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New Survey Released on College Admissions Officers Checking Your Social Media

New Survey Released on College Admissions Officers Checking Your Social Media

A recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep, which polled nearly 400 college admissions officers throughout the United States, found that the percentage of admissions officers who visited applicants’ social media pages so they might learn more about the applicant rose to a record high 40%.

This is quadruple the percentage who visited applicants’ social media pages in 2008. However, the survey also revealed that 89% of admissions officers said they do it “rarely” while only 11% said they do it “often.”

The question as to what “triggers” a college admissions officer to look at an applicant’s social media page was also a topic of the survey. Here are some of Kaplan Test Prep’s findings.

  1. The Interest in an Applicant’s Talents

Admissions officers said they visit an applicant’s social media page often due to the applicant’s own invitation. For example, if an applicant includes on his or her application an interest in music, art, athletics, and/or writing, admissions officers wanted to learn more. 42% of admissions officers reported an increase in invitations such as this compared to two years ago.

2. The Verification of an Applicant’s Awards

If an applicant has a citation of particularly distinguished or noteworthy awards, this may trigger an admissions officer’s search of social media for verification.

3. An Applicant’s Criminal Record or Disciplinary Action

Admissions officers said that if an applicant mentions on his or her application that he or she has a criminal background or record of disciplinary action, they may do some “digging” into the applicant’s social media accounts.

4. Scholarships

Admissions officers may check an applicant’s social media if an applicant mentions he or she applied for special scholarships. Universities want to ensure those receiving scholarships are fully deserving.

5. Admissions Sabotage

Admissions officers reported that they occasionally receive anonymous tips about prospective students inappropriate behavior and may check the applicant’s social media to see if there is any truth to the tip.

The survey also indicated that researching applicants’ social media can positively impact the applicant’s application. 37% of admissions officers said they found positive information that wasn’t included on the applicant’s application.

This included undisclosed leadership roles or community service.

But approximately the same percentage found things that negatively impacted an applicant. These included criminal offenses, photographs of drug or alcohol use, racial prejudice, and inappropriate behavior.

So just remember that your social media accounts can help you, but they can also hurt you.

At Advanced College Solutions, Inc., we offer a wide variety of programs that can prepare you for the college admission process. Please give us a call and set up an appointment so we can get you started.