The New York City skyline.

It’s not breaking news that TikTok challenges, Instagram takeovers, and AMAs (Ask Me Anything) are popping up all over your feed. We live in a world of constant connectivity. I’m sure someone’s told you to put your phone down once or twice, but what if I were telling you to pick it up? Social media is one of many tools you can use to support your college search. It’s even more important in this virtual world. From YouTube accounts to LinkedIn, here’s how social media can help you meet your favorite schools.

Get a Sense of Their Culture and Identity

“What’s your school’s culture like?” is a common question I hear working in admissions. Culture is an important part of picking a college, but it’s not always easy to put into words. Every person’s experience is so different. What’s important to one student may not be important to another. Culture can be made of many different components so it’s important you explore all of them. Social media can help.

Take a look at the Facebook groups of the colleges that interest you. What are people talking about? Are there groups for Greek life or musical ensembles? Try YouTube. Videos can make you feel like you’re sitting in on a class or a guest speaker’s lecture. How do faculty and students interact with one another? Who spoke at the graduation ceremony in 2018? Photos on blogs or Instagram can also give you a glimpse at what it’s like to be a student on campus.

Engage with Current Students

AMAs (Ask Me Anything) and Instagram takeovers are one way you can engage with current students through social media. At NYU, we let student Admissions Ambassadors from all over the world takeover our Instagram account for the day. It’s your chance to see what it’s like to go to school in New York City, Shanghai, or Abu Dhabi. You’ll follow students as they attend club meetings, meet up with friends, and work at their internships.

Ask Me Anything (as the name states) is your chance to ask questions! What are you most curious about? For example, our students are happy to share more about their own college journeys, living on campus, or even why they picked NYU. Sure, you can email any admissions office with these questions. But why not ask the students who are actually living it? If the colleges you’re interested in have the AMA platform, use it!

LinkedIn can also be a great platform to explore what alumni are doing after college. This is a great way to determine if your goals align with the university’s outcomes. You can also begin to explore different careers associated with the majors you’re interested. Joining professional groups or attending workshops and speaker series are all great ways to help you discover more about your wants as you select a college.

The Important Stuff

Some admissions offices, like the one at NYU, have their own platforms aside from the main college account. This way, we can share important details about the admissions process, campus visits, financial aid, and specific deadlines. By following admissions specific accounts, you might be reminded of the deadline for Regular Decision applications! You’ll also find videos on how to apply for financial aid or how to complete the Common Application as well as virtual campus tours. Check in with your colleges to see if they have a separate Instagram handle, Facebook account, or blog where you can follow along for admissions-specific information.


As we know from the last year, things change by the minute. Social media platforms, like Twitter, operated by the schools you’re interested in will provide updates on major events and policies. This may include updates due to weather-related events, changes to scheduling, or even adjustments to health requirements. Be sure to “follow” or “like” accounts you want to continue receiving major updates from.

Kelly Vann is a Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission at NYU. Prior to joining NYU, she worked in Undergraduate Admissions at Seton Hill University and Carnegie Mellon. She enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants and English Breakfast tea. A Pennsylvania native, Kelly currently resides in Hoboken.