There are many things to consider when choosing a college. What’s the average SAT score or A-Level grades of the university’s student body? In what ways does the school help students prepare for their careers? How well is its alumni community doing? Facts and numbers are plenty, but this means you have to sieve through the many options out there.
But where do you go to look for this information? In 2019, you go to social media.
Years ago, you would probably look at brochures that cram everything into a folded piece of paper. You’d look through programme books thick enough to be textbooks, hear from a guidance counselor at school, or a sales person pitching at a college fair.
Today, all the above can be found on the school’s website. Still, this usually only conveys what the institution can offer at the surface level. It’s incomplete and after comparing dozens of engineering courses, they all start to sound the same. College is more than just the sum of credit hours, meal plans and the employment rates of ex-students. Rankings, ratings and brands are important, but there are more meaningful assessments to be made.
This refers to how you feel, whether you’ll fit in and whether the school’s personality matches your vibe. And to do all these, you can browse the school’s social media accounts.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube – these are the platforms colleges and universities now use to build their reputation. Here’s a quick guide on how to use each social media platform:
Facebook is best for student testimonials, both current and former. Through these interviews, students usually share their reasons for attending that particular school, what the campus community vibe is like, as well as what opportunities are available.
Want to know what a typical day for a student is like? From campus life to university clubs and classroom structures, check out the videos posted by these universities of their behind-the-scenes action. Sometimes, programme leaders and administration also highlight their course details via video interviews.
Many universities now have social media ambassadors, usually the most vivacious of their current student crop. Their task is to regularly post about class, studying, dorm life, campus events, school trips, adventures, the list goes on! Look out for their unique hashtags to get a complete view of things too.
In everyday English, why buy meat which has to be ‘cleaned up’ by chlorine? Not just chicken but other foods from the USA: https://t.co/XXCDGXYBwU No-one thinks EU is perfect but if the UK sells out on food standards, this would not be ‘taking back control’ but ceding it. https://t.co/rZrrHo21Bk
— Professor Tim Lang (@ProfTimLang) March 2, 2019
To know the types of mentors you’ll get at a particular university, Twitter is the place to be. This is where university leaders, including deans and faculty members, discuss trending events in academia with fellow thought leaders. It’s also a good place to meet your future faculty members and ask them any questions you have!