It's college-tour season, and everyone is a reviewer on Twitter:
— Hayden T. Balduf (@HBalduf) October 15, 2014
Just witnessed the worst guided tour of Messiah College, all that was said in a few minute time span was "that is our green house"
— William Wical (@willwical) October 13, 2014
k so my college tour guide for UCSB was kind of like....the biggest babe ever to exist pic.twitter.com/quXGFrmxbR
— abbey (@AbbeyxBlanford) June 24, 2014
Be it bad or babealicious, college admissions officers are paying attention to all that sharing.
"Institutions of higher education are most definitely reviewing that to find out how they are being evaluated," says Jeff Fuller, director of student recruitment for the University of Houston and President of the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
Fuller says if a kid has a bad experience on campus, an engaged admissions officer can respond fast; before a nasty tweet dings a school’s reputation.
"More and more colleges are hiring folks to manage their social media to make sure they remain current in what’s being discussed," Fuller says.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s admissions office has a small army working on social media.
"We have two blogs, we have multiple Facebook accounts, we have a Twitter account, we have an Instagram account," says Ashley Memory, an assistant director of admissions.
There are three admissions officers and as many as four paid interns managing and creating content for those accounts.
Memory says there is a little risk involved in having all these open forums—There will always be disappointed applicants.
More often than not, she says, negative comments are neutralized by the broader community of current UNC students or alumni.
The main job of college admissions officers on social media is to communicate with potential students. First, they try to convince them to apply to their school. Then, if they are accepted, they convince them to attend.
Part of that job involves answering a lot of basic questions.
"Before they may have just picked up the phone and called our office, or may have sent our office an email, or they may have sought out the answer for themselves online," says Gabe Santi, from the admission office at Michigan State University. "Now, they may just post the question on Facebook or tweet at us."
Can Michigan State tell me if I got accepted or not already #impatient
— sophia. (@samm_jamm) October 20, 2014
@samm_jamm Thanks for your patience!
— MSU Admissions (@msu_admissions) October 20, 2014
“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VABEFORE YOU GO