Each year, college admissions committees and scholarship providers are more closely scrutinizing the discipline records and social media footprint of prospective applicants. Any discipline infraction can adversely impact your chances of getting into college or being awarded a scholarship. If you already have discipline infractions, or a criminal record, you should seek advice from an attorney for having the infractions removed from your official school records or expunged from court records.

The unfortunate reality is that you could miss out on many great opportunities as a result of discipline infractions. While negative social media images, texts, posts, and photographs could result in a discipline infraction at your school, even if it goes unnoticed by your school, it could be noticed by a college admissions officer or scholarship provider.

Many students mistakenly believe that social media, which includes Facebook®, Twitter®, Instagram®, Snapchat®, and YouTube®, and the text messages and images posted of you on the Internet is private. This is not at all true! Once a digital recording is made in a computer or posted onto the Internet, it can never be recaptured or permanently deleted. Passwords can be hacked, texts and images sent to a friend can be resent to thousands of other people, and eventually the whole world can know all about you. Not to mention, some texts and images can be illegal and students have been expelled from school and convicted of a crime as a result of sharing inappropriate language and images via social media. There are reports of students who have had their college admission offers rescinded due to inappropriate social media postings or news articles.

To become a competitive college and scholarship applicant, you will eventually need to communicate with colleges, recruiters, and scholarship providers. Written and verbal communication provide multiple opportunities to communicate information and build relationships with college admissions officers, coaches, professors, and scholarship providers. Through this activity you will engage in a critical self-assessment of your social media image.


Review your social media image and develop an email signature to showcase your gifts, talents, leadership, and achievements.

Estimated time to complete: 30 min.

Guiding Questions

  • What type of image am I portraying through my current e-mail address or through social media (e.g., Facebook®, Twitter®, Instagram®, Snapchat®)?
  • What type of email signature would best showcase my gifts, talents, leadership, and achievements?