Right and Wrong Ways for College-bound Students to Use Social Media

social media

social media

Last week some students learned a lesson the hard way.   They had their acceptances from Harvard rescinded.   This means students who worked long and hard to get into a top Ivy League school – and were accepted – were disinvited.

Why were offers withdrawn?

They posted senseless, injudicious comments and memes on social media.   According to The Harvard Crimson, these students set up a private Facebook group chat and sent each other the most offensive things they could come up with, including messages joking about child abuse, the Holocaust, and specific ethic and racial groups.

Lessons to take away:

  1. Anything posted online is permanent. Who you are today, may not be someone you would like to be seen as tomorrow. Think not only about your current reputation, but also about the way you want to be perceived and remembered in the future. Also, even if you delete posted content, there is a possibility it can still be seen.  So, it’s best not to post questionable content in the first place.
  2. Anything posted online is NOT private.  No matter how “dark” you think your posts are, you risk the chance of someone taking a screenshot of it and reposting it elsewhere.  Also, privacy filters are constantly changing.
  3. Anything posted on social media should be acceptable for the world to see. This doesn’t mean you have to be boring or completely sanitized; it means don’t embarrass yourself or your family or be offensive to anyone.  Offensive includes “questionable language.” You can still be funny and interesting without offensive content.

While the Harvard incident was an extreme, college admissions officers ARE looking at social media to learn more about students who are applying.  Get caught posting the wrong things, and there will be no acceptance at all.

Use social media the right way and it can improve your chances of getting in.  Post content that shows positive characteristics like leadership, initiative, and diversity, as well as your interests and passions.  Post accomplishments including artwork, sports highlights, music, performances, community service, and more.

Need personal consulting on your online presence or any other aspect of college admissions?  Contact your college advisor at International College Counselors with any questions you have or contact us via phone at 954-414-9986 or by email at [email protected]

College advisors at International College Counselors are available to help you.


About International College Counselors

International College Counselors helps students find, apply to and gain acceptance into the college of their dreams. The expert educational consultants at International College Counselors are dedicated to helping students and their families successfully navigate the college application process.


Additional Resources

NEW!  International Admissions: How to get Accepted to U.S. Colleges by Mandee Heller Adler and Aimee Heller, International College Counselors