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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Do College Admissions Counselors Look at Online Profiles of PotentialStudents?

From Instagram pictures of a party scene, to using bad language on Facebook, to rude tweets about teachers and parents, many young people are sharing a bit too much online.  A recent study by Kaplan Test Prep shows that an online profile may hurt a student's chances to get into college.

Some college admissions counselors admit that they just don't have the time to check Facebook profiles or to "Google" a prospective student. That said, a growing number of them are making the time- especially if they are bringing in a student for a face-to-face interview or if the student has applied to an honors college program.

Over one-quarter of the admissions counselors surveyed said they did check a potential student's online profile via Facebook and/or Google. Nearly a third of those counselors said they found information that negatively impacted a potential students chance of admission. The offenses they found included:

  • essay plagiarism
  • vulgarities in blogs
  • alcohol consumption in photos
  • things that made them “wonder”
  • illegal activities
Tis the season for college admissions and scholarship decisions. Google your student's name and see what comes up on the first three pages. Whatever you see, a college admissions counselor can see. Talk to your student (again!) about being thoughtful about what they post and discuss the consequences of sharing inappropriate or potentially damaging information about themselves.

And remind them...Santa is always watching!