Stating the obvious, technology is pervasive. Just as in every industry, the internet changed the landscape of college admission. In addition to slick websites, most colleges now have Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and blogs. I caution you to remember that all these social networks are components of the college’s marketing plan. Their goal is to garner as many applicants as possible, so it’s important that you remember you are being marketed to in the same way all consumer products are promoted. Their end game is to hook you and reel you in. A college’s Facebook, Twitter and BlogSpot can be helpful for observing the school’s culture through photos and comments the students and administrators post; however they can also be ripe with misinformation. This is a good time to point out that social media cuts both ways. Just as you are now able to view online information about a college, the admissions staff can view information about you via the same avenues. This would be an excellent time to “clean house” on your own social media accounts. Insure that the content of your account is indicative of the person you want to present to an admissions officer. Do I sound like your mother? Well, your mother is right!
Speaking of technology, many excellent colleges are beginning to promote online degree programs giving students the opportunity to attend college virtually. Though still in the incubation stage, I see this as a significant change on the horizon. I still firmly believe in the concept of attending college in situ. There are so many components inherent in earning a college degree, and many of the intangibles involve the community aspect of your experience. If you are able to afford a college experience, I encourage you to jump in and embrace the entire adventure.
Speaking of affording, a quick word here about the price of a college degree, which has increased significantly over the past 25 years. Schools provide more merit aid than need-based aid. The Complete Candidate ™ will help you determine your estimated financial contribution and identify school-sponsored scholarships. My website, www.themaulerinsitute.com has an extensive database of scholarships and is a good place to begin your research.