Posts Tagged ‘college application process’

Facebook Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts for College-Bound Students

cappex facebookThe boundaries of social networking can be a bit murky. While networks like Facebook are meant to help you connect with people, should you really be open to showcasing your after-the-bell-rings life with teachers and college admissions?

As of August 28 in Missouri, the answer “is no.” The Missouri Senate Bill 54 will make it illegal for teachers and students to “friend” or accept friend requests on the network.

But what about college admissions? More and more often admissions people are looking up your online footprint, and the most powerful and frequent gems they find are photos. You’d be surprised how a photo on Facebook or MySpace or Flickr or that new network the kid genius across the street is programming can find its way through the annals of the Internet, and somehow wind up re-purposed and posted to a blog called something you don’t want associated with your name.

We know Facebook is a big part of your life, and people will post pictures of you, and you’ll post pictures of you, so just try to stick to Cappex’s Facebook etiquette Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook for college-bound students:

Don’t:

Indicate any illegal activity
So your friend who goes by BBQ because, in his own words, he ‘”loves BBQ,” had a hook up with some fake ID peeps on the other side of town and got you one. To celebrate, you had an actual BBQ and BBQ bought the beers, and Jenny, who has no filter, took a million bazillion photos of your 17 year old self drinking and posted it immediately to Facebook with the caption “Look at how much fun we can have now!!!”

This is wrong on so many levels. First off, be safe and smart. Second, if those photos wind up under the critical eye of an admissions officer, good luck. There are easy ways to stay out of situations like these: A. Update your Facebook privacy settings B. Don’t take BBQ’s advice. Seriously, we don’t want to bore you with advice that your parents and teachers have probably told you a million times over, but make smart choices. Avoid stupid things and you won’t get stupid pictures online.

Expose too much skin
Perhaps P90x has been doing glorious things for your abs, but capturing your newly toned muscles and posting it to Facebook might not make the kind of impression you want.  When you think of college admissions do the words “scantily clothed” come to mind? No. No they don’t. Think of it this way: Academia is about expanding the mind, not showing an inappropriate amount of flesh. Dress to impress. Or, at least keep your clothes on.

Parade your PDA
Love is a beautiful thing. From the inside. From the outside, it’s kinda annoying to watch. Keep your kisses off the Internet for the sake of humans as well as for your chances of getting into your dream school. It’s not simply that your public display of affection is annoying to watch, it’s also that a lot of PDA photos can show admissions people your lack of judgment on what you choose to display about yourself not just fleetingly in public, but permanently online.

Be overly negative
Nobody likes a sourpuss. Having pictures with negative comments about other people or ideas just shines more brightly on your intolerance. College life is about expanding your worldview, so too much negativity in your photos might dissuade admissions counselors from rooting for you.

Do’s:

Post accomplishments
Humbly displaying the pictures that your mom took of you accepting the award for Student of the Year is a great thing for an admissions person to stumble upon. It could really bring to life that little line in your application where you wrote “Student of the Year”.

Share your travels
Your backpacking trip through Europe demonstrates how you’re an explorer and student of the world. The fact that you’ve traveled illustrates to admissions officers that you are open to new experiences and ideas.

Display your passions
Just like travel photos, photos of your paintings, dancing, acting, athletics or musical ability adds to your application by showing you as a well-rounded, passionate student. Any activity takes time and practice–both of which are great qualities in a student.

Show your service
A picture of the before and after of that house you helped construct for a family in need or you canning for a good cause illustrates that you are willing to give your time to others in need.

So those are the Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook etiquette for college-bound students. But just keep in mind, you don’t need photos of yourself doing good things, winning awards, or walking across the Great Wall of China to get into college. This is just advice for those who are stuck on having pictures online that people, such as admissions counselors, could come across.  If you want to be 100% sure that a college is making a choice about you based on your application and your application alone, clean up your online footprint.

What’s your experience with Facebook and applying to colleges? Share your feedback and thoughts by leaving a comment below.

A Midsummer Night’s College Checklist

Categories: Admissions Advice

checkBox

How now, college-bound spirit! Whither wander you?  -Mostly Shakespeare with a little bit of Cappex

Hark! Midsummer is here,
July’s halfway through.
A new school year’s so near,
so many things to do.

The college search ignites fears,
from now till you’re in.
So prop up your ears,
Cappex gives you tips to help you win.

If you need that translated, here’s what we said: Believe it or not, summer is flying by. So be sure you’re making the most out of your free time to get some important college search things down.  In honor of it being midsummer, and because Shakespeare was a chill dude, our list shall be called:

A Midsummer Night’s College Checklist:

1.  Start studying and/or register for the ACT or SAT
Many of you have already taken the ACT or SAT (either of which you’ll likely need to apply to a 4-year university or college). But if you haven’t, or just don’t like what your score looks like yet, no worries; you still have time! The next date for the ACT is September 10, and you have until August 12, 2011 to register. The next date for the SAT is October 1, and you have until September 9 to register.  That gives you plenty of time to register and hit the books.

