Using Social Media in Your College Search

on May 17, 2016

Social media is a big part of everyday life. You use it to bond with friends, keep in touch with family, and even learn more about brands or products you like. So why shouldn’t your college search benefit from social media, too?

Checking out a university’s website and visiting campus are critical in helping you make a decision. But what you see there may not be a full representation of what day-to-day life in college is actually like. And what if you’re thinking about going across the country to school but can’t afford to visit in person? Open up your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, because it’s time to connect with the schools you’re considering.

Facebook’s been around for some time now, so it’s pretty likely your top schools all have a page with some useful information on it. A school’s profile will give you all sorts of valuable updates to help you decide if you want to apply:

  • Photos of campus so you can get a feel for the area.
  • Updates about clubs, groups, or other activities, which will help you get an idea of what campus life is like.
  • Information about upcoming events, like application deadlines, to help you stay on top of your application.
  • The opportunity to connect with other relevant pages, like a school’s Greek scene or sports pages, so you can check them out and see if you’d be interested in participating.


Sure, tweets are meant to be short and sweet. But that doesn’t mean following a few college Twitter accounts won’t be useful. Look out for the following showing up in your feed:

  • Updates about scholarships, departments or majors you’re considering.
  • Links to pages containing information about upcoming deadlines or university changes you’ll need to know about.
  • Live tweets giving updates on ongoing campus events, lectures, or seminars that could help you get a feel of the atmosphere at the school.
  • Updates about current events or newsworthy stories will give you an idea of how faculty and the student body feel about what’s going on in the world.

Snapshots are the perfect way to get an idea of what a campus is like, how active a student body is, and what people do in their spare time. Follow a school’s official Instagram page for some great shots, but don’t forget to search for student posts – see if anyone’s tagged a school in their posts or used a university-specific hashtag.

  • Student posts will give you a real view of the campus, as opposed to university website of brochure photos.
  • Photos from students also give you a better idea of daily life at a school – are there a lot of study sessions, parties, or off-campus trips? See if what’s being Instagrammed matches your interests.
  • University photos from events like graduations, campus events, or lectures will give you an idea of how active students are on campus and can make you feel like part of the school’s community.

Do you use social in your college search?

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