Essay about Five Important Things about Going to College

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The admission process to a college is a stressful process to go through, with many factors to consider and think about such as submitting high school transcripts, exam scores, essays, and partaking in interviews. With technology becoming increasingly more advanced every day, more information is available for others to see. Once reaching the internet, items posted including Instagram posts and uploaded TikTok videos are never erased even if deleted. Many posts, comments, and tweets, whether they be good or bad, are always traceable and can be found at any point in time. Social networking sites can uncover positive information about those applying such as volunteer work and filter out those with unwanted behavior such as the use of foul language and smoking. Admissions officers should read college applicants’ social media pages to ensure those applying are carefully selected when choosing between candidates.

Ensuring those applying to various college institutions and universities are carefully selected verifies those accepted are not a hazard to themselves or others and are respectful regarding mental and physical health concerns. A good candidate would be considered one who is not a threat to themselves or any others, someone who partakes in extracurricular activities outside of school or work and demonstrates good values including upstanding integrity, and respect. This prioritizes the safety and well-being of those in attendance at universities and institutions. Researchers and writers list the large scale of universities and institutions that use media and social networking sites to screen potential candidates. This goes to show that this is an important issue because it is a high percentage rate and therefore has an impact on a large number of people regarding college applications.

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This is also important due to the people that may be affected by their unfiltered behavior. A 26-question survey sent out to a medical school revealed that social networking websites will affect the selection of medical students and residents admitted into a school, and socially acceptable behavior on these websites and apps may help applicants avoid bias in the selection process due to unwanted behavior (Schulman et al.). People may be completely unaware that their behavior on social media can impact their chances of acceptance by admissions officers. Understanding how much impact social media has on your chances of admission will allow you to avoid as much bias as possible during this time. Universities and colleges are using social media to research prospective students. A longitudinal study on the usage of social media by college admissions offices was conducted by The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research from 2007 to 2008 (Mattson and Barnes). This study shows as social media is becoming more popular more institutions are using social media increasingly to view the behavior of potential students. Institutions are using social networking sites to not only promote their university on social media but screen applicants as well. A report published in 2007, during the early rise of social media, showed that 61 percent of college admission offices used social media to screen applicants and attribute the increase in applicants to social media promotion and screening (Turner). Due to this information, it is not unreasonable to say social media is a key factor in screening applicants and that admissions officers are increasingly doing so to promote their universities with those who best fit their standards.

While social media is important in the college application process, it is nothing to stress about as the majority of the time it can only help you as opposed to hurt you. Something that would hurt one more than an admissions officer viewing their social media would be not taking a college tour as it is “the most important aspect” of the college application and enrollment process (Secore). As the college admission process is becoming ever so competitive not visiting a university of one's choice would do more harm than one's social media being viewed by an admissions officer. Social networking sites allow positive information about oneself to be shared and let the enrollment team feel like they have a better connection with the candidate being viewed. This is opposed to negative information being revealed which has a lower chance of taking place and would do less damage. Social media can be such a helpful tool when trying to get admitted into a university that it can get very competitive. There have been tips provided on how to “enhance the success” of one's social media pages to compete with the competitiveness of the application process including making one's social networking site welcoming, happy, and fun (Hayes et al.).

Shauntel Hall, an associate with Georgia Southern University, states the advantages of social media. She exclaims social media is a “tool” and “strategy” that can help applicants succeed further in their application process (Hall). Hall further supports the claim admissions officers should read college candidates' social media pages by her research. The research done to support the advantages of screening applicants using social media was concluded by examining how higher education institutions in the University System of Georgia are utilizing social media (Hall). Thus showing social media is important in regards to admission officers when looking at applicants and can help many students when applying to colleges.

While it has been stated that there are several advantages to using social media to look further into a candidate's life, there is a high number of college admissions officers using social media that emphasizes this point. Many adults in high-status positions are using social media to uncover more information about prospective students. “More than a third of the nearly 300 college admissions officers surveyed by the Kaplan Test Prep company say they have visited sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to get more information about a prospective student” (Klein). Due to the high numbers of adults using social media as a way of screening college candidates, it is clear that social media plays an important role in the decision-making process.

There is a higher percentage of social media helping one's admission chances as opposed to social media hurting one's admission chances. Admissions officers, 37.9 percent, say they found something in an applicant’s social media profile that helped the prospective student’s cause, compared to 32.3 percent who say they found something that hurt an applicant (Klein). This will ensure those applying are carefully selected when choosing between candidates. Adults seeing volunteer work, awards, and performances will have a positive outlook on the applicant versus seeing behavior such as drinking, smoking, or foul language (Klein). While these numbers are not too far off numerically, there is still a great difference as the positive outweighs the negative implications of using social media as a way of screening candidates.

Colleges choose to use social media to provide further insight into applicants that otherwise may not be possible to find. Sandvig, an affiliate with numerous database publications, lists the advantages of admissions officers of colleges doing so as well as the possible negative outcomes as well based on their findings. Sandvig states findings that admissions officers screen applicants using social media to ensure they accept the applicants that best fit their college and the standards of beliefs that go along with the college (Sandvig). Based on this article it is clear to see that researchers are not only looking at the positive outcomes of admissions officers reading college applicants’ social media pages to ensure applicants are carefully selected when choosing between other applicants but the negative possible outcomes as well. There are negative implications on one's chance of admission based upon an admissions officer viewing unwanted behavior on social media which can result in denying an applicant admission to a certain school. Due to this, people applying to college should be conscious of what they post on social media because admission officers could see something they don’t agree with and they can deny admission. However, the positive impacts of doing so, looking at social media, outweigh the possible negative implications.

