Don’t Make An Admissions Officer Check Your Instagram

I promised this week to help you make good use of your social media. Students and parents are rightfully concerned about how social media will or will not be used in college admissions. These concerns are even more intense with the recent story out of Harvard where several students had admissions offers revoked due to inappropriate use of memes on social media.

Don’t Make An Admissions Officer Check Your Instagram

Let me allay your fears right away about this instance; it is the exception, not the rule. In my experience on the admissions committee, we checked social media (and used Google) only when: 1) We had a question about something an applicant wrote and wanted to see what else we could find on his/her background. For example, we would sometimes check on certain activities to see if the student’s claims could be verified. 2) We found something listed on the application fascinating and we looked it up for more information.

So will your social media be checked or not? We’re not sure. But best to use good judgment: Students should not post something on social media if they would be embarrassed to have a parent or another trusted adult view it. Controversial posts (even though you might think it’s a joke) are not worth the potential consequences (no matter your age).

You can address your online presence starting now: Google yourself to see what comes up. If anything is potentially controversial, you will be wise to take it down or to ask someone else to take it down. On the positive side if there is a club/activity where you’ve done a lot of amazing work, go ahead and create a website or social media page to showcase the incredible work you’ve done.

Next time, I’ll share with you more about the platforms you can use to showcase your work, and tell you which ones work best for which type of work.

Let me know if you have any questions. Until next time…


Dr. Aviva Legatt

You can contact me by email or Follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. I blog at and at Forbes.

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