Tweet Your Way to a College Scholarship

These days, nothing really surprises me when it comes to the use of social media. Many people leverage social networks, such as Twitter to find jobs and roommates, so why not use it to submit your college essay? I recently came across an article on Ragan’s PR Daily that explains how the University of Iowa is taking social media to the next level with a new contest for a full scholarship to the university’s business school.

According to a USA Today article, the university has asked prospective students to submit a 140-character tweet in place of a second essay. The applicants are being asked to respond to the question: “What makes you an exceptional Tippie full-time MBA candidate and future MBA hire?” Creativity will really pay off for this contest – the winner will receive a $37,000 scholarship to the business school. Jodi Schafer, the University of Iowa’s director of MBA admissions and financial aid, said that the university decided to go down this route because the application essays were becoming very unoriginal.  She said “We’re hoping that incorporating social media in the process will help bring back some of that creativity.”

I personally think it’s pretty challenging to creatively answer this essay question in only 140 characters – anyone that can successfully do it deserves a scholarship in my opinion! When I was a high school senior, I remember patiently awaiting for my college acceptance letter to come in the mail from my alma mater, Marist College. Today, students can follow the college’s Twitter account for updates on when letters are being sent out, and it seems like this is only the beginning. It will be very interesting to see how social media continues to play a role in college admissions. What do you think? Would you rather come up with a short tweet to highlight why you should be accepted to a university or stick with a traditional essay?

This post was originally published by Danielle Sherman on March Communications’ blog, PR Nonsense, and may be viewed here.

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