Most, if not all high school students have some type of social media account. And, for those students who are applying to go to college, a recent study by Kaplan shows that more than a third of college admissions officers have researched applicants by visiting applicant’s social media pages.
Since Kaplan began tracking the issue in 2008, this is the highest percentage of college admissions officers to say they check an applicant’s pages.
Even though this practice is becoming more popular, the survey does show that applicants are “cleaning up” their social media pages. Two years ago, 30% of admissions officers reported finding specific negative things through an applicant’s social media. However, this year, that number is down to 16%.
Christine Brown, Kaplan Test Prep’s director of k-12 and college prep programs, said, “With the growth of social media, college admissions departments have become more interested in what it reveals about applicants.”
Brown added that “teens have come to terms with the fact that their digital trails are for the most part easily searchable, followable, and sometimes judged.”
The study also shows that 58% of students surveyed described their social network pages as “fair game” and understand that whatever a student puts on their social media, college admissions officers have the right to check it out and make decisions based on what they find.
35% of students surveyed said that what a college admissions officer would find on their social media pages would in fact improve their chances of being admitted, while only 3% said it would hinder their chances. 62% of the students said it would not make a difference.
In addition, the survey said that 18% of the students surveyed said that they planned to go online to promote themselves and increase their chances of getting into college.
It is almost common sense, but if you are applying to any college, make sure you carefully look at all of the social media accounts you have and positively promote the “real you” that you want the college admissions officers to see if they happen to research you.
Brown also said,”The bottom line for students is that what you post online likely won’t get you into college, but is just might keep you out.”
If you are interested in finding out about how to apply for college, please give us a call as we offer a variety of programs that can help and guide you on the college admissions process.