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More students turning to social media in college search

Thursday, September 05, 2013

There is no doubt that social media Web sites have transformed many aspects of everyday life. With regards to the college search process, these Web sites are proving invaluable to students. According to a recent report published by higher education consulting firm Art & Science Group, many students who are preparing for college are using social media to gather information about potential choices.

Changing trends
The Art & Science Group first conducted its StudentPOLL study in 2008, and found that just 18 percent of college-bound students used social media Web sites to find out more about colleges that interested them. Today, however, the landscape of social media has changed significantly, and many more young people are turning to social media platforms during their college search. Approximately 44 percent of students polled indicated they had used a social media Web site to learn more about prospective colleges, indicating a major shift in how students seek out information about these schools.

However, while more students are using social media to find a school, the online presence of a college on a social media Web site ultimately had little effect on whether a student was likely to apply to that school. Around half of students responded that learning more about a school through its social media profiles had any bearing on their likelihood of filling out a college application for that school.

The right tool for the job
Although social media is becoming increasingly important to many students who are preparing for college, more traditional methods of research are still popular. The study found that many students still placed greater value on the information contained within a school's official Web site than its social media profile, and visits to high schools by college admissions representatives were also found to be very useful. In fact, few students found information gained through social media Web sites to be important to their ultimate decision.

The results of the report suggest that students are using increasingly diverse sources of information when searching for a college. However, with so few students relying solely on this type of information, it goes to show that campus visits, college fairs and other more traditional means of research are still crucial for prospective students. - helping you find colleges and universities that offer the accredited programs that most interest you.

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More students turning to social media in college search
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