Opportunities like the Horace Mann Fellowship don’t come around every day, so every bit of competitive edge counts. Social media is a uniquely controllable reflection of you. How you project online is malleable in a way that test scores and recommendations can never be. Showcasing your talents may be the only way to distinguish yourself from the hordes of straight-A-varsity-athlete-philanthropists competing for prestigious scholarships and career-making internships.
Showing a clear interest in the school could also give your application an edge when applying for merit-based scholarships. During the application process, make sure the admissions team sees that their college is a priority for you: attend college events, participate in alumni interviews and make sure your name is on mailing lists.
Antioch is looking for “bold, imaginative, creative learners…who possess the desire and capacity to affect change” in Horace Mann Fellows. Keep the goal of the scholarship in mind when crafting essays and applications to the college to reflect the kind of candidate they’re looking for. In that same vein, if the description doesn’t sound like you, consider what you want from your college experience. Remember that even an opportunity like the one Antioch is offering should be considered after you’ve decided that this College is the one for you.
Highlighting your interests is another more general way of upping your application appeal. If you’re an active member of specific clubs or programs, make sure the “interests” sections of your various profiles reflect that. “Check-in” when you’re at events that relate to those same interests. All these little things tie together a more full picture of the interests you’re dedicated to. Financial aid officers can’t know how much of a difference you’ve made through community service, or what it really means to be captain of a varsity team, so give them as much insight into you as possible.
The Antioch College Horace Mann Fellowship is one of many extraordinary opportunities you’ll face in college and after. It’s never easy to show complete strangers who you are and why you’re valuable, but social media can begin to close the gap between your paper application and who you really are. Use it as a tool—an extension of yourself—to communicate your talents, interests and dreams. If one post can mean the difference between a full ride and a pile of student loans, it can’t hurt to be aware of how you look online.