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Facebook's New 'Groups for Schools' Enables Colleges to Interact with Prospective Students
96 percent of college students have personal Facebook accounts, according to a study by OnlineEducation.net, and more than 80 percent of colleges use Facebook as a platform to recruit and target high-school students, according to the Varsity Outreach study "Facebook and Admissions." When Facebook was initially developed, it was created as a social networking site for college students ONLY. The launch of "Groups for Schools"enables Facebook to return to its roots by only allowing students (current and prospective), faculty and staff members with a valid ".edu" email address from their schools to sign up and join the group.
The new platform is one of many changes Facebook has undergone during the past year, including the launch of its new Timeline format and enhanced options for group chat. The group-sharing platform allows admissions officers, along with other school departments, to share and collaborate with group members and other interested individuals through specific groups within the college or university pages.
Practical applications of "Group for Schools" include:
- Admissions departments can reach and attract prospective students by posting admission information, answers to frequently asked questions, and relevant articles
- Professors can create groups for their classes to enable students to share notes and slides and interact with each other (similar to online educational systems like Blackboard). Notifications will appear in members' news feeds when new materials are posted in the group