Merit Pages FAQ
What are the benefits of Merit?
From a student perspective, individual Merit pages give students a powerful, positive online identity endorsed and managed by the university. From an institutional perspective, Merit helps us share our students’ accomplishments beyond the immediate Lawrence community, which can help us raise the visibility of the university.
Achievements created by the Office of Communications will be posted to these pages as accomplishments verified by the College. In addition to these university-verified achievements, students can add a profile photo, short biography, work experience, organization affiliations, and other campus activities to their personal Merit page. This helps students highlight their curricular and co-curricular success in one place and expand their profile.
Students can also connect their Merit page with social networks, giving friends and family the chance to see and learn about their accomplishments as a Lawrence student. They can even customize their page URL to include their resume and share with potential employers or graduate school admission counselors.
How is this different than LinkedIn?
Students can think of their personal Merit page as a Lawrence portfolio, highlighting their curricular and co curricular experiences in a single location and featuring university-verified achievements. Merit Pages are not meant to be a replacement for a LinkedIn profile but, thanks to the ability to connect a Merit pages to LinkedIn profiles, create a more robust presentation of a students’ educational experience.
How are student achievements created?
The Office of Communications will identify potential stories and work with relevant offices and departments to generate a list of students who participated in the achievement.
Once the story is written, it is published through Merit Pages and shared automatically with students. If students opt-in to the program, the accomplishment will be added to their individual profile and shared with their families, high schools, government representatives, and hometown newspapers. Shared content will only include information about students that is designated as “directory information” under the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), or that has already been published by the university in another context.
How does Communications determine where to send student stories?
Merit Pages achievements are sent to students’ university email addresses. They may also be shared with family member email addresses the student provided as part of the Admissions process. Hometown newspapers are determined based on the zip code associated with a student’s permanent address; high schools and government representatives are based on the information students provided on their application for admission. Most of this information can be updated in each student’s Merit profile. To view and make changes to which addresses are on file for individual student accounts, login to Merit and go to “My Account.” From there, click on “Privacy.”
How can friends and family receive updates about student achievements?
If a student opts-in to Merit, family members whose email addresses are on record with the university will automatically be alerted each time a new story is posted. Students can also add family and friends to their distribution list by going to the “My Account” section of their individual Merit page. Interested parties may also visit the Lawrence Merit Page, search for their student, and click the “follow” button. They will be prompted to create an account that allows them to follow students’ achievements.
If a student would prefer not to share these stories with family members or other individuals associated with their account, they can remove those email addresses from automatic distribution by logging into their Merit account, clicking on “My Account” and then clicking “Privacy.”
What about privacy?
Because we value student privacy, student Merit pages are set to be private by default and are not searchable on lawrence.meritpages.com or indexed by search engines like Google unless students click the “make page searchable” button.
Merit stories containing the student’s first and last name will continue to be automatically shared with family, hometown news outlets, government representatives, and high schools. A student’s first name and last initial will also appear in this list on Lawrence’s institutional Merit page, but there would be no link to the student’s personal profile. Students may also share these stories on social media.
To view and make changes to who receives their Merit updates, students can click on “Privacy” in their Merit account. Changes to privacy settings will not be overridden by new data uploaded by the university.
How do you opt out?
Opting out not only removes a student’s page from the university’s institutional Merit page, but it also prevents the university or any other participating Merit organization from being able to publish achievements on Merit Pages in the future. When students first visit their Merit Page, they have an option to click the “opt out” button right away or they can click the “opt out” button at the bottom of the welcome email they receive. If they decide to opt out later, they can click “my account,” “privacy,” and then “opt out” or they can contact Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org to be removed.