Inside look on college TikTok recruitment


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Each recruited TikToker receives a pennant in the mail after committing to a university.

With colleges now recruiting successful TikTokers, Westminster’s college counseling department has shifted from traditional college counseling to helping students produce, edit, and upload top quality videos to increase their chances of going viral. Many top colleges had begun the search last year as a trial and were not sure if they would be able to continue the initiative. However, its tremendous success has convinced universities to continue the recruitment process, even though the quarantine period has ended. 

When many colleges and universities released a statement announcing their decision to continue, the college counseling department shifted accordingly. Over the past year, the center has transformed into a place where innovation and creativity abounds; ring light stands can be seen in every corner, and walking past, you can often see students filming dances or POVs or coming up with video ideas.

“Right now, my focus is helping students come up with content that showcases their strengths in a creative way that will connect with TikTok users,” said associate director of college counseling Anthea Economy. “I have had TikTok for quite some time, and I’ve learned that staying on top of trends is key, while also coming up with your own ideas. Everyone has a chance to become famous, as long as they choose their target audience wisely.”

However, TikTok has changed considerably in the past year. Many creators have come under scathing criticisms after their past actions have been discovered, and the term “cancelled” labels many TikTokers now, some of which were the face of TikTok just one year prior. 

“With all the drama on TikTok this year, I really wanted to focus on keeping my content clean and not getting involved in any drama,” said senior Zac Walpole. “I don’t want to make a mistake and lose my spot at Monsters University. It’s too important to me.”

The college counseling department has adapted with the ever-changing platform as well. The counselors have held multiple seminars as a resource for students on topics such as the latest trends, learning more about the ForYou scholarship, and how to become a part of the creator fund (if eligible). 

“We’re really trying to give students as many resources as possible in a time that is new for everyone,” said associate director of college counseling Jay McCann. “That includes dance classes, meet and greets, and workshopping sessions. These sessions would be for TikToks, not for essays as we had done previously. I specialize in TikTok dances, so students can always come to me if they need help perfecting their dolphins.”

Perhaps the most significant change to the college counseling office is a new hire. New head of TikToker recruitment, Bad Bleep, has amassed a significant following of 20 million on TikTok and now works at Westminster to help students in the recruiting process. As the head of recruitment, she works closely with students to help them reach out to colleges at the start of their second semester of junior year, which is the earliest students can begin reaching out. She then helps interested students craft their TikTok resume, choose their top five videos, and commit by October of their senior year in order to be eligible for the ForYou scholarship.

“It is such an honor to work with such creative and highly talented students,” said Bleep. “I’ve never seen students with better dice rolls or transition abilities. Honestly, I am confident in their ability to commit to their college of choice. Some of the most recognized TikTokers are my close friends, and I am excited to help students in their path to getting the maximum engagement on their videos to be the most recruitable.”

Bleep works closely with the college counseling department to offer insights for the college counselors on how best to help students create content. Her relationships with the directors of TikTok recruitment and recruited students at top universities will prove invaluable to the students wishing to take that path in college.

Some of Bleep’s responsibilities include helping students reach out to schools, teaching new dances, and holding seminars on the recruiting process. When students submit their portfolio of their top five videos, she then reaches out to recruiters to advocate on behalf of students at Westminster, making their hard work recognized. 

Additionally, she also helps students craft their applications for the ForYou scholarship. The application is a tedious one, with five shorter essays of 250 words about each of the videos that the student submitted, and a longer personal statement of 600 words on how TikTok has made a difference to their lives and how they have grown as a result. It is no easy task to complete, but Bleep and the college counselors are always available to answer any questions. 

Finally, Bleep also meets with student support to discuss ways in which students can be safe online, recognizing the harmful impact social media can have on developing brains. They aim to fight against this by holding discussions and panels about how to manage social media without it having a negative effect. 

“Social media can be very toxic and the world of TikTok recruiting is, no doubt, a competitive world,” said Bleep. “But I’m confident that any Westminster student would be successful.”