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Nov 15, 2016 08:30 AM EST

How Students Can Use Social Media to Research Target Colleges

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Youths normally use social media to maintain connections, share experiences, and speak out whatever is in their minds. Experts, on the other hand, suggest that it can be used for other beneficial things, such as learning more about a prospective college.

In an article in U.S. News, Varsity Tutors' Brian Witte says that social media can be a great tool for college-bound students if used correctly. It can help a college aspirant learn more about a target school, establish connections with school alumni, and even connect with a college's admission staff.

"Social media can be an excellent tool for research," he says.

Here are some ways social media can be used to research colleges, according to Witte.

Go beyond the obvious accounts

Schools have their own social media accounts, and college-bound students can search for them to find out more about a certain school. Witte recommends checking more than just a school's primary or main social media account.

"Schools are well aware of the importance of social media," he says. "As a result, colleges and universities devote time and money to developing their online presence."

Witte notes that while a university has a main account, it will likely have sub accounts for departments or programs. Some academic and non-academic offices, such as admissions office, have their own social media accounts, and it would be best to check them out.

Follow more of the college's networks

In researching about a college, Witte also recommends checking out how people, organizations, and other interesting things are doing in a certain college.

College-bound students can look for professors that teach interesting classes, evaluate how open certain programs and professors are, and even see if there's active enthusiasm for certain clubs and other interesting activities in any school.

Go beyond what's common

Witte also recommends going beyond common social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and advises students to also investigate a school's LinkedIn account, forums about schools at Reddit, and even check for school-uploaded videos on YouTube.

Experts also advise working on creating a good LinkedIn profile to add as a credential to college applications.

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