Caution: College admissions officers peeking at Facebook profiles


If you are considering applying to college add a review of your Facebook or MySpace profile to your to-do list. While employers have been checking the online profiles of job applicants for a number of years, a 2008 Kaplan survey indicated that college admissions officers are beginning to visit the social networking websites of applicants. Kaplan surveyed 320 admissions officers and reported that 1 in 10 had looked at an applicant’s social networking site.

25% of the officers stated the information on the students profiles had a positive effect on the applicants admissions process, but 38% of the admissions officers stated that students’ profiles had a negative effect.

Although only a small percentage of college admissions offices are reviewing social networking websites as part of the admissions process, it is important that students be proactive and make sure their online persona is a positive representation of who they are.
Here are a few tips to follow:

1. Regularly review your profile and remove anything that may not impress college officials: Check the language/grammar used and any photos or anything you may have downloaded to your site for appropriateness. Would you be embarrassed if the information on your site was splashed on the front page of your local newspaper? Or ask yourself: WWGT?— What would grandma think?

2. Update your site with positive information about yourself: Made the Honor Society? Named the lead in your school’s play? Post it to your MySpace or Facebook site!!

3. Use the privacy setting on your site: Although this is not completely fool-proof, it can provide you with some protection from unauthorized viewing.

4. Check your friends’ sites for any negative information or photos about you and ask that they be removed.
So remember to manage your online profile so that it won’t derail your college plans.

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