your IG when they see it.

Even better? Use an admissions-friendly social media platform like ZeeMee to show yourself off.

In the end, social isn’t going anywhere, and the internet lasts forever. Be real, know your privacy settings, and think about content in the long term.

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