Survey Finds Online Scrutiny Of College Applicants On The Rise

Career College Central summary:

  • In many colleges, admissions officers are checking applicants’ social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and other networks to learn about them in ways the traditional application may not reveal — and social media posts and comments can be helpful or harmful in making a judgment about a candidate.
  • A new release from Kaplan Test Prep reveals that making critical posts and comments online could negatively affect a high school student’s admissions prospects. The study found that online scrutiny of college candidates is growing, writes Natasha Singer of The New York Times.
  • Researchers interviewed 381 college admissions officers, and about 31% said they had visited an applicant’s Facebook or other personal social media page to learn more about them — a five-percentage-point increase from last year.
  • According to the survey, 30% of the admissions officers said they had discovered information online that had negatively affected an applicant’s prospects.
  • A few college officials said that online investigations might lead to unfair or inconsistent treatment. According to some admissions officials, they did not formally prohibit the practice. In fact, they said, admissions officers did look at online material about applicants on an ad hoc basis. Sometimes applicants themselves ask admissions officers to review their online portfolio such as blogs or videos they have posted.

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