Warning to all college applicants: Be careful what you post online.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a survey of 500 top colleges found that 10% of admissions officers acknowledged looking at social-networking sites to evaluate applicants. The article notes that “of those colleges making use of the online information, 38% said that what they saw ‘negatively affected’ their views of the applicant. Only a quarter of the schools checking the sites said their views were improved.” Press release from Kaplan.
This survey, conducted by Kaplan, is three years old, so it’s logical to conclude that many more college admissions officers are using Facebook and other tools to evaluate candidates. Of course most applicants use Facebook: only one senior in my last five graduating classes didn’t use Facebook.
So when a college admissions official checks your Facebook page what does she see? In your photos? On your wall? On your list of pages/groups? On your favorite quotes? Here are some tips to clean up your online image before you start applying to college:
- Facebook, MySpace and College Admissions: Don’t Let Social Networking Sites Sabotage Your Chances of Getting Into College