Don’t forget! Even though many college applications have you write-in your ACT or SAT scores, you’ll probably be asked to have College Board (SAT) or ACT send your official scores.

2. Contact colleges you’re interested in
Make some contact with the colleges you’re interested in.  They like to see that you reached out to them before you applied–it shows that you’re truly interested and may possibly enroll if accepted.  You may want to schedule an interview or a informational meeting with an alumnus in your area. If you do wind up having an interivew, make sure to follow our interview advice.

3. Visit colleges
Nothing gives you insight into a college or university the way a college visit does. It’s the only way you can actually experience what campus life is like. You can read all you want about your dream school’s history, when and how it was founded, where its original campus was built, what secret tunnel runs between the library and president’s house, the complete, unabridged list of which celebrities are alumni–you can go on! But just know, a visit to a campus will do you just as well. And considering you have some free time in summer, it’s a great opportunity to go now.

4. Rough drafts of your essay
Hopefully you’ve gotten a hold of the applications for the schools you’re most interested in applying to. Just like the phrase, “With great power, comes great responsibility,” with each application, comes a fairly hard essay question to answer. Perhaps that example was ill-fitting, but with any application, comes some sort of essay you’ll have to write. Bored on a Wednesday night because your shift got cancelled and all you’re friends are out of town ? Perfect! Start drafting those college essays!

5. Scholarships
Jan Brady once eloquently stated, “Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships.” She’s right. No matter what kind of stunt Jan is pulling, our attention will always linger back to scholarships. It’s the heart of the matter, because they will help you ultimately pay for college. Get a head start on your scholarship search. Start by making a Cappex profile to match you with scholarships that best fit you.

Have you checked anything off these items off your list yet? What steps do you think rising seniors should make before school starts again? Leave comment!


6 Tips for Your College Interview

Categories: Admissions Advice

flagEven though most colleges do not require that you have an interview, an interview can have a positive effect on your college application. Think of it as a super personal supplement to your paper application.

There are different types of college interviews. You might meet with an admissions officer on campus or an alumnus in your area. Whoever you wind up meeting with, an interview helps to demonstrate your interest in a school and what you can bring to campus.

Here are 6 tips to keep in mind during a college interview:

1. Be confident but not cavalier; Be humble but not self-conscious
Confidence is not the same as cocky, and humble is not the same as stilted. Know the difference before you head into an interview. The trick is to be comfortable in acknowledging your accomplishments and your strengths, but not too comfortable in self-congratulating yourself. Even if you’re a bit nervous going into the interview, try to feel and look comfortable while sitting down with your interviewer.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s too cocky to say and what works:

Overly Confident

Overly Timid

Just Right

This is will be the most interesting interview you’ve ever had. I’m sure you had plenty of other, more important things to do today. It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for making time for this interview.
High school? I OWNED high school. No one noticed me in high school. I’m most proud of helping to raise $120,000 for Children’s Memorial over my four years.
YOUR COLLEGE NEEDS ME. I’d love to go to this college, but you guys probably have so many other better applicants. I would love to attend this college, and think I could really add to the community.

2. Be specific
It’s easy to fall into vague and ambiguous conversation. So, instead, think of 4-5 specific accomplishments, facts about yourself or whatever it is that you want to say to the interviewer if it fits in appropriately. Having these in mind before your interview will make it easier to think of during the actual conversation. 

3. Avoid reiterating your resume
If your interviewer has a copy of your resume or application, do not simply repeat its contents verbatim. It will not only make you look like a robot, but the point of the interview is to put some life into your application. Tell your interviewer something about yourself that’s not in your resume or application already.

4. Explain flaws in your application
An in-person interview is a great time to explain some of the discrepancies in your application. For example, if you had a tumultuous sophomore year because you’d just moved to a new school and you had trouble keeping up with your grades, let them know. Be careful of getting into woe-is-me zone. You do not want to give a sob story or explain all of your hardships. Just state a couple facts that explain a bad semester.

5. Know about the school
Just like a job interview, it would be a pity to get the interview, and then not know anything about the company.  Have substantial knowledge about the school you’re interviewing for. This will let your interviewer know that you are seriously considering the school. Drop hints about a program the college offers that you’re passionate about or a special fact about campus that interests you.

6. Ask your own questions
Yes, the interview is about you, but showing interest in the person you’re talking to never hurt anybody. Whether it’s dry questions about the admissions process or questions about their experience at the university, asking your own questions demonstrates a deeper interest in the college than a person who’s just there to talk about themselves.

Have you had a college interview? Any tips? Leave a comment!