It looks as though Snapchat is getting a Bachelors degree. Recently, universities across the nation have begun using the Snapchat app in their current college admissions and athletic recruitment processes. Originally known as a way to exchange flirtatious photos, Snapchat has been proven as yet another way for universities to engage with Generation Y.
Within the past 10 years, universities have embraced social media as a way to reach out to prospective students, inform alumni and express school spirit. Colleges have created Facebook and Instagram accounts in order to reach out to their students and alumni in a new way. Now, colleges and universities seem to believe sending snaps could become more effective than mailing brochures to interested students.
The University of Houston used their account, uhouston, to inform their students of icy road conditions and the cancellation of classes. The University of Michigan started its account in February of 2014, releasing snaps of campus activities, and even selfies of the university President and her staff. Tennessee Wesleyan College created a Snapchat scavenger hunt, snapping out five hints before freshmen orientation.
Beyond campus life, the athletic programs at various universities have used the app in the recruitment process. Sending snaps to standout athletes may add a personal touch to the ongoing recruitment process. By August 1 of this year, the majority of Division I sports will be allowed to send snaps to prospective student-athletes.
The University of Kansas has long been engaged with social media to provide fans with a personal experience from the perspective of players. Kyle Babson, Strategic Communications Manager of the University of Kansas, told Time Magazine that Instagram has been a “huge deal” for the University of Kansas recruitment process in the past year. Snapchat has also offered fans a personal look into the lives of student-athletes; the app has been used to send out pictures of athletes in the locker room celebrating after a game, or selfies of players to advertise the next game.
Some students have gone so far as to make unofficial accounts for their universities, like the account NYUSnaps created by a junior at New York University. The account takes screenshots of the cleverest snaps sent to the account, ranging from celebrity sightings to campus events, and posts them on a Facebook page.
Whether it’s taking a selfie on your way to class or recruiting the next star of the basketball team, Snapchat has seemingly made its mark in app history. Now all we need is a Boston College account. BCSnaps, anyone?