Two recent surveys have shown that admission officers and prospective students think that student’s social media accounts should be fair game when it comes to making an admissions decision. In a survey of 388 admissions officers, 68 percent thought that visiting social accounts was a good idea when making a decision, but only 29 percent actually had done so before. A separate survey of 914 high school students showed that 70 percent believed that it was fine for admissions officers to look at their social media, as opposed to it being an invasion of privacy.
Last year, Harvard withdrew admission to ten students who were caught sharing offensive messages in a Facebook group, showing that universities do take the things that potential students post on social media seriously. Something similar happened in 2012 when a prospective student at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine began posting inappropriate comments on Twitter about fellow prospective students at a visit day. Though she was said to be denied admission for other reasons, the dean of admissions at the school Scott A. Meiklejohn said that if her grades would’ve been more competitive she still would’ve been denied admission thanks to those Tweets.
So though most college admissions officers may not be looking at social media accounts, it’s always important to keep up a professional appearance, because the things shared online could ultimately hinder someone from being admitted to the school they wanted to attend.
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