BY LAUREN FORNINI
Colleges are beginning to use social media as a way to reach out to prospective students. By using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, universities and colleges, including County College of Morris, join the ongoing trend of keeping in touch with students on a personal level.
“When I was an upperclassman in high school I remember seeing all of my friends ‘like’ different colleges on Facebook,” said Cathleen McCarthy, a sophomore at the University of Delaware. “Although I never went to CCM as a full-time student, their presence was very high on my newsfeed. I looked back to their page last summer actually to try and find details about taking summer courses.”
Due to the amount of time students spend online, making an appearance on popular websites gives colleges an advantage because it makes students begin to think, according to McCarthy.
“CCM making itself super accessible online through links on social networks helps them accumulate all different types of students, such as myself” McCarthy said. “I decided to take a couple of online summer courses because of how convenient it was.”
Socialmediaweek.org, an online resource to begin social network campaigns, discusses a recent study from The Journal of College Admission. According to the study, the top 100 ranked universities use on average 3.7 social networks.
“I used Facebook and Twitter to do further research on the colleges I got accepted to,” said Cara Kohaut, an education major at Kutztown University. “It was through their social network accounts that I got the basic idea of what their social scene was like.”
According to Socialmediaweek.org, 72 percent of incoming college freshmen do further research on social networks. Some students even went as far as to say social media helped them choose which school to attend.
“Looking at the Facebook page was very insightful to the type of people that already attended the school,” Kohaut said. “It allowed me the opportunity to get a taste of what their personalities were like and what type of people I could potentially see myself being friends with. It also let me see the other potential incoming freshmen and through that I could try to find a roommate.”
Knowing one’s roommate will alleviate a lot of the stress of move in day the first year of college, according to Kohaut. She recommends people use this process to get the general idea of the student population.
“As a student at CCM following them on Twitter and Facebook is helpful for staying up-to-date on the current news around campus,” said Julia Madison, liberal arts major. “Although I get the Titan Alerts, sometimes I will see the immediate tweets put out on Twitter first.”
Madison is currently in her last semester at CCM and over the last year has seen the growth of social networking around campus.
“Now it’s not only the general college that has accounts for students to follow,” said Madison. “I see many different academic departments and student clubs on Twitter along with the college.”
The social media trend is more than just social. Colleges use it as a way to enhance the educational experience for their students.