Social Media and Scholarships: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Come scholarship application time, social media has its pros and cons.
Do you use social media? Are you applying for scholarships?
If so, ensure your social media is free of any kinds of posts or pictures that could negatively affect your ability to get a scholarship. Although many scholarship judges don't check the profiles of scholarship applicants, some might. This is especially true if it's a top award, or an award offered by a charity or a community group.
The same concept applies when seeking references for a scholarship application. Remember, when you ask someone for a reference, you're asking them to vouch for you — for your character as well as your abilities. They are putting their reputation on the line to help you reach your goal, so be respectful of that.
If you're seeking scholarships — or admission to a competitive degree program — do a social media audit and clean up anything questionable on all of your accounts. It's okay to post fun pictures of you and your friends. But as you go through your posts, you'll probably recognize the difference between what's fine and what's questionable. If it's questionable, remove it.
Now, on the flip side, your social media presence can also be used for good! For example, if you're attending a leadership training camp, or a fundraising event, share it on your social media channels. Share your interest in your hobbies and activities. Show the world the wonderful things you're doing to improve yourself and your community!
By using social media positively, you just might get the advantage on your scholarship applications.
Janet MacDonald is a former university admissions officer who helps high school students and parents to find and prepare university scholarships through her company, MycampusGPS.ca. She offers one-to-one scholarship consulting for high school students, and scholarship essay writing workshops. Janet's blog is one of the top education blogs in Canada.