Social media is an important factor in the college admissions process and is a very popular tool used by many adults in higher positions of power regarding academics. Information that proves and places further emphasis on this point is research conducted by Corie Martin who used “Hossler and Gallagher’s Three Phase Model of Student College Choice, specifically the second of the three phases, the search phase, to explore student connectivity with institutions during their college choice process” (Martin). Institutions place a high value on social media during the admissions process, regardless of the size or location of the school. This study also concludes higher education social media administrators and admissions leaders may use this information to make more informed strategic decisions about communication with prospective and admitted students (Martin). Due to the research that directly links social media to the importance of college institutions and their acceptance, it is clear that social media should be viewed to ensure those applying are carefully selected when choosing between candidates.

While many institutions and universities will not openly state social networking sites are used to view people's past and present life actions, the Canadian Medical Education Journal illustrates various information regarding research surrounding social networking use. Conducted through a series of phone interviews, researchers used admissions deans and nominated admissions personnel as a base for their findings. A qualitative descriptive analysis was performed using iterative coding and comparing, and grouping data into themes (Law et al.). Admissions officers at universities did not openly report using social media alone to screen all applicants; however, several did admit to looking at social media to follow up on preliminary indications of misbehavior (Law et al.). Even when not stated, social networking sites are used positively to ensure the behavior of prospective students and to ensure misbehavior is avoided as much as possible.

However, the benefits of admission officers using social media to screen prospective students and ensure the best candidates are selected are highly arguable among various people such as prospective students and researchers. Some claim that going through one's social media and determining acceptance based upon that is a violation of privacy and wrongful use of social media. V?t?m? Ionescu and Constantin, two colleagues who work together with the College of Management National University of Political Studies and Public Administration and Bucharest University of Economic Studies in Romania, claim social networks allow individuals to continuously create and model their self-presentations and representations (V?t?m? Ionescu and Constantin). Signing up for social media as well as networking sites gives allowance to college admissions officers along with anyone else to view the interests, preferences, goals, and expectations of those they choose to view. Their examination of Facebook as a social networking site used to ensure those applying are carefully selected when choosing between candidates concludes graduate managers should possess some key characteristics that may be anticipated based on their Facebook profile cues (V?t?m? Ionescu and Constantin). It is clear that although some may believe using social media to screen applicants is a wrongful use of such social networking sites, using the sites in this way is perfectly acceptable since it is available for everyone to see and that is known from the minute one signs up on a social networking site.

This debate can also be seen in research when stating the questionable legality of admissions officers using social media as a way of screening applicants. Authors, Porter and Levy, list the little legal guidance on whether or how institutions can consider social media in the admissions process (Porter and Levy). Due to the contrasting information on the aspect of the legalities when using social media as a way of screening applicants, there are several difficulties regarding social media as being a platform where you agree to let people see what you post although you do not necessarily agree for admissions officers to use it as a way to screen you as an applicant. Although one may not be granting permission for admissions officers to view their social media profiles, when one signs up for any social networking sites you are allowing anyone to view one's profile and anything that you post. Therefore it is not an evasion of privacy and anyone is allowed to view what one posts regardless of permission and admissions officers should do so when screening potential candidates.

Deva Wells, an author of informative research regarding social media in correlation to college candidates, explores admissions officers using the popularity of social media to their advantage. An online survey conducted concludes that 19% to 31% of collegiate admissions officers currently vet applicants through online searches (Wells). Wells specifically uses medical schools to see how institutional adults higher up view the use of social media as a way of screening candidates. Through this detailed research, it is found that “A majority of medical school admissions officers and program directors may believe that searches of applicants on social networking sites (SNS) do not constitute violations of applicants' privacy” (Wells). Through the various statistical information, it is clear with the number of admissions officers who currently vet applicants through online searches, it is important to know what is being posted online as comments and pictures that show strengths and achievements can help improve one's chances of acceptance into their college of choice.

Several researchers, and writers, as well as others, claim using social media is unfair to base acceptance or sway acceptance chances when applying to institutions or universities. There have also been researchers such as V?t?m? Ionescu and Constantin wrote a whole article talking about how signing up for social media as well as networking sites gives allowance to college admissions officers along with anyone else to view the posts, comments, or anything else of those they choose to view even though there are little legal rules for such doings (V?t?m? Ionescu and Constantin). Even with this being stated, social networking sites can uncover positive information about those applying such as volunteer work, and ensure those applying to various college institutions and universities are carefully selected (Klein). It verifies those accepted are not a hazard to themselves or others and are respectful regarding mental and physical health concerns. Despite the argument of legality and negative implications, it is clear that admissions officers should read college applicants’ social media pages to ensure those applying are carefully selected when choosing between candidates. In addition, “More than a third of the nearly 300 college admissions officers surveyed by the Kaplan Test Prep company say they have visited sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to get more information about a prospective student” (Klein). All of this information highlights the importance of this issue and shows that this is something that occurs often and has many possible positive effects that could result from admissions officers using social media as a way to screen applicants and ensure those who are accepted fit the standards of the school they are looking to enroll in.

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Essay about Five Important Things about Going to College. (2024, February 23). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-about-five-important-things-about-going-to-college/
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