Social Networking Reshapes College Admissions

Is your facebook page ready for the college admissions process?

Colleges are looking for ways to better get to know their applicants, and there is no longer any doubt that social networking sites are playing a key role in this process. According to this article, a Kaplan study surveyed 359 college admission officers from 500 universities. Results showed that approximately 24% of college admissions officers search social media and 20% reported performing a search on Google. While this number may seem low, it is definitely on the rise! And 12% of admissions officers’ stated that social media profiles negatively affected their college applications.

For better or for worse, expect that college admissions officers will be checking facebook, twitter, and youtube to see how you represent yourself. While this can be disconcerting, it can also be an opportunity to update your online image so you are sure to impress not only admissions officers but future employers as well!

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You Are What You Tweet

Have you googled yourself lately?

If you are gearing up to begin your college application process, you definitely want to read Danny Westneat’s article in the Seattle Times. In this article, he discusses how he discovered an inspiring story of a student with a rough start in life, who defied all odds and made it to college, but that his perspective changed when he discovered the student's Twitter feed.

Without getting into the content of his posts, the point is clear. It’s normal for high school students to share their world with their friends, but with today’s internet culture, the consequences of those discussions and the photographical evidence that may be associated with them, are obviously much more far reaching and long term.

Westneat quotes a Harvard interviewer during a debate on the website Quora, who offers some guidance in this area: “Does a Facebook profile or a website prejudice me before I meet a candidate? Yes. Absolutely. If you care about your college career, one of the best things you can do is Google yourself, then pull anything off you wouldn't voluntarily show your parents' friends." Unfortunately, it can be what is not included in your college application that leaves the biggest impression.