5 Ways to Clean Up Social Media for College Applications

5 min to read
A smiling teenager holding a notebook

Whether your student is in online school, traditional brick-and-mortar school, or home schooled, the college application process extends from grades to character. As your student begins the college application process, you may be wondering “What do colleges look for in applicants?” There are the usual and more tangible expectations of your student’s GPA, SAT/ACT test scores, and applicant essay. However, colleges and universities are also looking for well-rounded, engaged, and enthusiastic learners—for many institutions, character counts.

 In our social media-enthusiastic society, social pages have become a quick reference point for admissions teams to get a deeper look at applicants and their quality of character. While admissions officers are more concerned with transcripts and standardized test scores, your student’s digital presence provides another view into who they are as an individual and some content can be seen as red flags in college applications. 

How to Clean Up Your Social Media for College Applications

1. Review and Remove Certain Account Content

In general, it’s best to follow the rule “if it’s inappropriate, take it down.” Review posted and tagged photos, videos, and posts for everything from bad language to bad jokes and consider hiding it or taking it down. Consider, too, whether your child’s content can be interpreted or misconstrued as inappropriate and suggest they hide or delete the content to ensure it’s not visible to admissions officers.  

2. Remember to Deactivate Old Accounts

If there’s any chance an old account was opened and not maintained or reviewed, remember to deactivate it. Whether it was created as a school project or fun with friends, if your child’s name is tied to the account, they could be on the hook for its contents.   

3. Consider How Their Social Media Profile Portrays Them

Another important thing to consider is how your student’s content and information portrays them. Remember, social media only portrays a fraction of who your child really is and their personality, so make sure the message their social media resume is sending is aligned with who they are. Even jokes and photos your family and friends may find funny could be viewed differently by an admissions team. 

4. Showcase Helpful Content

While there is some cleaning up to do, consider working with your student to showcase helpful content that a college admissions officer might find attractive in an applicant. Social media could be a great space to showcase student extracurricular activities like sports, volunteering, and more. For example, demonstrating interest in special interest groups or following their own high school and college social accounts may help and demonstrate your student’s school spirit!  

5. You’ll Have an Opportunity to Graduate Early

Can you finish high school early online? The answer is yes. And that has a lot to do with all the previously mentioned advantages of online school. 

Thanks to flexible schedules, the ability to tailor your curriculum, and a supportive environment, online high school makes it possible for you to get ahead in your studies and complete the credits you need for graduation faster than the typical four years. 

Of course, to finish high school online early, you have to be committed to your studies and ready to use every resource that’s available to you. This makes it important to pick an online high school that offers all the support you’ll need to thrive. 

The good news is, once you find the right online school for you, transferring from your current school is easier than you might think. To learn more, check out our article on why it’s not too late to transfer to an online school. 

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