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Be Nice! (Part 2) It All Counts, Even on Facebook

In a past blog post I wrote about making sure to be nice to those you interact with on a college campus as you never know what will get back to the admissions committee. For this week’s post I wanted to explore the idea of “being nice” on a college’s social media platform.

High school students today are very comfortable with Facebook, sometimes a little too comfortable. They are used to posting things, sometimes nice and sometimes not, on their friends’ wall. So, what happens when they post those not so nice things on a college’s Facebook wall?

Well, they get talked about.

This past week I had a discussion with one of my former colleagues from the University of Colorado Boulder who runs the social media for their admissions office. I had noticed on CU’s admissions Facebook page that a few students had written, and posted, some negative remarks about the admissions counselors. The students who posted were frustrated that they didn’t have a decision yet and chose to write some very harsh words. The admissions staff member told me how she shared their posts with the admissions counselors reading their applications and asked them to call the students personally.

A few thoughts…

1)People actually read your posts. It is not only student interns who maintain these pages but actually admissions staff in many cases. Think about the consequences that could present themselves before you post something negative.

2) Make sure you have all the correct information before going public with a statement or accusation. For instance, one of the students complaining about not having received a decision from CU by the posted deadline was actually a transfer student. The deadline posted was only applicable to freshman applicants. So, this student made accusatory statements before double checking the information.

3) Don’t brag about another offer from a college. One student on the Facebook page actually complained that they hadn’t received a decision from CU yet but they had from another college. And a scholarship. So, this begs the question-why would CU want to save a spot, or scholarship money, for this student if they know they already have a good alternative? Clearly, this student wants to go to CU or they wouldn’t be repeatedly asking for a decision.

4) If you have a real issue, call the admissions office. Facebook is a great forum for discussion, quick questions, sharing pictures, updates, etc. However, if you have a real issue or problem I recommend taking it right to the source instead of posting it in a public format. Sometimes the answer may be too long for a wall post. Just call the admissions office directly.

5) Once you “like” a page or post on a college’s wall remember that the college may then choose to look at your profile. If you have pictures or posts you don’t want those admissions counselors to see consider cleaning up your profile.

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