7 Tips for Using Social Media to Choose a Great College
By Lior Levin
Before the advent of the Internet, it was often difficult to find in-depth information about what college life was really like for students. Of course, it was easy enough to ask the college for a curriculum guide. Students could find out about the acceptance rates, the number of students at that school and other boring academic information, but this didn’t always give students sufficient information to make an informed decision.
It was left to the student to actually visit the school and speak to other students or graduates to learn a little more about the actual reality of life at that school. Questions like what the food is like, or what the weather might be like, or even the nightlife, student accommodation and parking situation. These things count to a student considering spending four years of life somewhere away from home.
These days the Internet makes it much easier to find the right college to suit any student’s needs. Social media sites now give students access to speaking with previous students of a particular school to learn about student life, the college in general, or even learn more about available accommodation nearby.
So here are the top 7 ways to use social media to find the ideal college:
YouTube has a very helpful Education section that is a great option for students wanting to see videos from various universities, colleges and schools. It’s easy enough to search for interviews with current and previous students of that school, various amenities around campus, and even videos of actual lectures from classes.
This is an extremely cost effective way to get a real view of what life is like within a particular college you’re considering, as you won’t need to worry about the potentially high costs of traveling to a school some distance away.
College Prowler is a college reviews site written by students specifically to help out new or potential students. Search for only the aspects that interest you, or cross-reference your selections with tuition costs and surrounding amenities. This is a great way to compare options.
There are almost 7,000 schools listed and ranked according to various parameters, plus thousands of reviews and student editorials for each. Some of the ranking parameters include academics, campus housing, nightlife, diversity, campus dining and more. It should be much easier to narrow down your choices and come up with the ideal school to suit any student at all.
Communiversity is a social media site dedicated to allowing students to share their experiences of campus life for the benefit of others. Students are encouraged to enter photos and videos along with textual accounts of their school lives.
The site is set up using a familiar ‘Wiki’ format, so most students should find it very easy to get around and find exactly the information they’re searching for. It’s also very easy for past students to log in and edit existing entries, add more in-depth information or correct any incorrect entries.
The University Review is a very useful review site that allows students to rate and rank various schools across 10 different categories. Some of the categories include academics, campus & facilities, dining, housing, parties & nightlife, Greek life and more.
There is also an option for students to comment about the school using a ‘Pro’ or ‘Con’ commenting style. Users can opt to leave a positive, negative or neutral comment that allows the database to come up with a rank and a score for that particular school.
StuVu is another site featuring college campus reviews written and submitted by students. Where this site stands out above the rest is the attention to detail.
The site allows users to view at a glance the actual stats for graduates, financial costs, programs or majors, enrollment numbers and level of financial aid received by current students. A separate tab shows reviews submitted by college students at that school, but it’s the video section that really helps a potential freshman to understand far more about campus life.
Campus Buddy is a social media site that allows high school students to connect with current college students at schools they have an interest in. The site uses an extension of Facebook to connect students together.
Students are encouraged to link a Facebook account to the various colleges they’re interested in. Once this is done, it’s quite easy to visit the pertinent pages for each of the schools being considered and view rankings and reviews from current college students.
Unigo is another site dedicated to student reviews and ratings for various colleges around the country. Designed to make it easier for future freshmen students to make an easier decision about which schools to consider, the site covers quite a lot more than most others in terms of ranking categories.
For example: along with most other sites of its kind, Unigo offers reviews on academics, campus life, night life, tuition costs and other aspects you’d expect to find. What makes it stand out is that it also includes reviews on aspects of college life not often talked about, such as the drug and alcohol culture at that school, any political activity and how accessible various professors are.