Dan Evertsz Talks About How Social Media Can Affect College Admissions
This subject is constantly on my radar as I listen and watch my 13 year old son give me updates about the actions of his peers and their friends on Instagram. This has peeked my interest the way social media is shaping the college admissions process. Most of the articles that I’ve seen are like an insider’s playbook on how selective colleges are using new media to recruit, screen (out) and induce students.
So as Spring Break season comes to a close, I wanted to share some social media insight that I hope you’ll like and share with your college-bound students, friends and neighbors. A few years ago we had a student that was accepted to her number one preferred college. The school checked her social media and found photos of her at a party where underage drinking was clearly viewed (my student was in the photo but not drinking). She was notified a few weeks later that her admission offer was withdrawn from that particular school. More and more schools are checking your students social media.
A recent Kaplan Test Prep telephone survey, 31% of College Admissions Officers who responded, admitted to checking their applicants’ social media pages for ‘red flags’ prior to granting acceptance (and 30% of those folks said that they found information that negatively affected the applicant) .
Second, employers routinely use social media both to search for and vet potential job applicants. A study by Harris Interactive conducted two years ago found that 35% of hiring managers had actually decided NOT to offer a job to a potential candidate based on content they found on that candidate’s social networking site, I bet that number is much, much higher today!
And finally, though a few states have passed laws to restrict an employer or a college’s access to a prospect’s social media passwords, many will ask you to ‘friend’ them or otherwise ‘voluntarily’ provide them with this information. Be careful and share this with your kids.
So, if you’re applying to college, graduate school or for a job, I suggest that you limit the sharing of your Spring Break (or any personal) over the top personal photos. As I stress to my son, social media (Instagram, Facebook, etc.) is a digital footprint that can follow you for years. Have fun but be careful, big brother is watching.
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