Scholarly research has identified a disparity between the public, print-only messages a college disseminates about itself and what current students claim their experience at a particular institution to be. The present study examined if this disparity or disconnect still exists. Students' self-reported college experience using a survey design was measured in order to discover if current students' exposure to recruitment-driven social media websites and subsequent social media tools altered students' self-reported experience and ultimately created this disparity between "promised" versus "actual" experience. The key findings included that exposure to recruitment-driven social media sites does not influence students' self-report of experience or satisfaction. However, there were significant differences in levels of satisfaction between freshmen versus non-freshmen in specific experience-related areas.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
College students--United States--Attitudes; Universities and colleges--Public opinion; Universities and colleges--United States--Admission--Computer network resources--Evaluation; Social media--Marketing; Universities and colleges--Marketing
Communication and Media Technologies (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Communication (CLA)
Conklin, Casey Lynne, "Promised Versus Actual College Experience: The Role of Social Media in Pre and Post-enrollment Experiences" (2014). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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