Mobile Devices in College Admissions

Phones in College Admissions, Social Media in Admissions, Social Media in Ivy Admissions

Visiting a school’s Facebook page does not replace a campus visit. That’s ridiculous.

It will likely surprise nobody that more and more students are relying on mobile devices to decide which colleges interest them most, according to a survey conducted by student services and textbook provider Chegg. As reports Mary Stegmeir on the “Admitted” blog of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, an organization to which Ivy Coach is a member, “Data from a national survey show that handheld devices, such as phones or tablets, are the primary college search tool for roughly one-third of high school students.” That’s quite a high percentage of students, we’d say!

Stegmeir also reports, based on the Chegg survey, that approximately 40% of college applicants report relying on social media in deciding which college to attend. We find this rather silly. A student can’t get the feel of an institution based off a school’s Facebook page. They’ve got to visit. They’ve got to smile at students and see if they smile back. They’ve got to eat in the dining hall, sit in on a class, and ask students what they like — or don’t like — about the institution. You just can’t get all that from a school’s Twitter feed. Sorry, Twitter.

And with respect to colleges wooing applicants to apply and attend if admitted, the same survey reports that 90% of students want their communications from colleges to be specifically tailored to them. So needy! We kid, we kid. But it’s something we’ve been saying for years…when admissions officers write handwritten notes on their offers of admission, notes that cite thoughts expressed in college admissions essays (our students at Ivy Coach get these a lot), it can really inspire a student to fall in love with the school. Even more so than the school’s Facebook page.

Are you a high school student relying on social media to decide which college to attend? Are you using your mobile devices to explore campus life? That’s all well and good but have you thought about actually visiting these campuses in person? If not, we suggest you do.


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