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Neat as a Pin: Using Pinterest in the College Admissions Process

Since launching in March 2010, Pinterest has become the third most popular social media platform, behind only Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest is a tool for browsing and creating categorized digital bulletin boards, and while it may initially seem to be a tool simply to share fashion and recipes, there are many ways students can use the site throughout the college admissions process.

IvyWise recently started using Pinterest as a way to share expert information and resources and to further demystify the admissions process for all students and their families. Our counselors, tutors, and staff are using pin boards to share information and tips on standardized testing, popular subjects, and specific schools. Here are some additional ways that students can use Pinterest in the admissions process:

Throughout your time in high school, create boards to track achievements, jobs, internships, clubs, sports, goals, interests, and even favorite books. If you are a photographer or artist, post your pictures so your friends can share them with the world! Musicians and actors can pin videos of their performances. By continuing to organize your activities on boards throughout high school, you’ll already have documentation of your achievements in one place when it comes time to apply. Like with all social media, it’s important to be truthful and not create a fake persona in order to impress an admissions officer who may potentially be looking at your profile. Your pins should represent YOU!

Students can use Pinterest to research colleges. Increasingly, popular college admissions resources (such as USA Today College, Inside Higher Ed, and IvyWise!) are pinning, and many schools are creating accounts of their own (including Oberlin College, Yale University, Drake University, and Texas A&M University). Like on Facebook and Twitter, some schools have multiple accounts for different departments and programs. For example, the University of Pennsylvania’s Career Services Pinterest account features boards such as, “Penn Alumni” and “Where to Work,” and the University of Maryland’s Wrestling Team has boards such as, “2012 ACC Champs” and “Maryland Mascots.” Browsing through a college’s boards is a great way to get a candid look at the campus culture, school traditions, and student involvement.

Once students have been accepted to college, Pinterest can be used to prepare for freshman year. By following school boards, students can track what is happening on campus and in the community. For example, Texas A & M University’s Aggies account pinned their 2012 football schedule and Duke University has a board called “Our Durham,” which lists farmer’s markets and events in Durham, North Carolina. You can also use Pinterest to connect with other students. For example, you and your future roommate can use the platform to share ideas about how to decorate your dorm room.

There are many resources available to help you throughout the college admissions process and social media is becoming an increasingly popular tool. By familiarizing yourself with as many resources as possible, you’ll surely pin down the schools that are the best academic and social fit for you!

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