College – U. Got It?

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Your dream college may be looking at information about you on your Facebook page (24% percent of colleges said in a Kaplan Test Prep survey they do). So use social media to your advantage to find out information about the school you may be attending.

Here are 10 things you can learn from a college’s (official) Facebook page.

1. Campus happenings.

You’ll get a sense for big events on campus and what their student organizations are doing – it can be a big help as you try to envision what it may be like to be a college student at that school.

2. Big news.

From new majors to sports victories, you’ll find updates that show how this school is doing more for students and being successful, too. They’ll also have news about alumni – UCLA’s Facebook page, for example, congratulated 1990 graduate Alexander Payne who directed “The Descendants,” which won the Golden Globe for best drama in January.

3. Basic information.

If you’re touring a school and need the address for the GPS, it will be there. Or get directions, phone numbers, official website urls, and even a contact e-mail for more information.

4. Photos.

From shots of campus landmarks to student activities to sports teams, it’s a great place to see what this campus is like.

5. Videos.

Relive big moments or watch interviews with professors and students to learn more about the college.

6. Events.

Learn about events for prospective students and current students so you can plan a campus visit or tour.

7. Student activities.

In addition to information about student groups and activities being posted on the wall, you’ll find the “likes” section on pages like the one for Spelman College, a historically black college and university for females in Georgia, can have links to campus organizations, fraternities and sororities, and other school Facebook pages.

8. Other social media connections.

On the Facebook page, some schools will have listed their Twitter username, so you can follow them there, too.

9. Deadlines.

From application info to big dates throughout the year, some colleges have these details posted on Facebook

10. Answers to questions.

Students may post questions about activities, financial aid and tuition, majors, or other topic that you may be wondering about, too. The answers on Facebook show another way that schools are connecting with students and applicants today.

Those are some big reasons to add Facebook to your research when you’re looking at prospective schools.

Lori Johnston

Lori Johnston is a freelance writer based in Athens, Ga. She is a former Associated Press reporter and has contributed to many publications, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle, and People magazine. A 1995 graduate of the University of Georgia, Johnston also serves as an adjunct professor in the school’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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