3 Social Media Sites to Research a College

Finding the right college is tough.  Admissions offices can flood your mailbox and inbox with leaflets saying that they are the best in their field, the biggest on the East Coast, or the smallest in the world.  But really, how do you know that this school is for you?

Do your research!

Of course, you’re going to start with friends and family.  You’ll get a list of school names and a geographical area that you are interested in.  But then, it’s time to get a deeper look into these schools and social media is the looking glass that you need.  Besides Facebook, these social media sites can help students research colleges and discover what life is really like on a university campus.

LinkedIn University Pages

This month, LinkedIn made a monster move.  It dropped its age of consent to fourteen, basically declaring itself as THE site for high school teens.  Coupling with that, LinkedIn has begun to roll out so-called “University Pages”.  Admins from these schools can post and engage with potential students here.  You can now ask questions, follow discussions, and save articles about potential colleges.  But the real benefit is the data.  LinkedIn crunches the numbers, showing statics about alumni such as career fields, companies they’ve worked for, and the most popular degrees offered by the college.

Youtube Channels

Like Twitter and Instagram, Youtube’s search engine can be a potential college student’s best friend.  Type in your prospective school and see what they’ve posted about life at these colleges.  Watch official videos produced by the school but check out those made by student organizations, alumni, and associated groups.  These clips will give great insight into the school’s culture and if they are technologically hip.  When you are wading through the lists of videos, take some time to research dorm life, class buildings and geographic locations.

Blogs

Many schools use blogs or other forms of online publications to spread the word about their colleges and programs.  Nyack College is one example of a small New York school showcasing life on campus by hiring student bloggers to write about what truly matters to them.  Read recent articles or search for the most popular.  You can learn a lot about the students and their studies by reading about their day-to-day lives.  A good university blog will include candid pictures–not iStock or Google images–that show you just what life is like at their school.

For high school seniors, the fall can be a time of wondering: what school am I going to?  Which college should I attend?  What university offers a degree that I want?  But future graduates should realize that many of these answers are available on their smartphones and iPad minis.  Create a folder for potential schools and start saving photos, video, testimonials, and dynamic statistics.  Happy hunting!

Do you have another tip or question?  Feel free to leave a comment or message me via Twitter or Facebook.

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