Social media has redefined college recruitment
- In 2015, more than 40% of college admissions officers said that they used the social media profiles of prospective students for recruitment research, a nearly 400% increase from similar efforts gathered in a 2008 survey and signs of an evolving trend in the world of competing for enrollment success.
- Many admission officers use the profiles as a verification method for academic achievement, criminal background, or to see patterns of potential behavior that may not fit with a specific campus environment.
- More than 30% of admissions officers reported that information found on the profiles, positive or negative, impacted their admission decisions on potential students.
While social media review adds an additional layer of selectivity for student admissions, it can also provide an analytical view of specific services or interests that may engage a student upon their arrival to campus. If admissions officers have the resources to cultivate the information, and to use it in building outreach profiles for the first-year experience, the results may lead to students more quickly identifying majors, finding clubs and organizations to join, and seeking out professional development opportunities.
Admissions officials should work closely with academic affairs divisions to deliver reports on these students' interests and accomplishments, with recommendations on how they can be best engaged during onboarding or orientation processes.