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Saturday, November 17, 2012
Social Media Becoming More Damaging for College Students
Back in September, I wrote about the astounding percentages of college admissions officers that use Facebook, Twitter and the like as recruitment tools. Last year, I blogged about the importance of keeping your online profile clean. Apparently, this is now more important than ever before.
The results of a study conducted by Kaplan (the test prep behemoth) were released in October of this year. The general trend? Schools are relying more and more on social media as a method of evaluating students. Around 26% of admissions officers surveyed said they use Facebook and Google in order to check students out.
The big change from last year was the way in which online impropriety can negatively impact a student's chance of admission. Back in 2011, 12% of the admissions officers said it mattered-this year that number tripled. That picture of you doing a keg stand? It's really got to go.
It makes sense. You're an admission officer. You've got a pile of essays, letters of recommendation, and applications to sift through. Bo-ring. How is it possible for one not to simply start running into the next? Why wouldn't you flip open the lap top, see what that soccer player from Scranton has up on her Facebook page. Witty links? Photos of her parents? Oh-so that's what she looks like.
Social media has turned us into voyeurs. We have become adept at communicating from behind a screen. We use the internet to create collages of ideological and literal images of ourselves. Many young students have already spent years building up their catalogues. Why wouldn't an admission officer want to look?
So I'll say it again. Make sure the cyberspace portfolio you've created for yourself is one you'd be willing to share with your grandparents. That's a safe place to start. For Kaplan's Press Release: Kaplan
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