Will Your Social Media Presence get your College Application Rejected?

College Admissions Officers are Searching Applicants Online

In a 2016 survey of 133 college admissions officers from the top 100 national universities and national liberal arts colleges (as ranked by US News & World Report), almost 1 in 2 (45%) of those surveyed said they performed online searches of applicants for the 2014-2015 school year.  That’s up from 36% of the admissions officers who performed online searches of applicants for the 2013-2014 school year…a year over year increase of 25%.  Online searches of applicants were performed using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google among others.

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Note:  Percentages total more than 100% because respondents searched applicantsmultiple ways.  Source:  2016 Admissions Survey  by Cornerstone Reputation

Other key findings from the survey showed that among admission officers who searched applicants online…

  • 40% found content that left a negative impression on them about the applicant.
  • 53% found content that left a positive impression on them about the applicant.
  • 22% said that an applicant could gain an advantage in the admissions process by building a positive online presence.

“We do monitor what students say on [social media]…Students should watch their tone/content here…” College Admissions Officer

Over 80% of the college admissions officers who participated in this survey said that their evaluation of an applicant’s character was “Important” or “Very Important” in their decision process.  And almost 70% said that there was information on the Internet that could help them gain a more accurate sense of an applicant’s character or personality.

What is the main takeaway here for college applicants?It may be overstated to say that “Big Brother is Watching You” but be aware that college admission officers are likely to be monitoring your social media presence.

At College Preparation Services, we know how to help applicants create a positive social media presence.  Please contact Dr. Margaret G. Benedict at 203-322-7696 to learn how we can help you.

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