If you’ve applied or are applying to college, you need to know that college and university admissions officers are looking at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites to determine if your online behavior matches your application.
According to a news story posted on Kentucky station WDRB.com, “One study reports 80 percent of college admission officers use Facebook to check students out. Some have cost themselves financial aid opportunities and even been rejected from a particular school.”
Your reputation online can affect your admittance into a college as much as your high school grades can. A 2008 Kaplan study surveyed 320 admissions officers to determine how social media can affect students. According to the study, “38% of the 320 admissions officers who responded found something online which had a negative impact on their evaluation of the student.” Anything on a student’s profile that could compromise his or her reputation, infringe on his or her future college ethics code, or showcase unethical behavior could all cause a negative response from college admissions officers.
To further clarify social media usage for potential college students and current college students, Mashable gives advice for “12 Things Students Should Never Do in Social Media.”
- Post Illegal Activities
- Trash your teachers
- Post objectionable content from school computers or networks
- Post confidential information
- Provide overly specific location check-ins
- Threaten violence
- Ignore school-specific policies
- Have unprofessional public profiles
- Rely on privacy settings 100%
- Post emotionally
While negative posts and pictures could cost potential college students their future plans, positive posts could be used to their advantage. High school guidance counselors recommend showcasing community volunteer work or organizations you belong to.
So the moral of the story is just use common sense. Good luck.