How to Turn Facebook into your College Admissions Advantage

Dear College Made Simple reader,

The march of technology has helped college applicants immensely.

Whether you’re studying for admissions tests along with others from around the globe… or applying to bunches of colleges with the click of a mouse… or dissecting essays on forums with other applicants, the convenience and tools of the modern world have made applying to colleges a simpler, easier task.

But, there’s a dark side as well. While it’s easier for you to investigate colleges, tests, and applications, it’s also easier for colleges to investigate you!

Today, you need to focus not only on your application, but your online presence. According to a Kaplan study, an estimated 24% of all admissions officers actively check Facebook pages when judging applicants. For 38% of the applicants, admissions counselors surveyed indicate that their Facbook profile hurt their admissions chances.

Here’s how to put your best Facebook foot forward.

– Scott

Turn Facebook into a College Application Asset

1. View your public profile. 

On Facebook, there’s an option to look at your page through the lens of different users. Take advantage. See what friends-of-friends see. Find out what anyone who’s online could find if they searched your name on Facebook.

2: Change profile settings to limit what college admissions counselors can see. When that’s out of the way, start highlighting your best points. For example, if you’ve done volunteer work, show a photo. Also list your extracurriculars in your activities.

3. Use profile to evangelize supplement your college application.

Admissions officers will know what you’re doing outside school hours, but here’s a chance to show them WHY you’re doing it (other than to look good in applications).

#4. Optimize all online profiles

(Google+, Linkedin, MySpace, twitter) Google+ isn’t as big a worry, thanks to stringent privacy controls, but Twitter definitely can be dangerous.

Here’s what I mean by that — The default on Twitter is full public access. If you’ve made any questionable statements, you’ll want to hide them (or make your profile invite-only).

Other points to keep in mind: Flixster will often show anyone your photos unless otherwise specified. Foursquare can potentially show college investigators everywhere you’ve been.

As you know, today’s world is a connected one. Be smart about what you put online.

To your college admissions success,

Scott Weingold

Co-Founder, College Planning Network LLC

Publisher, – The free educational resource of College Planning Network


Related Articles:

Social Media and College Admissions

US News Education: College Admissions Officials Turn to Facebook to Research Students

Do Colleges Check Facebook?

Social Media and College Admissions




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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News,, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.