For aspiring college students it’s not enough to just worry about the strength of their application essay or pumping up their GPA, now they have to start cleaning up their Facebook account. A new survey from Kaplan Test Prep shows that 35% of college admissions officers found something in an applicant’s social media profile that negatively impacted his or her chances of getting into college.
The offenses cited in the survey included essay plagiarism, vulgarities in blogs, alcohol consumption in photos, things that made the administration officials “wonder,” as well as undefined “illegal activities.” The ethics of reviewing applicants’ social media profiles continues to divide admission officers.
Kaplan’s survey found that only 27% of admissions officers used Google to examine an applicants’ digital footprint and only 26% checked potential students’ Facebook pages. Although the percentage of admissions officials who review applicants’ social media presence is currently low, because 85% of the colleges and universities in the U.S. do not have policies in place to guide their admissions department in reviewing student’s online trail the trend could continue to grow.
While admissions offices remain unsure about using social media when consider potential students, the same cannot be said for colleges’ recruiting offices. The survey found that 87% of schools use Facebook for recruiting, 76% use Twitter, and 73% use Youtube.
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