Colleges and universities are buying into Facebook big time. Research carried out by the owners of OnlineColleges.org, a non-profit website that helps students navigate through the challenging maze of online colleges and universities, shows that many institutions of higher learning, especially in the US, are increasingly using Facebook to recruit and interact with students and communicate with the general public.
Their findings have been confirmed by ABC News. Citing a recent survey of college admissions officers from 500 of the top US colleges, ABC noted that 82 percent of American universities have set up Facebook pages to communicate with prospective students during the admissions process.
Mike Richwalsky, assistant director of public affairs at Allegheny College, a small, private liberal arts college in the US also confirmed that college administrations are adopting Facebook as an effective way to reach students, “both prospective and those students already attending our schools.”
“Why are schools using Facebook? First, it’s where the students are. College students today in the US live and breathe Facebook all day long. For us, using it to reach them makes sense – after all it’s a medium they are comfortable in. Second, it’s free for our institutions to use,” says Richwalsky.
For the young applicants, this means they’re going to have to watch their online habits. As OnlineColleges.org noted, “Many schools won’t use information on a student’s profile to make a decision about admissions, but they also don’t have rules prohibiting officers from visiting student pages.”
OnlineColleges.org has discovered 50 innovative ways that colleges are using Facebook to refine their recruitment strategies and enhance their public image. See 50 Great Ways Colleges are using Facebook.