If you have a teen applying for college, the New York Times article, “They loved your GPA then they saw your tweets”, may invoke a silent scream. The article highlights the growing trend of admission officers looking at college applicants social media profiles. It shares how inappropriate tweets and posts may influence a college’s decision.
The article references a Kaplan Test Prep study which found 31% of admission officers have checked an applicant’s online profile. This is an increase from 26% in 2012. Although this number is increasing, most applicants will not have their social media profiles checked. Colleges receive too many applications to review every applicant’s online profile. According the New York Time’s article, admission officers are more likely to go online if they receive information about a student’s profile or they want to learn more about an award/project mentioned in the application.
The good news is out of the applications reviewed only 30% found something that negatively impacted admission. This is down from 35% in 2012 “Many students are becoming more cautious about what they post, and also savvier about strengthening privacy settings and circumventing search,” said Christine Brown, Executive Director of College Admissions programs,Kaplan Test Prep. Kaplan’s student survey showed that 22% had changed their searchable names on social media, 26% had untagged themselves from photos, and 12% had deleted their social media profiles altogether.
Even though an admission officer is unlikely to check out your teen’s profile, it is still a good idea to review it. Other people may search their name online. Some scholarship organizations research applicants online. Plus, their new roommate or the cute student in their class may check them out online. They should spend some time senior year giving their teenage digital profile a makeover.